Having been compelled to change countries several times during his life while striving to preserve his spiritual identity helps explain the sense of connection Abadzic celebrates in photographs like “A Circle”. Taken during a troubled transitional period in Berlin, the image elegantly evokes a spirit of closeness and cooperation. Yet the modernist juxtaposition of shadow and light – Abadzic’s trademark – balances the mood and prevents the image from tipping over into sentimentality.
Abadzic was born in Vukovar, Croatia in 1952. His father, recognizing Stanko’s susceptibility to the old world charm of this city on the Danube, presented him with a Russian camera on his 15th birthday. Abadzic taught himself the technical basics while refining his vision by attending exhibitions, studying photography books and watching television and films. He joined a photo club, exhibited his early work, and earned money taking pictures of weddings and soccer clubs. Abadzic subsequently joined the staff of the newspaper Vjesnik as a photojournalist, married and started a family. This tranquil existence, however, was brutally interrupted by the outbreak of Croatia’s war of independence in 1991.
The enigmatic beauty of Prague’s ancient streets and cul-de-sacs also helped deepen t he sense of misterioso that inhabits so many of Abadzic’s images. The furtive pose and voyeuristic overtones of “Curiosity, Prague” transforms a commonplace scene into a Cocteau-like meditation on unconscious urges. The surface objectivity of “A Day When Everything Goes Wrong”is undermined by the visual tension created by the spilled fruit, upended bike and slashing angles of sunlight and shadow. Abadzic’s head, heart and spirit had achieved perfect alignment through his photography.
Abadzic moved back to his homeland in 2002, settling in the capital city of Zagreb, but retained his Czech residence permit and returns periodically to Prague. He also photographs extensively on the Croatian island of Krk, site of images such as “Brothers, Baska,” which eloquently reference our shared humanity. Abadzic continues to create work that registers a positive outlook despite the difficulties of his past and increasing cynicism currently in fashion.