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Safet Zec

Painter and graphic designer

He was born in 1943 in Rogatica (Bosnia and Herzegovina). After graduating from the Secondary School of Arts in Sarajevo, he continued his studies of painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Belgrade, where he graduated in 1969 and completed his specialization in 1972. In the 1970s he became the central figure of the so-called “poetic realism”, in the early 1990s he was established as one of the most important artists in the country and participated in many important international exhibitions. He lived and worked in Belgrade until 1989, then moved with his family to Sarajevo. When the war broke out in 1992, he left his homeland and settled in Udine, Italy, and in 1998 he found his second home in Venice.

In Italy, Safet Zec constantly and intensively creates in the genre of painting, drawing and graphics (all works created until 1992 remained in the Sarajevo studio). As early as 1994, he presented his new works at his first solo exhibition in Italy, and since then he has had more than 100 exhibitions in Italy and other cities in Europe, the United States and Jordan. He is a member of important professional associations across Europe, including ULUBiH, and has received more than 20 awards and recognitions, including the Order of Arts and Literature of the French Republic in 2007 and the title of Knight of Arts. His works are exhibited in important European and world galleries, museums and private collections.

Since the end of the war in the former Yugoslavia, Zec has again travelled frequently to Bosnia and Herzegovina and created there. Sarajevo’s “Atelje Zec Collection” in the city centre is an exhibition space of his Sarajevo oeuvre and all his new works of art, which he has created in the last fifteen years and has become the centre of cultural events in the city.

Today, Safet Zec lives and works in Venice, Sarajevo, Počitelj and Paris.