Dušan Džamonja (Strumica, 1928 - ), academic artist and sculptor
The family of Srećko Džamonja, Dušan’s father, who lived in Zagreb until the outbreak of the Second World War, spent the war years as refugees in Serbia. Džamonja remembers those days as a “bad dream”, because the presence of war and the rumours of mass murders in death camps made a lasting impression on him, which would colour his later artistic creations.
After the end of the war, the family returned to Zagreb, where Dušan was admitted to the Academy of Fine Arts, under professors Kršinić and Radauš. He graduated in 1951.
His first exhibition was held in Zagreb in 1954, followed by a series of solo and joint exhibitions at home and abroad.
Although he draws primarily in chalk and uses the technique of washed ink, from an early point Džamonja leaned towards sculpture, particular designs for memorials. He was most drawn by projects requiring an expression of human heroism, and by the suffering, torture and murder of the victims of death camps.
In his work he has used many materials, from bronze and iron to wood, glass, concrete and polyester.
He has designed many monumental memorial complexes, including the Revolution Memorial in Podgarić, The Memorial Monument in Mrakovica, The Memorial Ossuary to the Fallen Yugoslav Soldiers of the First and Second World Wars in southern Italy, Barletta, etc. He has also created a series of reliefs for parks and town squares.
Dušan Džamonja is the author of the Relief Dedicated to the Victims of Fascism in Jasenovac, created in 1968 for the opening of the Memorial Museum in Jasenovac.