Tomislav Horvat, a Međimurje artist, is known for creating spectacular sculptures using matches. His art requires a lot of time, persistence, effort and patience. He often wakes up at 4 a.m. to work on his sculptures until 7 a.m., before heading off to work.
Love for art was born in him when he was still in high school studying civil engineering. He says that his curiosity about art was stimulated by the subject of art history in high school and that he drew inspiration from various works of art throughout his life.
One day, Tomislav came up with the idea to create three-dimensional things from matches, a material that was readily available to him. He started out by making models of buildings, churches, windmills and even a laptop from matches. However, after five years of working on these models, he found them no longer challenging enough and decided to take on something more demanding.
Inspired by the film trilogy “The Godfather,” Tomislav created his first sculpture “The Godfather” in 2012. The sculpture took one year to complete and consisted of 117,000 matches installed in it. This was followed by “The Pianist,” inspired by Mozart’s music, which incorporated 210,000 matches into it and is currently the largest sculpture in his oeuvre.
Despite describing his works as monuments to greatness, one of his most poignant pieces is titled “Desperate.” It depicts a man on his knees with a suitcase by his side saying goodbye to his family and testifies to the problem of displacement and the search for safety. The sculpture took two years to complete and features 54,000 matches built into it.
Tomislav is currently working on an ambitious new project titled “The Creator,” which depicts Michelangelo working on his masterpiece David. The sculpture will feature 400,000 matches built into it and has taken six years to create so far but still needs another year or two before completion according to Tomislav’s estimates