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 Boban Ilic  (1964 - )

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Lived/Active: Illinois / Serbia      Known for: figural, sporting, abstract sculpture

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Biography from Robin Rile Fine Art:
Boban, a native of Yugoslavia, was trained in art at the Belgrade Academy of Art before arriving in the United States in 1991, in search of artistic liberty and opportunity.  Rigorous academic training in Belgrade along with nurturing by master of art, Nandor Glid, imbued Boban with the knowledge, truth, honesty and moral sustenance required to live the life of an artist.  Upon coming to the United States, Boban felt free to find his unique mode of expression and develop beyond his foundation in European academic studies of the classical art.

In search of his unique statement, Boban experimented with assemblage, welding unique 'found materials' with his powerful torch.  While searching for interesting objects to work with, a spoon, a seemingly simple common household item, captured his imagination.  The half-moon smooth curve of the spoon intrigued him and aroused his vivid fantasy.  With artistic mind and vision, Boban transformed the spoon into feathers of a wing or muscles covering a rib cage.  The malleable spoon handle was twisted into sinews of an extended leg, or welded into part of an extended muscle of a leg, poised and ready to leap.

For Boban, the spoon ultimately took on a spiritual dimension, representing the nourishment of the human soul in its dynamic path towards personal fulfillment, power, creativity and success.  Boban creates powerful maquettes by fusing, bending and shaping the spoon elements in the welding process.  With his fiery welding torch, the artist maneuvers the flow of molten energy into mythological metal human shapes, infusing warmth and dimension into cold metal. "The welding process allows me to extend the figure at my will.  It allows me artistic control of the material to shape to my vision, to control my dream."

The completed maquettes are cast into mold using the lost wax process and then dipped into glimmering nickel bronze to produce lustrous limited original editions of no more than 45.  First Violin, where a dancing figure intensely consumed in the act of music, is perched in an asymmetrical moment of ultimate silent sound.

Fast-food giant, McDonalds Corporation commissioned master sculptor Boban to create McAtlas, a proud figure of spoons and steel balancing the famous McDonalds arches effortlessly above his head, for their corporate collection, a tribute to the ingenuity, skill, vision, and unique style that Boban has brought to America and to the world.  As in his other works, McAtlas is depicted at the zenith of stride and balance, a figure in motion, ever moving forward with tireless intensity.

Boban's exhilarated Horn Blower, blowing extended double prong metal horns lurches from a pedestal as though ready to take flight.  In Natural Sounds a man with a horn rides on the back of a mythological god.  In the sculpture entitled, Flauta a fluted figure posed in dynamic on the edge of asymmetry blows lightly into a delicate silver metal flute.

In Bass, a heroic musician is perched in the act of creating music the large stringed bass posed in front of him like a shiny shield.  "My sculpture is Baroque," says Boban, "Baroque, like a cathedral, or like the convoluted phrasing of Baroque music."  The dynamic poses of Boban's musical figures replicate the musical point and counterpoint of Baroque music.  The sculpted figure is made of music and merges with the musical instrument that it plays.  Many of the instruments in Boban's musical sculptures are created from his own imagination.  Double horns and oddly shaped stringed instruments meld with the sculpted image of a musician so immersed in the creative act that the musical instrument is itself transformed.

Chicago’s Lincoln Park is graced with master sculptor Boban’s public installation Renaissance Man, a proud and graceful creation of steel, confidently stepping forward from a perfect point of balance, ready to take on the challenges of a new becoming in the 21st century and beyond.  This creation is another prime example of, and tribute to, the skill, vision, and unique style that is Boban, and that has brought so much energy to the world of contemporary sculpture.  Renaissance Man has truly found his most tenuous, yet energetic, point of balance, as he faces the future with tireless determination and intensity of focus.

Boban's sculptures grace major collections throughout the world.  Hyatt Hotel owner, Jay Pricka, film and musical star Tony Bennett, notable figures in the world of sports are collectors and have often become Boban's personal friends.

The monumental outdoor Bobbin work of Shaka Zulu in Chicago, a sculpture of Pegasus graces Montego Bay, Jamaica.  Commissions for MacDonalds are displayed at their corporate headquarters and a Boban sculpture commissioned by Exxon-Mobile is part of their private collection in Texas.

Internationally and nationally lauded, Boban was bestowed with the Award of Excellence at the Port Clinton Art Festival and appearances on "Good Morning America," "Wild Chicago" and "Starting Over" have won the artist major public acclaim and accolades.

Boban’s Balanced Man was selected from among eight hundred twenty-six works from seventy-three countries to be awarded a prestigious prize of excellence at the world renowned Toyamura International Sculpture Biennale’s fifth exhibition in Sapporo, Japan in 2001, affirming the high degree of artistry and skill that he incorporates in his unique sculptural offerings that sets his works apart from those of other sculptors.

Boban's unique vision fuses classical knowledge of the human anatomy with his very contemporary use of materials and ideas.  The sculptor's passionate admiration for the sculpted art of classic masters the scale of Rodin and Michelangelo, melded with his own modern and very individual vision, is destined to make its impact on the art of the 21st century.

Oil industry giant, Exxon-Mobil Oil Corporation commissioned master sculptor Boban to create Pegasus and Globe, a magnificent rendering of the long-time symbol of Mobil Oil, the mythical Pegasus, in spoons and steel, rearing up gracefully to touch the globe, as-if to keep it on its axis.  A tribute to the global impact that Exxon-Mobil has had on the petrol-chemical industry worldwide and to the ingenuity, skill, vision, and unique style that is Boban.

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