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nedjelja, 22. prosinca 2013.

Creative Visions: The Mind Of Croatian-Australian Artist Charles Billich

I'm not going to add much here, all the information is below and at the links. I've been familiar with the art of Charles Billich for a few years now, and just by chance came upon it again while doing something else entirely.  I ended up getting sidetracked while doing this post, because there's some really amazing works of his to check out from over the years, over six decades worth, so I had a hard time deciding which few to throw in here and ended up browsing his art. That's the cool thing about art, so many genre's, styles, themes, approaches to putting colours, strokes, curves and shapes on canvas and paper to express ideas and moods. (Some previous Croatian artist post links at the bottom that may be of interest and examines these factors and different styles) This is not art for the Quaker Oats eating crowd.

When you're sick of your daily bullshit, sranje, rubbish, nonsense, (In Australia where Billich is based, they call it  bull's wool)...stoogery, typical everyday pointless ghetto crap and such, having a cool piece of inspiring art on your wall at home can make things much more...well, inspiring. (Example, this recent news, instead of a suicide because you're sick of all the fuck-ups and scumbags, quitting and then purchasing an inspiring piece of art to put on the wall would have been much better for everyone, like I said a few posts ago Here, some good quality Russian porn, women's tennis/ballet pics or various fashion model sites would have done wonders. The Art's can save your life I'm telling you, inspire you to think outside of your daily pointlessness and the idiotbox fantasy that is mostly acting and not real) It can even make your wine or meal taste better having some cool art on the wall nearby. His new stuff has not lost even a bit of the artistic magic either, an artistic journey that leaves behind a long lasting artistic legacy, no cheesy sell-out faddishness, just the images and visuals coming from his mind, paint brushes, charcoal and palette, whether you like it or not. There's much more images of his art, personal words and videos at the links, you can also check out some of his creative opuses in paint, charcoal and pencil at his website:

The irrepressible Billich attributes his world-wide and eclectic acceptance to his audacious versatility, candor and persistence. He does not conform to dogma, be it ideological, cultural or aesthetic. Billich reinvents himself periodically with ground breaking, unpredictable, sometimes provocative, most times fascinating, epiphanies. The complexities of his thematic choice reflect a turbulent life journey.

He has a rare ability to faithfully translate his creative ideas from his imagination onto canvas, thanks to skills only granted to those willing to submit to punishing yet exhilarating labour. Having an empty canvas Billich can hardly wait to actually enter into it and to create something which is almost tangible, to create an illusion, to express an emotion and say what he wants to say. He vents all his frustrations onto the canvas and the canvas, most of the time, is actually grateful. In return it gives him a result that is beyond his expectations. Billich maintains that dedication is the foundation of geniality, that discipline determines inspiration, and that it takes focus to materialise the vision.

From the White House to the Vatican, the collection of Presidents and Kings  Sydney-based artist Charles Billich is one of the most prominent living Australian painters. In a career spanning some forty years, he has exhibited at some of the world’s best venues and has been an honoured guest and resident artist on many occasions.

From the Vatican Museum to the White House, the Olympic Museum in Lausanne to His Majesty King George V Tupou Palace in Tonga, the Red Cross Museum in Geneva to numerous university, government, corporate and private collections, Charles Billich has an eclectic and ubiquitous following.  “There is a touch of irony in what I paint as there is in all contemporary surreal art, my lingua franca for articulating the vast gamma of emotions and impulses inherent to mystic creations” Charles Billich........



Charles (Carlo) Billich (born 1934) was named Artist of the 1996 Summer Olympics. He is the recipient of the 2000 Sport Artist of the Year Award presented annually by the American Sport Art Museum and Archives.

He was named Designated Artist 2001 Centenary Nobel Peace Prize.

Inspired by his work entitled The Beijing Cityscape, the official image for the successful Beijing bid to host the 2008 Olympic Games, Charles Billich conceived a series of images based on the Bing Ma Yong Terracotta warriors. The Bing Ma Yong images are represented on a collection of 16 postage stamps currently in circulation in China

Charles (Carlo) Billich (born 1934) was named Artist of the 1996 Summer Olympics. He is the recipient of the 2000 Sport Artist of the Year Award presented annually by the American Sport Art Museum and Archives.

