Safet Zec was born in Bosnia in 1943, the last of eight children born to a shoemaker who moved to Sarajevo from Rogatica, a town in the east of Bosnia, during World War II. His outstanding talent was already clear when he was a child; he attended the High School of Applied Arts in Sarajevo and the Academy in Belgrade where he was almost considered a prodigy. However, the interior isolation he felt during that period made him destroy nearly all his early works. In Belgrade he met his artist wife Ivana and together they restored an old house in the Ottoman district of the ancient city of Pocitelj, near Mostar, a place that was very popular with artists. When he returned to live in Sarajevo in 1987 and had already made his name on the international art scene he still kept that house. When the war broke out, the world Zec had grown up in, one of harmonious co-existence between peoples of different cultures and religions was overturned. Pocitelj was destroyed and with it, all his engravings. Death and destruction in Sarajevo forced him to flee with his family. It was in Udine that he returned to work in 1992 with the generous help of the printer Corrado Albicocco and from there went to Venice in 1998. Once the war ended, Zec would assiduously return to his homeland. In the heart of Sarajevo, the Zec Studio-Collection was reopened and is now both a centre for cultural initiatives and an exhibition venue for his works. On the occasion of the opening of the new bridge of Mostar, in 2004 a book of engravings curated by the School of Urbino using Zec’s plates was presented. Newly restored, in the future, his
home-atelier in Pocitelj is to house a school of graphics.
Selection one-man exhibitions – >>>
Awards – >>>