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Braco with his portrait and the artist who made it - the famous Croatian painter Smiljan Popović
The portrait of Braco was painted by the famous artist Smiljan Popović, a reputable Croatian artist and portraitist, who has received many awards and acknowledgement in his rich career. Holding around 30 solo exhibitions of his work, being the author of over 800 portraits, Mr. Popović has portrayed many prominent people of our times, among them bishops, politicians, even Pope John Paul II.
The artist wanted to share how he feels about Srebrnjak 1, Braco, his Gift and the portrait which he was inspired to paint for the people. It touched us deeply hearing what he had to say about meeting Braco, about his wish and the endeavor to convey the Gift Braco is sharing onto canvas, and about his very emotional and intimate experience while painting this remarkable piece of art.
... "My hand is applying paint in obeyance, and his figure is becoming more and more convincing every day, more holy and filled with kindness and some quiet melancholy. This is the figure of a man who understands the sufferings of this World, and who makes people feel better, giving them hope, health, love and freedom - things which are the hardest to find and maintain! I am happy as a painter to make this man eternal through a painting." ... Read more at the end of this article
„Looking at the portrait, I felt a new and incredible sense of peace that emerged from stillness. I really liked this new way of helping at Srebrnjak 1 and look forward to come again... It was a new feeling, but somehow natural, feeling new power and more power.“
„The portrait is fantastic, I was present when it was being revealed for the first time, and I could literally feel that I was looking at Braco himself! Really fascinating.“
„In my first encounter with Braco's portrait, and at the same time listening to Braco's voice, I felt such excitement, tears of joy were streaming down my face. I felt such joy that I myself was surprised to feel this. After that, I felt a strong sense of peace. I felt like I was somewhere in a beautiful world where there was no yesterday nor tomorrow, there was only now. I love you all.“
After seeing the portrait, deeply moved, visitors at Srebrnjak 1 didn't hide their tears, nor their enthusiasm. They felt they must share what they feel:
„Beautiful indeed, in this painting the artist Smiljan Popović has captured Braco’s essence completely!“
„The painting is beautiful, it is like it is alive. It simply feels like Braco is standing in front of us. Exactly the same.“
„I cannot get enough of looking at this picture of Braco, the same way I cannot get enough of looking into Braco’s eyes! It is so direct and gives, supplements love, light, power...“
„Braco's eyes on the portrait are alive, they radiate warmth and joy, the same as if Braco was standing in front of us. I feel great, something really pleasant was streaming through me. I wish everyone would have the chance to experience this and to feel like I feel now. I feel like I would hug the whole world.“
„Absolutely beautiful! The artist saw Braco from within, from Oneness Braco is with All. Well done!“
...also when Braco travells around the globe to share it with those who need it.
„My respect to the artist. In a really special way he has managed to capture not only Braco as a person, but also that what makes us feel good when we are close to Braco, that something that makes us happy. When Braco is travelling, through this portrait Braco will always be present at Srebrnjak 1.“
The doors are open for you from 8 am. Curious? Come to Srebrnjak 1 in Croatia and feel the rays of the future.
You are invited to dive into the painter's world by reading his personal experience. Walk with him into Srebrnjak 1 in Croatia and see it through the eyes of an artist.
"May 18th, morning, I am walking towards Srebnjak 1. This is a significant place. Something noble and at the beginning of everything. I'm rushing to my meeting with Braco regarding the portrait I'm to paint. I'm excited as I can feel this will be anything but an everyday portrait.
Our encounter was brief. Braco was rushing back to the gazing hall where lots of people were waiting for him. All these people, like being one in their commitment to Braco's gaze, to their thoughts... I enter the gazing hall aware of the peculiar feeling of being alone with myself.
The whiteness of the marble encourages silence in me. There is nothing superfluous here; this place contains none of the words or worries of this World. It is pure and untouched in its enduring whiteness. The presence of marble is not an obstacle to crossing over to the other „Me“ and to the long lost World that I will briefly return to.
A woman, in a slight trance, is leaning against my shoulder so I give her support for a moment.
Braco's gaze reaches my eyes. I am caught up in the moment when the Gaze becomes a part of us, the audience, and embraces us in Braco’s kindness and desire to help us. (That very gaze I have conveyed in the portrait).
The music transports me although I don't know where exactly. All I know is that this is not the only place that I am at right now. There are no words - just a wish to stay in Braco's gaze for as long as I can. There are no thoughts, no sufferings, no wonderings or fears. There is simply a going through myself from his eyes to my very being. I catch this gaze as one catches the first ray of Sun in the winter morning, wishing to hold it for as long as one can.
I observe people's faces. Enveloped in gentle peace, they stand motionless, patiently awaiting the look in which only their prayers reflect.
I'm thinking of my family, and how it would be good for this energy to reach them as well so that their lives would also improve. One hears that Braco brings both spiritual and physical healing to people, bringing back smiles to their faces...
I'm going home. I'm already thinking about Braco and the portrait, wishing to prepare the canvas, as quickly as possible, to start working.
I'm setting the drawing, painting, my outlines are soft, the atmosphere so vivid.
Braco poses for me. As he does, I am telling him about my mother and father. I do not know why I am telling him all of this. I suppose the kindness of Braco's face reminds me of the kindness of my loved ones, who are no longer with me.
I transfer as many details as possible to the canvas; the details that define him like the whiteness of his shirt which emphasizes the purity of his heart. Behind him a landscape is beginning to form with the light scattering in a shy manner. I can feel Bach's music, although no music is actually playing.
With a special kind of energy I set to work. I have painted many portraits, but few of my subjects have made the impression on me that Braco did.
My hand is applying paint in obeyance, and his figure is becoming more and more convincing every day, more holy and filled with kindness and some quiet melancholy. This is the figure of a man who understands the sufferings of this World, and who makes people feel better, giving them hope, health, love and freedom - things which are the hardest to find and maintain! I am happy as a painter to make this man eternal through a painting.
And as Ivo Andrić says: „One can never get enough of looking into a human face and into Sunlight“ – and I saw in Braco both face and Sun.
God works in mysterious ways...and during one of them I met Braco, we met Braco...
In the portrait, He stands at the front of our paths, instilling Light and Holiness!
It will last us forever..."
At Srebrnjak 1 in Zagreb, at Braco's center in Croatia, there is one special Portrait of Braco. When he is travelling, groups of visitors come to this place to listen to Braco's voice, and at the same time they look at this portrait. Friday, June 6, 2014, was a special day for many. On this day a new way of helping people at Braco's working center in Zagreb, Croatia, started. Braco's Gift found a new doorway to reach us and to offer help to those who are willing to change themselves.
What is so special about the painting of Braco? The reactions of people who have experienced this tell their own story, you can read some of them below.