Street Art

Lonac /   Unknown

Croatia 1985

Street Art, Murals

September 30, 2016
Nina Karaicic is a journalist with experience in TV and radio media. Born in 1989, she had studied at the University of Belgrade – Faculty of Political Sciences (Journalism). Interests: Photography, Art, Film, Folklore, Video Games

Best known for his large-scale photorealistic murals, Lonac is a highly talented Croatian artist whose amazing works can be found throughout his native country and beyond. His signature huge, eye-catching pieces – created with spray cans and brushes – are usually influenced by skateboard culture, comics, graffiti, movies, music, but also current social issues. Strong knowledge of operating painting equipment including his masterful spray can control has allowed the artist to create a recognizable body of work that ranges from monumental realistic pieces to smaller, humorous and often surreal works.

search new instgram and facebook comments and videos on Lonac's life
Lonac – The Kiss, mural for Memorie Urbane 2016, Cassino, Italy, photo by Flavia Fiengo

Early Works and Academic Background

The first piece Lonac did was on a wall in his backyard, and after a few times of painting there, he went to do the same thing on some wall of his primary school. His art teacher was so impressed with the work that she made the school council pay for the paint the young artist has used. “Moving boundaries in that way is fun, turning things around a bit, opening people to new stuff.” Although he started doing graffiti back in elementary school, he never took it too seriously, so at the beginning of his college education the Academy of Fine Arts, University of Zagreb, Lonac almost quit painting on the streets because of the lack of time and energy. According to the artist, the only thing he learned in college was how to justify bad work: “There are not many people painting murals, or even painting with the spray paint in the way you do it with a brush, so I taught myself by hard work and by ignoring those with bad influences.”

He became interested in graffiti during his childhood

Lonac new mural piece depicts heart store
Lonac – heArtbeats, mural in Zagreb, 2016

What Does Nickname Lonac Stand for?

In Croatian, “lonac” means cooking pot. That nickname was given to the artist when he was just a boy, and back then, he hated it. When he started doing graffiti, Lonac had to come up with some tag name for himself. At the time, all the graffiti writers had some cool gangsta nicknames/tags, but every name the young creative came up with sounded fake and pretentious, so he took the one he disliked the most. “Thinking about the beginnings really amuses me. It doesn’t take too long to remember the feeling of child-like excitement and freedom I get while painting outside. It’s easy to do it when you’re a kid, but as people grow older they stop doing some of the things that made them happy.”

Lonac recalls child-like excitement and freedom he gets while painting outside

instagram video comments on heart
Lonac – Comic and Street Art festival Ohoho fest 2014, Zagreb, Croatia

Lonac’s Street Art Technique

Lonac was always interested in big murals, characters, classic paintings. It took him just a while to learn how to paint with a spray can, but it took him years to evolve and be able to do big walls in the way he makes them today. Over the years, the artist has perfectly learned how to use the wall as it is for a background, to compose the scene using the surroundings, to use already existing graffiti as a part of the composition. He improvises a lot and without it, for him, it isn’t fun. He always has some sketches and a photo reference for the photo-realistic part that often characterizes his works. Sometimes, he likes to combine photorealism with the abstract background or with an illustrative 2D style. But, recently, he has worked mostly in freehand technique by painting realistic/surrealistic murals. “I think in Croatia people still don’t take spray can as a medium too seriously. I see that as my window, my creating space. I feel that I’m upgrading from one work to another and taking it to the next level.“

A short video of Lonac making a big mural for Re:Think street art festival 2016

Urban Philosophy

As someone who likes different types of creativity, Lonac feeds his brain with everything that is interesting, inspiring and worth of appreciation. For him, progress, improvement or constant upgrade are the most inspiring factors he can find in other people, either it is some painter, musician, skater or film director, among others. Instead of thinking about the possibility of problems with the law while painting on the streets, Lonac seems to have only fun and joy. “I had some funny moments on the streets, and it always feels like I’m in some Monty Python sketch… Even if it’s a situation with an officer, I can’t take it seriously. When a cop tells his younger sidekick ‘look, this is cool, why did that lady call us, she has some issues with her husband’, you just want to high-five him.”

