Motif as the Starting Point

photography Danilo Balaban
written by Mladen Lučić


Danilo Balaban has been a photographer for more than 20 years, actually since 1982 when he dropped out of his mechanical engineering course and turned to photography. The first time I saw any of his shots was during my writing of the introduction for the first independent exhibition of the sculptor Đorđe Jandrić in 1989. These were exquisite black and white photographs, made with the intention of faithfully reproducing the objet d’art, but which nevertheless managed to capture completely the character and essence of the photographed artifact. Without any expressiveness, drama or desire for an artistic experiment of his own, these shots, aside from showing very objectively the photographed object, were also very suggestive and contained the author’s signature, recognizable in the open approach to the theme, and a discretion behind which there was the skillful and very conscientious eye of a photographer. I expected that my next encounter with Balaban’s photographs would be in a gallery – at some exhibition of photographs, but this did not happen, simply because Danilo Balaban never took part in either collective or independent exhibitions.