Biography (Bosanska verzija)

With a passion for color and an eye for beauty, Enko has a passion for painting unmatched by many. Born in 1942 in Banjaluka, Bosnia, it was obvious from the early days of his childhood that painting and the arts were his first love, and he possessed the skills to pursue that love. He began entering his work into exhibitions at an early age and took home first prize at the age of eleven.

Whilst in high school Enko focused on mathematics, physical science and technical drawing, but still continued to paint. It was while studying Engineering at the University of Novi Sad, Yugoslavia, that he attended a number of courses given by the well known artist Professor B. Nikolic, which focused on painting techniques and styles; he also studied painting at the Education Academy in Banjaluka. Whilst building his career as a mechanical engineer Enko continued to work on his painting technique, displaying his artwork in galleries and exhibitions throughout Banjaluka and other cities in the former Yugoslavia.

Sadly, an earthquake which rocked the city of Banjaluka in 1969, destroyed many of his works. The earthquake was just a taste of the hardships Enko would have to face. The outbreak of war in Yugoslavia in 1991 cast a shadow on Enko’s colorful paintings and forced Enko and his family into hiding. Eventually he managed to escape from Banjaluka and Bosnia seeking refuge at the Gasinci refugee camp in Croatia.

Conditions in the camp were often unbearable, but Enko continued to paint throughout. The act of painting proved to be therapeutic for Enko allowing him to escape the hardships of his daily survival. He managed to create a ‘studio’, inside the camp in the corner of a small shack. He lived in the shack for almost eight months with six other people, during which time he continually tried to bring hope back into their lives with the splash of color on canvas.

Eventually, he found his way out of the former Yugoslavia and arrived in the United States with only a few paintings in hand, but with a strong desire to pursue his ‘first love’, the love of painting. Enko initially settled in Pittsburgh, PA, and although the language barrier at first made communication difficult, he was soon befriended by many American artists who encouraged him to exhibit his work. His paintings caught the eye of many judges and he received two prizes for his work.

Enko’s most recent move was to Manchester, NH, to be closer to his family who had already settled there. Enko is now settled himself and his painting has once again become a major focal point of his life. Enko has continued to paint through hardships that many can not even imagine, but throughout those hard times Enko’s ‘first love’ has always provided a source of hope and courage through which he has drawn the strength to overcome them - with the stroke of a brush.

Enko is a member of ULUPUBiH - The association of applied artists and designers of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Artist's Statement

"People often ask me what it is that motivates and draws me to my work with such passion. Throughout history many famous painters have failed to provide the world with a satisfying answer. Unfortunately, or fortunately, there is no simple answer to this question, the motivation is different in each of us. We are however all the same in one respect: the awe, felt each time we find ourselves alone with a freshly prepared canvas, overwhelmed by its whiteness and challenge.

When beginning a new painting I am often confused and nervous, wanting to give it a bit of me, a bit of my soul, and through it communicate with the world in my own way. The question is: Am I succeeding? Any artist will tell you that they paint for themselves, but it is pleasing when other people also appreciate and recognize your work.

I am a follower of French impressionism, but without ignoring what the pre-impressionism and latter post-impressionism eras gave to us. I have reached out beyond the traditional impressionist boundaries to evolve my own personal style. Over the years many artists have influenced my work to a lesser or greater extent; I continually look for the opportunity to discover something new in the work of others.

I use a number of painting techniques depending on how and what I am feeling at that moment and the kind of painting that I have in mind. It is difficult for me to say why I choose to work with certain techniques in preference to others.

Oils, for me, represent seriousness and longevity; they are here to stay forever. My tempera and pastel combinations are for me, as young people, carefree and unpredictable whilst at the same time so expressive and vibrant. Sometimes I opt for the immediacy of the black and white sketch, using whatever pen or pencil is to hand to capture the moment in my own way, a relaxing intermission from what I consider to be my more serious work.

As for motifs, I paint familiar places and events from memory, tending to return to the same subject over and over again. No two are the same, taking their essence from the mood in which I paint them.

Back to the original question: Why do I paint? I can no more answer why I paint, than I can why I eat, breath, love….it is part of me. I am powerless to prevent the flow of colors and ideas that continually spill forth from my mind as lava from an erupting volcano. Whilst I have this passion within me I will continue to paint, for who knows when it will be extinguished..."