He was named Designated Artist 2001 Centenary Nobel Peace Prize.

Inspired by his work entitled The Beijing Cityscape, the official image for the successful Beijing bid to host the 2008 Olympic Games, Charles Billich conceived a series of images based on the Bing Ma Yong Terracotta warriors. The Bing Ma Yong images are represented on a collection of 16 postage stamps currently in circulation in China.



Charles Billich's work has hung in the White House, the United Nations Headquarters and the Vatican.

Billich paints and draws in all media and sculpts in precious and semi-precious metals.

Billich's painting subjects include Ballet and sport, architecture and town planning, eroticism and classicism, portraiture and stage. Humanitarian pieces and works of religious significance are also within the focus of the Artist.

"Humanity United" was created from a brief extended to him by the Australian Red Cross to commemorate the 2001 Centenary of the Nobel Prize for Peace. Dr José Ramos-Horta, the then Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation for East Timor, requested he paint their Independence painting.

In June 2004, Billich exhibited at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. Hosted by the UN Friendship Club, Billich was invited back with his "Humanity United" collection in September 2006.

Inspired by his work "The Beijing Cityscape", the official image for the successful Beijing bid to host the 2008 Olympic Games, Charles Billich conceived a series of images based on the Bing Ma Yong Terracotta Warriors. The collection of images, portray the Bing Ma Yong Terracotta Warriors in a series of sporting compositions.

In June 2004 Billich completed "Jubilation China's 100 Year Olympic Dream Realized" - a piece depicting the celebration that followed the announcement of China's to be the 2008 Olympic host nation.

Billich created a cityscape painting of the 2008 Olympic Water Sports Venue Qingdao, which has been presented to the Mayor and the Beijing Olympic Committee in Qingdao in July 2005.

Billich also created "The World In Union." This is the official image of the Rugby World Cup 2003.


Charles Billich received the "Honorary Citizen of Atlanta" and the Key to the City during the Centennial Games; the title Sports Artist of the Year 2000, an Honorary Doctorate and the "Order of the Eagle Exemplar" from the United States Sports Academy and American Sport Art Museum. In 2004 he has also assumed the role of Trustee of this premier sports education facility. Billich has been decorated with the Olympic Gold Order by the French Ministry of Sport for his contributions to the French Olympic Team during the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.

Sketching Croatian cellist Ana Rucner during a performance in Croatia. Images:

Biography - Early life

Charles Billich was born in Lovran, Istria, Croatia. After release from prison in Maribor for his journalistic anti-Yugoslav activities, he emigrated to Australia on the Italian ship Toscana on her last voyage before scrapping. He was asked to join the two Australians teaching English on board and that was his first Australian job. Upon disembarcation he worked for the Employment Service at Bonegilla Migrant Reception and Training Centre, dispatching immigrants and political refugees from all over Eastern Europe to work all over the Australian continent.

Three months later he went to Melbourne to study art at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology and the National Gallery Art School, working as taxi driver, sign writer, graphic designer and advertising art director before embarking on a career in fine art.

"Historica Croatica" - Based upon 'Povijest Hrvata' (History of the Croats) in front of the Faculty of Law at  Zagreb University, originally sculpted by Ivan Meštrović.

"Groz Tito" - a symbolic retrospective of the post-war communist self-professed demigod of the yugoslav unity fantasy based on authoritarian rule, political murders, crimes and crushing of free thought and history. Image:

"Zagreb" - Images:


The Vatican Collection, Rome
United Nations Heardquarters, Geneva
The White House Collection, Washington D.C.
Ferrari Collection, Milan
Shaolin Temple, China
International Red Cross Museum, Geneva
International Olympic Museum, Lausanne
Museum of Modern Art Mobile, Alabama

