J o s e p h Z b u k v i c
I try to achieve a balance of harmony between tonal values, design, colour and mood that will visually evoke the emotions between the viewer and the painting. Watercolour, with its subtle and gentle effects, is a perfect medium to achieve this.
I have loved watercolour from that first wash I accidentally produced during my university days in the early 1970s. It has been a journey of discovery since then. It still surprises me and renders me humble whenever I think I can beat it. I will pursue its mysterious ways forever.
Born in Zagreb, Croatia, Joseph Zbukvic’s childhood was spent on a small farm where the work was done in a traditional manner, giving him an understanding of man’s relationship to nature. His early education was diverse and included both the performing and visual arts. Despite an obvious talent for painting, in 1967 he enrolled at university to pursue a teaching career. This was interrupted in 1970 when, due to political unrest, his family emigrated to Australia. Returning to art, he continued his formal education at Deakin University, Geelong, graduating in 1974 with a Diploma of Art majoring in Industrial Design. During his university years, he discovered watercolour as a medium and won his first major art prize in 1975, the Corio Council Art Award. Since then, Zbukvic has won over 200 awards, including the Gold Medal for best painting at the Camberwell Rotary Art Exhibition in 2001, 2003 and 2004, the 2010 Shanghai Zhujiajiao International Watercolour Biennial Exhibition Award of Excellence and the 2012 Inglis Equine Art Prize.
To date, Zbukvic has held over 40 solo exhibitions at galleries in Australia and overseas, among which are Melbourne Fine Art Gallery; Artarmon Galleries, Sydney; Red Hill Gallery, Brisbane; David Sumner Gallery Adelaide; Tyron and Swann Gallery, London, United Kingdom and Greenhouse Gallery of Fine Art, San Antonio, Texas, United States. In 2013, he had a solo exhibition at Quanhua Watercolour Art Gallery, Zhujiajiao, China, as part of the International Watercolour Masters’ Exhibitions series.
His work is represented in public, corporate and private collections worldwide, including Castlemaine Regional Gallery and Historical Museum; Grafton Regional Gallery; Mimara Museum of Fine Arts, Zagreb; Commonwealth Art Bank and Sheraton Towers, Melbourne.
Elected a member of the Australian Watercolour Institute in 1998, Zbukvic is also a member of the Victorian Watercolour Society, having served as Vice President from 1991 to 1994, the Australian Guild of Realist Artists, the Victorian Artists Society and the Twenty Melbourne Painters Society. He has had membership in the Victoria Racing Club since 1998, resulting in numerous commissions for his equine paintings.