Imagine waking up one morning with the compelling, unstoppable, overwhelmingly powerful urge to create something. But not just anything and not at random. So you go out and buy all you need for woodcarving. And you begin actually carving wood that turns into something you never thought you were capable of - a work of art.
This is what happened to Predrag Savic, an incredibly talented Croatian artist who creates extraordinary relief carvings and Eastern Christian Orthodox icons of exquisite beauty, taste and artistry. Savic’s sculptures in wood have a classical quintessential elegance. The fine, minutely detailed chisel work is so meticulous in every aspect that it is hard to believe it is actually carved and not painted, in fact they could almost be described as “wood paintings”.
Relief carving is the carving of figures in a flat panel of wood. The figures project only slightly from the background rather than standing freely. Depending on the degree of projection, reliefs may also be classified as high, medium, deep or pierced reliefs. The process of relief carving involves removing wood from the panel in such a way that an object appears to rise out of the wood. Savic uses the different types of depths to create layers in the wood, which when combined result in a natural colour scheme that increases the sense of perspective and highlights the beauty of the intrinsic characteristics of the wood itself. Predrag manages to give the surfaces of his works a marvellously textured heterogeneity, a palpable multi-sensory experience. Savic has clearly mastered the technique, and the elemental characteristics of this anisotropic material have no secrets to reveal to him.
Maya Angelou said: “It is this belief in a power larger than myself, and other than myself, which allows me to venture into the unknown and even the unknowable”, and Predrag Savic has definitely applied this belief to himself by embracing the unknown and glorifying that which is larger than us all through his talent and his faith.
International Confederation of Art Critics