Mersad Berber was the most considerable artist to emerge from the chaos of the Balkan wars in the 1990s. He achieved a degree of international celebrity previously unknown for any artist who came from this region of Europe. His achievement are remarkable because he was a member of Bosnia’s Muslim community. His paintings focus on aspects that have brought him worldwide admiration. These include elegant female portraits, based on High Renaissance prototypes, paraphrases of Velazquez, and paintings of horses, which recall his love for the peasant life in the Bosnian countryside. They give a good idea of the breadth of his cultural interests, but the frequent fragmentation of the images also makes it clear that these are the product of an extremely contemporary sensibility.
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