Women Artists in Croatia Are Reclaiming Their History — One Mural at a Time
When Brent and I lived in Split, Croatia, I couldn't miss all the art celebrating the city's famous men. I had to look much harder for the women.
In Split, Croatia, where Brent and I lived for three months last year, there’s a 8.5-metre (28 ft) tall statue of Gregory of Nin standing just outside the walls of Old Town.
Gregory, who lived in the 10th century, is an extremely important figure in Croatia’s history.
And the statue makes it look like he knows it. His chest is puffed up, and his finger juts up in the air as if he’s making a very important point. The statue looms over passersby, defying them to ignore him.
This statue of the medieval Catholic bishop is hardly the only figure of a man in the city’s historical center.
There’s one of the 15th century Croatian poet Marko Marko Marulić. And a praying monk. And statues of Saint John the Baptist and Saint Antoine — and even a few ancient Roman sculptures of once-important men.
Outside of the Croatian National Theater, there’s even a sculpture of someone named Gajo Bulat, who served as mayor when the theater was built back in 1893. Does this really warrant a statue?
And there are all the paintings and murals and street art — which celebrate men.
What you won’t find — at least not without a great deal of effort — is art that celebrates the achievements of Croatian women. Have they not done anything worth commemorating?
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Then one morning when I was exploring the Varos neighborhood, deep in one of the narrow cobblestoned streets, I came across this brightly colored mural.
I loved the mural, but I was also struck by the fact that it was the first representation of women I’d seen in town that wasn’t a sexy ad.
Later, I asked one of my Croatian friends if she knew anything about it, and I learned the artist’s name is Andrea Resner. My friend also told me the artist had painted a second mural and gave me directions to find it.
I contacted the artist to find out more about her work — and also the women in the murals.