Tomislav Čeranić (Šibenik, 1961), an art historian by education, is a renowned visual artist. His international career is based on a masterful technique of pencil drawing on paper, which he uses over more than two decades to develop a peculiar, phantasmagoric world of hybrid motives and figures based on a rich knowledge of the history of art and ideas that inspired mystical artistic personalities. In parallel with his renowned drawing oeuvre, and hitherto unknown to the general public and even to the professionals, Čeranić worked on collage cycles for which he uses photographs reproduced in printed material as a starting material. According to the collage technique, Čeranić cuts elements from the basic reproduction and replaces them with elements taken from other reproductions, thus deconstructing the templates into compositions of constructivist and surrealistic poetics and aesthetics. Čeranić's photocollages are distinguished by the same professional zest already known from his drawings and evident in the superior technical precision with which he attains the natural adhesion of otherwise disparate elements of the composition. It is not only the invisibility of the physical combination of two or more used reproductions, but also the spontaneous development of the target composition itself. Using an analog medium, Čeranić creates new compositions by overlapping appropriated photographic elements, inspired by his personal poetics based on erudition atypical for today's artists, and a penchant for flipping through vintage magazines. Thanks to its excellent visual memory, Čeranić quickly processes the material and mounts its elements mentally to collage it into new compositions. Similar method in digital media is used by famous world photographers such as Frank Horvath or Pedro Meyer, who were intrigued by the accessibility of the digitized archives of their own photographs. Thanks to modern image processing software, already recorded compositions become the scene of mutations into images of a different, virtual reality based on digital collage. Čeranić's analog method, however, is inspired by the residue of the Guttenberg galaxy. He appropriates ubiquitous visuals, most often discarded prints, which, though still imbued with the smell of printing ink under his hands, become as plastic as his digital counterpart. However, the retro material, aesthetics, and techniques that generally characterize Tomislav Čeranić's work are neither cynical nor critical of modern technology, nor the norms of contemporary transposition of reality into visual images created by it. Rather, it is a personal inclination, developed on a democracy of choice and an appreciation of the individuality of approach that characterizes the discourse of contemporary artistic production. We can thank this richness of expressive diversity precisely for the development of the technology of mediating the image of the world, therefore, all the possible variations that the creators provide us make a complete measure of modernity.

Branko Franceschi