Lonac seems to have only fun and joy while creating his larger-than-life subjects

search instagram posts of Lonac new mural piece that you can buy in store
Lonac – Skinny Cap Thief, mural for Upfest 2015, Bristol, UK

Get the Creativity Flowing

As an artist, Lonac wants to remind people that they should never stop expressing themselves creatively. To evoke. To challenge and explore. “Every experience, good or bad, should teach you something, especially if it’s a total contrast to the routine.” To date, his murals grace numerous walls in of cities like Zagreb, Sarajevo, Banja Luka, Bristol, London and others. Lonac’s future plans are to paint more and bigger walls. As a contrast to that, to do some prints and smaller studio stuff, as well as to learn more, skate and hopefully travel.

Lonac lives and creates in Zagreb, Croatia.

Featured image: artist in fron one of his pieces
All images courtesy of the artist

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group
2016Re-Think 2016Sisak, CroatiaGroup
2016Memorie UrbaneCassino, ItalyGroup
2015Nuit Blanche event, a part of Rendez-Vous festivalZagreb, CroatiaGroup
2015BetonfestSarajevo, BIHGroup
2015Upfest 2015Bristol, UKGroup
2015Proljetno PrašenjeSC Galerija, Zagreb, CroatiaGroup
2014Ohoho FestivalAKC Medika, Zagreb, CroatiaGroup
2014LonacBoonika, Zagreb, Croatia Solo
2014Koprivnica street art festivalKoprivnica, CroatiaGroup
2014Time Catcher Vol. II, Mural ProjectZagreb, CroatiaSolo
2013p_3 exhibitionKranjčar Gallery, CroatiaGroup
2013Sand, Sea & SprayBlackpool, LondonGroup
2012Blackpool Illuminations.Blackpool, LondonGroup
2012Paint The Pass eventOsijek, CroatiaGroup
2012Xstatic skate competitionZagreb, CroatiaGroup
2011Sudnji dan (The Judgement Day) FestivalCroatiaGroup
Street Update #176

In our latest Street Update, we bring you some amazing street interventions created all around the world during the month of April.

Read More
The Crystal Ship Oostende 2019 In Pictures

Here is our photo recap of the wonderful 2019 edition of The Crystal Ship street art festival, which just took place in Ostend for the fourth time.

Read More
The Crystal Ship Diary Day 2 - Visiting The Walls + Interview with Curator

A total of 14 brand new murals is being made as we speak for the fourth edition of The Crystal Ship. We visited some artists working on them.

Read More
The Dictatorship of Art Debuts at The Crystal Ship Festival 2019

Ahead of The Crystal Ship Festival 2019, which Widewalls will be reporting live from, we take a look at its theme and key artists taking part.

Read More
Street Update #167

Once again, we take a tour around the world to find the most exciting murals done by renowned street artists. Behold Street Update no. 167.

Read More
18. Lonac in Boras, Sweden

Lonac has created a new piece as part of the festival No Limit in Boras, Sweden.

Read More
53. Lonac in Nanxian, China

Lonac has created a new piece for Wallskar festival in Nanxian, China.

Read More
Street Update #161

Here comes our monthly round-up of the latest unbelievable murals painted by your favorite street artists around the world, straight from our Instagram.

Read More
Street Update #160

Check out the most stunning murals painted around the world by today's most prominent street artists during the month of September!

Read More
Street Update #157

In our new street update #157 check out some of the most amazing murals created by world-famous street artists around the globe in the last few weeks.

Read More
Most Beautiful Murals of the Year 2016

Behold the most beautiful murals of 2016, painted around the planet by the most renowned street and urban artists today. Is your favorite among them?

Read More
Lonac - Nitpicking

Lonac painted this extraordinary piece in Rijeka, Croatia

Read More
Street Update #152

Our November's Street update will take you to sunnier places on Earth as we visit Chile, Taiwan, and Indonesia in search for the finest murals of the month.

Read More
Lonac - I Lost my Shoe when I Saw You

Lonac's I Lost my Shoe when I Saw You is dedicated to the innocence of childrens' first crushes.

Read More
Best Street Art Murals of Last Year - Street Update #150

Street Update #150 is growing up! See which 50 street art murals were the most loved in the past year and celebrate the new era of our feature!

Read More