Before jet-setting off to a glamorous city in the Emirates, VALIZ Magazine had a moment with artist extraordinaire, Vlado Franjevic who is with Liechtenstein Museum, and has been fortunate to express his stirrings in regards the circles of life, presciently and to the point.

Hence his promotion in the Spiral Channel across borders that will, eventually heal the de-tangling of the knots of confusion amidst humanity.

Ridtz Raschid

As a child growing up, what one thing, did you love most, if you can remember, and how that, now, has played in shaping your dreams as an adult?

Vlado Franjevic

What I can very well remember and what I maybe, most loved is, my grand mother by whom I grew up and who tried to make of me a good guy but she wasn’t as successful as she had wanted ⎯ smile ⎯ She found excuses for everything I made and she accepted everything I did.

She tried to understand, even it wasn’t always easy and simple.

Please believe me, there were enough things that I have made wrong, or in an original way which no one in our small village could understand and accept as good and correct enough. As I grew older, I remember also words, messages, meanings told by my grandfather. It’s about world economy and politics. He was a man who finished just primary school but was very closed to Mother Earth and its green nature … I must say, what he told me as I was child or young man, has consistently reminded me.

This what he told decades ago is a constant! It is how the movements in the societies work. To understand all that is correct, I had to leave many years my home, without speaking of foreign languages, work a lot and make my own experiences. All what counts are of course ⎯ our own experiences!

Everything else is a big luxury!

I was somehow a stranger in my own family. And often I felt nothing else than a stranger under my own skin … No one in my family had talents of art & poetry, just me. As a child and a young boy I often showed my art to my grand mother and read her my crazy poems. She was the first who got to hear and see it. I think all other women of her age in our small village would tell to their grand sons, « Hey go away with this stupidness! » But not my grandmother ⎯ She always has something nice to say, like « You know, I am one old woman and don’t understand this but yes, it’s somehow nice to me, it’s nice colourful » Or to my poems « Oh my God, how is just possible, you can imagine so strange stuff, your imaginations are endless … »

Ridtz Raschid

Do you dance? What stirs you to thrust forward? What’s your favourite genre?

Vlado Franjevic

I really loved to dance … To do this on a really wild way. Today I am sorry because we didn’t have cameras to record some of my wildest dance performances in the parties in all these villages around the main place in the municipality where I grew up in Croatia! I would love to show this to my children today. Please believe me, they would smile a lot. By the way, I learned to dance also some traditional and folks dances. Unfortunately I didn’t practice them for a very, very long time ⎯ smile ⎯ and today I can’t do this anymore … I haven’t really one genre which is something like my favourite!

Ridtz Raschid

What music do you listen to? Would you make the effort to attend concerts? Do you play a musical instrument? Who inspires you most?

Vlado Franjevic

When I work in my art studio, I listen music I really like. The spectrum is bright … via iTunes I search often some cool smooth jazz stations or some different international folks music, or, I listen to, for example, Tom Waits, R.E.M, Pink Floyd … or often old good blues.

One of them is our good friend from Croatia who is one of the greatest player of blues harmonica. I was talented also for playing guitar and I had some kind of music performances with harmonica. I don’t really know why I stopped playing it.

This I must tell you … This is really crazy and funny …

Once as I was a new face in Switzerland, that was maybe in 1991, I was, every weekend away somewhere on the road, with my new young Swiss friends and, we visited once, one midnight concert played by a great Australian pianist, Peter Waters.

We drank some beers before we visited the concert, I forgot that there is another concert of classic music on the stage, or it happened in one alternative discotheque where we normally danced wild by listening to rock music and so I started to play some kind of blues improvisations with my harmonica, by opening the door!

In the middle of the classic piano concert ⎯ It was midnight… Oh my God, and you know what happened? No, they didn’t bring me to jail or to the hospital ⎯ smile ⎯ but Peter invited me to play with him together on the stage!

We had a great party!

From this time until today we are good friends, even we didn’t see each other for a pretty long time because he lives already many years in South Italy. If you ask me why the stars made possible that Peter Waters and me met, I can tell the following, because we both, also as my grand mother, born on August 4.


Once, I listened live Gamelan music in Indonesia. That was very impressive to me and so I was very much lucky to get the chance to play a bit with one little Gamelan orchestra in one restaurant.

I am inspired by lovely people.

People who don’t care about all stupidness of material world inspire me always a lot and gave me the energy. These people are everywhere! In different cultures, different places, different society constellations. It’s the same if they’re rich or very poor!