Vlatka Škoro / Animal
The “Animals” series by the sculptor Vlatka Škoro is a growing series currently numbering nine animal sculpture: the goat Nensi, the man Eri, the sloth Gymnast, the anteater Marin, the African wild dog Alfa, the proboscis monkey Božidar, and the Geoffroy’s spider monkey Pavle, all shown on exhibitions in Zagreb and Osijek. In Split, they are joined by two new sculptures, the orangutan Vjeko and the tapir Trpimir.
In an artistic sense, Vlatka’s animals are self-sufficient; they are a product of ecocentric opinions devoid of allegory and symbolism. The choice of motifs and their formation is the result of Vlatka’s instinct and artistic impulse which she is in the habit of listening to obediently. By bringing the motif into focus, the artist primarily concentrates on its sculptural structure. The visual quality of the animals is revealed precisely in their biology in terms of the natural variations of irregular, changeable, and dynamic lines, surfaces, and shapes. In other words, the biological attributes of the motifs are in service of the visual.
In each animal species, a specific physical or behavioral trait is accentuated and written into their genetic code, and those biological characteristics which have an attractive sculptural form are particularly emphasized. The anatomical characteristics of a specific species are precisely the key by which the artist chooses her motifs, be it for their sculptural (physical) structure or specific forms of behavior which are typical of humans. However, the latter is not done in an anthropomorphic spirit. Rather, it points to the existence of specific biological laws which are characteristic of each species. In this, man is only one part of a biologically diverse animal kingdom. The naturalistic character of these sculptures is purely theriomorphic in nature and based on respect towards the environment and all its constituents.
Vlatka’s artistic expression thus is not activist. Hers is an art free from social implications, based on pure visual, naturalistic expression whose bearer is the language of sculpture. The “Animals” series is a collection of the artist’s personal fascinations with the natural world, a result of observing her surroundings and, as she herself emphasizes, the desire to learn. Vlatka finds inspiration in specific species that captivate her both with their character as well as the sculptural structure of their biological characteristics. In her series, the sloth Gymnast, as well as the anteater Marin and the newest addition to the series – the tapir Trpimir – have all found their place. Because of their eye-catching and bizarre biological characteristics, they all possess a sculptural quality and exhilarating plastic structure. Božidar, a proboscis monkey, is a species characterized by their extremely rare exercise of aggression, and the Geoffroy’s spider monkey (Pavle) is known for his expression of affection by hugging. Another new addition to the series is the orangutan Vjeko, belonging to a species that is marked by its high IQ and is very akin to humans in terms of behavioral patterns. Man, although not the thematic focal point, is present in the form of the figure of Ero, a contemporary man in his raw form, who clearly delineates the through line of the entire series with the fact that man is just another animal in a long sequence, inseparable from the rest of nature. The idea emerges from the abandonment of an anthropocentric vision of the world, bringing into awareness and coming to understand one’s surroundings, or rather the posthumanist reality into which Vlatka incorporates expressions of her personal fascination with individual animal species, thus demonstrating her own modesty and humorous nature.
Vlatka Škoro was born in 1987 in Osijek. She earned her master’s degree in sculpture from the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb in the class of professor Stjepan Gračan. She received her PhD in 2018 by completing the Postgraduate doctoral study program of Sculpture at the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb under the mentorship of Peruško Bogdanić, full professor of arts, and Leonida Kovač, PhD, associate professor.
She has exhibited works at eight solo and about twenty group exhibitions throughout Croatia. She has taken part in many workshops and festivals in Pula, Zagreb, Vinkovci, Našice, etc.
In 2010, she won the Erste Grand Prix for her sculpture Indigo Child (Indigo dijete).
She currently lives and works in Zagreb.
2020 “The Pride” (“Čopor”), Bačva Gallery, Home of HDLU, Zagreb;
2019 “Animal” (“Životinja”), Museum of Fine Arts, Osijek;
2019 “Animal” (“Životinja”), Matica hrvatska Gallery, Zagreb;
2019 “Reality vs. Virtuality” (“Stvarnost vs. virtualnost”), Greta Gallery, Zagreb;
2018 Public presentation of the visual-artistic and exploratory segment of her doctoral work “Sculpture in the Context of Artificial Intelligence” (“Skulptura u kontekstu umjetne inteligencije”), Bačva Gallery, Home of HDLU, Zagreb;
2015 “Pol man, Paul Newman” (“Pol čovjek, Paul Newman”), Gallery SC, Zagreb;
2013 “Gunpowder Barrels” (“Bure baruta”) with Igor Ruf and Ana Petrović, Kazamat Gallery, Osijek; “Indigo child” (“Indigo dijete”), Gallery SC, Zagreb.
Selection of Group Exhibitions:
2019 XIII Ivo Kerdić Memorial – Triennial of Croatian Medal Art and Small-scale Sculpture, (XII memorijal Ive Kerdića – triennale hrvatskog medaljerstva i male plastike), Museum of Fine Arts, Osijek;
2018 “City of Sculpture” (“Grad skulpture”), J. J. Strossmayer Square, Đakovo;
2015 XII Triennial of Croatian Sculpture, Glyptotheque of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts, Zagreb;
2014 “Erste Fragments X” (“Erste fragmenti X”), Home of HDLU, Zagreb;
2011 “Erste Fragments 7” (“Erste fragmenti 7”), Gallery Mali salon, Rijeka;
2010 22nd Biennial of Slavonija (22. Slavonski biennale), Gallery of Fine Arts, Osijek;
2010 10th Ivo Kerdić Memorial – Triennial of Croatian Medal Art and Small-scale Sculpture (10. memorijal Ive Kerdića – triennale hrvatskog medaljerstva i male plastike), Gallery of Fine Arts, Osijek