Bogdan Mesinger

At the moment Ante Bakter is the only landscape artist from North-East Croatia, from the town Ilok with its surroundings and the river Danube with old river banks which have kept the original natural features of this very spot where the river flows. Only this information would not be enough, that we can properly consider its full meaning. The life journey of this young artist as well as his artistic development is what makes him a true artist and whose life story is a typical example of those artists and their destinies, when the war drama cut them off from their homeland.

This forced them to form their artistic individuality in adverse conditions, which deprived them of everything, starting from their homeland, what was a natural theme of their creation. All this forced Ante Bakter, too, so that he had to develop himself as a self-taught artist with his personal persistence. Homesickness and a natural sensitivity for the natural beauty directed him towards the landscape as his exclusive genre. Having no contact with his homeland and being cut off from its landscape, Bakter experienced a landscape as a metaphor of isolation and loneliness in his early work. Though, that is not just the beginning phase of his work. He immediately experiences the landscape as the motive which releases his artistic imagination and prompts him to experience expressive possibilities in his paintings, where the state of nature and spirit became an inspiration. In the beginning Bakter was inclined to tone up his paintings with intensive colours, which he finds in motives of wild natural corners, which are soaked in the moisture. Already there is an indication to the mature artist, who will develop into the painter of the fluid state of nature: water, sky, wind… and dynamic changes in the landscape. He experiences exuberant colours produced in his imaginative landscapes. To some extent, this was a preparation for the current phase in his paintings as he become a prolific and efficient painter of landscapes, which include a panoramic view in his paintings of his birth place Ilok and surrounding areas, which resulted in a systematic collaboration with the most significant and most active institution in the area, which is the Museum of the town Ilok. A short biography of his development to the present time and his success, as well as, his achievement gives a meaning, which makes his creative life story as an example which rises to a higher level in paintings. Bakter has become an ethical model by dealing with difficulties and imagination and with a systematic realisation of his own projects, where he tries to give an artistic vision to his fellow countrymen and others about individuality and the identity of his birth place. He obviously demonstrates an example that the existential drama could be conquered with the creative work. Spirit overcomes predicaments and wins over evil.