Ivo Friščić
Eko Di, 1976
pencil on paper

The motorcycle is a frequent motif in Ivo Friščić’s paintings. His fascination with motorcycles, however, has nothing in common with the glorification of technology by the futurist artists, for whom the machine was a symbol of radical social change. Still, the link between technology and society can be found in Friščić’s art. Specifically, what critics often called hyperrealism in Friščić’s work is a symptom of broader social developments that historians associate with the liberalisation of the economy in the 1960s and the formation of a consumer society. Cars and motorcycles in Friščić’s paintings, so to speak, do not only represent itself (as objects), but also as goods, that is, as symbols of a certain way of life, which presupposes free time, vitality, youth subculture, fashion, etc. Despite being executed in the pencil technique and without colour, which always adds a touch of fantasy to Friščić’s motifs, the motorcycle in the “Eko di” drawing still looks striking. Human hand pointing to something outside the frame also contributes to this. Thanks to the hand, we can also interpret the title of the drawing as a transcription of an Italian phrase: “eko” is a transcription of the Italian adverb “ecco”, which means “here”, “there it is” and the like, so the whole phrase can be translated roughly as “This is it!” (in this case the Italian preposition “di” only additionally emphasises the adverb “ecco” and has no special meaning).
Ivo Friščić was born in 1937 in Veliko Korenovo near Bjelovar. He graduated from the Zagreb Academy of Fine Arts, where he worked as a professor since 1973. He died in 1993 in Zagreb.

Text: Klaudio Štefančić, curator of the National Museum of Modern Art © National Museum of Modern Art, Zagreb, 2022
Translated by: Robertina Tomić
Photo: Goran Vranić © National Museum of Modern Art, Zagreb, 2022

Skip to content