~ Milica Puric ~
Erwin Overes and Dobrila Pintar – a moment of relaxing during their exhibition of ‘Eurydice’ (2014)
~ Milica Puric ~
Whenever creative people unite their imaginations, visions, and talents, the results are amazing. That’s exactly what artist Dobrila Pintar and Erwin Overes have done several times in the past, creating impressive glass sculptures.
Their first work was “Eurydice”, fascinating and enchanting glass sculpture that these two artists presented to the audience in October 2014 at Erwin Overes’ Studio Oh! in Chicago’s vibrant South Loop area. The audience was delighted by the beauty of the sculpture that was inspired by the romance of Orpheus and Eurydice, one of the saddest love stories from Greek mythology.
Dobrila Pintar and Erwin Overes caught the tragic, dramatic moment when Eurydice is disappearing and going back to the underworld
According to the myth, Orpheus was a legendary poet who had a mesmerizing ability to charm with his beautiful music all living creatures, even trees, and stones. One day, he saw Eurydice, the most beautiful of all nymphs, and instantly fell in love with her. She fell in love with him and after a while, they decided to get married. Unfortunately, instead of experiencing joy and happiness, on the day of their wedding, a snake bit Eurydice and she died. Overwhelmed by sadness and grief, Orpheus started playing mournful songs that all the nymphs and gods began crying. They advised him to go to the underworld and bring Eurydice back from the dead. With his enchanting music, he was performing on his golden lyre, he softened the hearts of Hades and Persephone, the gods of the Underworld. They agreed to allow Eurydice to go back with him, but under one condition: Orpheus should walk in front of her and not look back until they both had reached the upper world. However, Orpheus couldn’t resist the temptation, and he turned to look at the love of her life he was desperately missing for a long time. At that moment, she vanished for the second time, but now forever.
Through their sculpture, Dobrila and Erwin caught that dramatic moment when Eurydice disappears in front of Orpheus’s eyes and returns to the underworld. Their sculpture, made of wood and glass, two seemingly incompatible materials, shows all the intensity and emotions of her second death. She is disappearing, her body is dissolving, although she still wearing the most beautiful glass dress.
“This is a very romantic but sad story where the tragedy happened just at the moment everyone expected love,” Erwin Overes said.
Dobrila Pintar and Erwin Overes presented their second joint artwork, ‘Black Swan’ in October 2015 at ‘Studio Oh!’
During the work on Eurydice, Erwin Overes worked with the wood and Dobrila Pintar with the glass. In her studio at Bridgeport Art Center Gallery in Chicago, she made the glass items for the dress, combining more than 2,000 tiny pieces of glass flowers, leaves and buds.
After “Eurydice,” Dobrila and Erwin made other fascinating glass sculptures – “Black Swan” (2015), “Haru” (2015), “Hana” (2015), “Whatever…” (2016) and all of them got exceptional feedback from the audience.
Their second sculpture, “Black Swan,” was presented at Studio Oh! the next year, in 2015. The motive of Black Swan comes from the ballet “Swan Lake” and it is again a tragic love theme. The story says that Prince Siegfried learned on the day of his 18th birthday that he must choose his wife and get married. Surprised by this sudden order and thinking what to do, the Prince walked into the forest, and there, on the lake, saw a flock of beautiful swans that quietly sailed on the lake. The most beautiful swan had the crown on its head. When the night came the swan took the crown off and turned into the most beautiful woman Prince had ever seen in his life. Her name was Odette, the queen of the swans. She told him that evil wizard Von Rothbart, put the spell on her and her girlfriends and turned them into the birds. This curse can only be broken by the love of a young man for the most beautiful girl among them. Until that happens, they will sail along the lake that their parents, filled with sorrow, have filled with their tears.
Enchanted by Odette’s beauty, Prince Siegfried, fell in love with her, but wizard Von Rothbart, tricked him and the Prince, not knowing, declared his love to magician’s daughter Odile. Realizing that he was deceived, he ran to Odette asking her for forgiveness. Since the evil wizard still demanded from Prince to marry her, Odette and he committed suicide by throwing themselves into the lake. This act of love and sacrifice broke Rothbart’s power, and he was destroyed.
Dobrila Pintar said that she wanted to give feathers the same authenticity they have in reality. That’s why she added to every feather threads of silver glass to make them look as lifelike as possible.
They worked for months on this new piece. There was much to be done, and every swan’s feather had to be specially made. Dobrila Pintar has tried 50 types of different glass feathers and tested numerous shades of white, gray, yellow and black just to find the most appropriate for their sculpture.
“I worked on this sculpture about six months, and it was much harder than working on ‘Eurydice,’ where I just played,” said Dobrila Pintar, showing the transformation of colors on the swan glass wings from white to black that symbolizes the swan’s transformation.
“Look at these white and yellowish fluffs. This is the beginning of the wing, and as the legend progresses and the tragic end is more possible, the colors are transforming into dark and black.” Dobrila Pintar said she wanted to give feathers the same authenticity they have in reality. That’s why she added to every feather threads of silver glass to make them look as lifelike as possible. At the end result was amazing.
And another fascinating glass artwork – ‘Hana’ (blossom) – the geisha’s head
“Erwin Overes and I work well together, and unlike our previous work on ‘Eurydice,’ where we worked spontaneously, this time we made a plan and precious structure,” Dobrila Pintar said.
After “Eurydice” and “Black Swan,” Dobrila Pintar and Erwin Overes created more extraordinary sculptures – “Haru” (springtime) and “Hana” (blossom). “Haru” is beautiful light blue kimono enriched by small, delicate pink flowers, while “Hana” represents the head of a geisha with the hair made from leather and hair ornaments made of glass.
Their last creation, a captivating sculpture named “Whatever…” is a transgender head with a huge, red hat made of glass. With this sculpture, they showed the fact that people nowadays are more fluid in their sexual identity. These breathtaking red roses and ornaments Dobrila Pintar has made are probably the most beautiful pieces of glass any artist can make.
The last creation of Dobrila Pintar and Erwin Overes is a captivating sculpture named ‘Whatever….’
Erwin Overes and Dobrila Pintar are a well-known and respected artist in Chicago’s art circles. Dobrila’s unique jewelry made of colored glass and metal is famous in all America. She received many awards for her work, but one of the most important was The Artist of the Month she got in 2012. This recognition has opened the door for her to the famous Art Institute of Chicago and connected her with other artists, galleries, and curators.
With Lisa Stefaniak, Erwin Overes is the owner of the gallery ’Studio Oh! in Chicago. In their gallery, they produce and display their own original art, but they also give the opportunity to professional and emerging artists to exhibit. The gallery’s main focus is modern and contemporary art. Located in the Chicago Arts District of Pilsen, ‘Studio Oh!’ partakes in the monthly 2nd Fridays Gallery Night where over 30+ creative spaces showcase an exciting display of art and artists from Chicago and beyond. You can see their sculptures at Erwin Overes’ Studio Oh! in Chicago.
~ Milica Puric ~