Art Bank Commonwealth of Australia; City of Düsseldorf, Germany; Brisbane City Hall Art Gallery; The Parliament of Victoria; Australian Embassy to Germany; Australian Embassy to Croatia; Hall of Congress, Washington D.C., Queensland Art Gallery; U.S. Sports Academy; Royal Collection, Kuala Lumpur; City of Melbourne; Government Utah, USA; Government East Timor; Central Queensland University, Rockhampton; The City of Sydney; Embassy of Croatia, Canberra; Australian Embassy to Japan; City of Kanagawa, Japan; USA Australian Olympic Committee Headquarters, Sydney; New York State Govt. Port Authority; The Royal Collection of Thailand; Parliament House, Dili, East Timor; Exhibition Building, Melbourne; Royal Australian Air Force; Rockhampton Gallery, Qld; The City of Hakodate, Japan; The City of Osaka, Japan; State Theatre, Sydney; The Parliament of Japan; City of Rijeka, Croatia; NSW Government, Australia; Beijing Olympic Organizing Committee; City Of Qingdao China;

Some insight behind the art and artist. More videos at

Recent appointments

Artist, Florence Biennale 2009
Artist, Monaco Eco Art Parade 2009
Artist, ChinaWhite Cartier Polo Tournament 2009, Guards Polo Club, UK
Artist, St. Tropez Open Du Soleil Polo Tournament 2009, France
Appointed, by Royal Command, Artist in Residence for the Coronation of His Majesty King George Tupou V, Tonga 2008
St Moritz Art Masters, Switzerland 2008
Artist for Australian Olympic Team, Beijing 2008
Artist for US Olympic Team, Beijing 2008
Artist Carnivale Christi 2004/2005
Artistic Patron Sydney Polo Club 2004
Artist for Australian Olympic Team, Athens 2004
Artist for US Olympic Team, Athens 2004
Artist for Australia Day Regatta 2001 - 2006
Trustee United States Sports Academy
Patron NSW Chin Woo Athletics Association
Artist Sydney Greek Festival 2004
Artist for Rugby World Cup, 2003
Artist for Timor-Leste Independence Day, 2002
Artist for United States Olympic Committee, 2002/2003
Designated Artist 2001 Centenary Nobel Peace Prize
Sports Artist of the Year, 2000
Artist for the Australian and US Olympic Teams, Sydney 2000
Artist Beijing Olympic Bid, 1999-2000
Artist for the Australian and US Olympic Teams, Atlanta 1996
Artist 1996 Formula 1 Grand Prix, Melbourne, 1996
Commemorative Centenary Painting, Australian Football League, 1996

Related story:

Recent Exhibitions

Eco Art Parade 2009

”Eco Art Parade 2009" is an environmental art exhibition in aid of the Prince Albert II Foundation of Monaco. This year’s theme is that of the Bonelli’s Eagles, an endangered species of the Mediterranean, whose protection is supported by the Foundation.

To honor the beauty and the rights of the Bonelli’s Eagles, Charles Billich presented a bronze sculpture of “The Order of the Golden Eagle.” The work can be viewed from 8 June to 8 October 2009 in the Principality of Monaco.


Winner, Florence Biennale 2009, Lorenzo Il Magnifico Painting Prize
77th Honorary Shaolin Monk, Henan, China 2004
Milan & Spoleto Awards, Italy, 1989
Victorian Heritage & Cultural Award 1988
Centennial Olympic City, USA 1996
Honorary Citizen of Atlanta,1996
Order of the Eagle Exemplar, USA, 2000
Doctor Philosophy Honoris Causa-United States Sports Academy
Prints award/Gold Medal 1987/88
Spoleto Award, Italy, 1987

Published resources

Who's Who in Australia 2009
USA Sports Academy Publication, 2000
Billich Art Armanae, Grafiche Nicolini Editore, Italy 2000
2000 Outstanding Artists and Designers of the 20th Century, UK
Artists & Galleries of Australia
Billich 1971-1991 (Editalia)
Encyclopaedia of Australian Art
Australian Impressionist & Realist Artists
Who's Who of Australian Visual Artists

Related previous posts: croatian-modernist-painters-miroslav-kraljevic








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