Creating art together for team Diobanaoba, is a double satisfaction, which has already lasted for several years. Nikolina Japunčić and Mia-Maria Škoda are two friends from Dubrovnik; both studied art restoration and conservation together; have always spent a lot of time together and realized that they would like to use free time to further expand our joint creative horizons.
After graduation, they were employed at the same place as art restorers – with a ceaseless interchange of serious conversations, gossip, banter and laughter. Those shared moment of pleasure in the diversity of life have also been a lively source of inspiration and have shaped their particular style.
We see our paintings as our friends, and just as in real life, where we love and appreciate our friends with their special qualities, so with our paintings… in each of those paintings there are some small details that we particularly love, and that make them special and unique to us; they are individuals and we can have no favorites among them!
We have participated in several exhibitions, both group and solo, most of which were in Dubrovnik, but last year we also put on a solo exhibition at the Greta Gallery in Zagreb, where we presented a series of portraits of people that for us represent the everyday life of Zagreb. We also included portraits of some celebrities – such as Ćiro Blažević and Mario Petreković, both of whom attended the opening night, but also a portrait of the young, successful, talented actor and dear friend Goran Bogdan, who has actually opened several of our exhibitions. We did the album cover for ‘Gruhak’, a local band from Dubrovnik, and also the album art (cover and booklet) for a limited edition of Silente’s last album “Neće rijeka zrakom teći”, interpreting their song lyrics through our paintings. We are preparing a brand new solo exhibition in Dubrovnik for early September, where we will introduce some small changes and surprises. We are also in the midst of filming a short movie, with the intention of showing the period of the Dubrovnik Republic in an original and fun way. It should premiere in the summer months, meaning that it should see the daylight rather than the darkness of the night (touch wood…)!
The basic concept of their work is based on the presentation of the same motive seen from two different points of view – showing how different observers will see the same subject in a particular and personal way. For the first phase they only work together: we need to outline our theme and choose size and dimensions. Then we each take our canvas home and work on the painting with no further discussion or mention of it between us. Surprisingly it is an approach to portrait work that we have never encountered before and it adds a particular intensity to the work. When they have both finished – then comes the exciting part! The two halves are connected to make a single image. “Now we see the final product of our separate visions. The result can seem rather extravagant and surreal – but there is always something meaningful, and the blended image takes on a life of its own beyond either of the parts”.
Girls often introduce another dimension in theirs exhibitions – that of sound, which also gives a different perspective to every observer. They’re also interested in video work. “Don’t want to feel limited by anything; our central aim is to bring together what might seem incompatible and to explore the new vigour that such combinations can release”, says Nikolina.
They do their paintings for exhibitions, but also for sale, so they also undertake personalized portraits according to clients’ special wishes; such was the case with Davor Čupić – he happens to be a big fan of the Star Wars franchise, so girls turned him into Darth Vader for his painting! If you want an original gift for a wedding, an anniversary, a birthday or any other occasion that has a special meaning to you, or perhaps you just want something new and different on your wall, feel free to contact Diobanaoba because they will turn your dream into reality!