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Galerija Rigo
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Mauricio i Matija Ferlin
Ivana Franke
Nadan Rojnić-Biondo

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Nadan Rojnić-Biondo
comics / strip
Nadan Rojnić-Biondo, comics / strip
17. VIII. - 2. IX. 2007.
Galerija Rigo
Giorni canicolari*
Writing about a man so well known to visually educated Istria is not an easy task at all. Everyone has spoken and rumored about him after seeing his work, everyone has asked him for a T shirt with his unique original caricature after listening to him playing trombone with Franci or mixing sound with "What's wrong with us", the Geneva or Pula "Wullahee" band project designed as an invasion on the expression of punk. In a word, we are speaking of a present, very present and still young looking creative man whose work has been known to generations, ranging from the one who had taken part in the post 2nd World War reconstruction campaigns down to the one wearing baggy T shirts bearing the image of Ernesto Guevara. Although obviously interdisciplinary creative artist by commitment, Nadan Rojnić - Biondo still remains a synonym for the visual identity of notable events and the authors who emerged in 1990-es or somewhat earlier, such as Art&Music Festival with his posters or Franci with whom he has played in an everlasting creative symbiosis and for whose albums he has designed the well praised and notable jackets, while his collaboration with other authors has continued even after the millennium fever in the form of very successful illustrations for Pekica's collection of columns "Savičenta in the Morning", Orlić's "Istrian Brothel of Muses" and Šajeta's "Šajonara"* - to name just a few. Therefore we are not exaggerating when we claim that Rojnić is a visual demiurge of sorts of the Pula period, whose comic strips, which I prefer above everything else, or underground style, called by Jerica Ziherl "ars cruda", are still in circulation today in the form of jokes. Who, for example, doesn't remember the interaction of his fruit seller and a kid marked by simple but concise dialog: "What's the matter, kid... wanna apple?! ... apple? I wanna fuck, fuck, uncle!", the brief exchange between pig and dog in a small square: "Que passa? El condor!" or the first of the eleven vignettes in which a guy by the name of Hamid makes a cardinal error in the company of his girl-friend while placing order in a cafe: "A pussy for me, a beer for the juice!" from the early 1990es.
Biondo's recognizable "handwriting" - anthropomorphic animals and bestialized human figures are at the same level because they overlap in their appearance and behavior and we are not able to distinguish between them with certainty - they all spit, poke their noses, scream, swear, defecate, urinate and ejaculate at their fellow beings. Often, successfully and without exceptions. His "blowhard" heroes are the boors of Pantagruelian charm, simple but effective two-dimensional creatures, precisely as is his drawing that leaves the impression of a happy improvisation created between two glasses of beer, penetrative, sarcastic and full of good rib. His pieces presented on this exhibition are somewhat thematically different from the idiom we are used to. In the form of abbozzo - sketch, they still reflect the auto-didactic nature of the author, but most of them seem much tamer and more contemplative, although they are not completely stripped of his "healthy sauce", so characteristic of previous periods of his creative endeavor. His cani quotidiani suggest personal experience and fascination and are probably the result of intimate reflection and observation of the best man's friends. How otherwise to explain the wide rage of comic situations he records? Depicting these unobtrusive animal figures he introduces us to the world of their everyday life, showing us a wide palette of their behavior and reactions with no elements of idolatry, showing them just as they are - funnily spontaneous. It is significant that the author in his drawings does not label them randagio - stray dog or addomesticato - domesticated, but approaches them simply showing their canine nature with no tendency to categorize them according to the human parameters. The consumers of his art will never know which of them are the pedigree, hunting or street dogs, as well as what is the context he puts them in, because he places emphasis on the essential. They are dogs as such, and never the human qualitative interpretation of them.
However, before I finish this paper I would like to dwell for a moment on the author's skillful juggling with various methods of expression, because he is so interdisciplinary that, if he ever starts to tell fortunes from the cards he could change his name and nick name to Esperanzo Bijondorowsky. Just like the famous Chilean cineast and spiritual teacher in the diaspora - he draws comic strips, caricatures and sketches, cooperates with show business as well as with the underground, sits on juries, exhibits his work, plays music - and one who plays probably also records (although not necessarily films), actively participates in theater, the T shirts with his pret a porter caricature are obligatory pieces in the wardrobe of many of the Istrian "alternatives". And, to point out one more very important feature he shares with the underground artists - he lives in diaspora and proves that art, work abroad and freelancing are not necessarily irreconcilably opposed spheres of life. Or, as it was more simply put in the little book entitled  "United Fumadorssss" from 1993, "Nadan draws comic strips, goes to franzzzi's concerts and doodles dirty jokes, crap, he cares not for center and periphery, he doesn't want to have a place in the center of the universe, civilization or, a bit nearer, western culture..."
He was born in 1967 in Pula, resides in Switzerland - more precisely, in Geneva, and irresistibly reminds one of the comic strip hero Alan Ford.
Andrea Matošević
* Dog Days
* Shayonara
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