I knew that my earliest inspiration, the sculptor Ivan Meštrović had worked nearby, but, perhaps in the overwhelming visual banquet of the area, I just didn't think to look up local references. We were just out biking another area north of the city when we came across the museum. Well, we were on Šetalište Ivana Meštrovića, Ivan Mestrovic Promenade, so there might have been a clue. Not sure. It was hot out there. We were sun-blasted and salt-saturated, thanks to the local cuisine.
We came to this. Not the studio of a starving artist:
And found another gate, with Mestrovic on it, pretty much unguarded, deserted, in fact. We wandered in, through a portal into a mostly empty walled courtyard, and into an open door. I may have almost fallen down. This was just available to anyone on the street? I'd languished over these pieces for hours in my early 20s, and here they were, all of them:
It's been years, though. I starved during the time that I was carving. I still have racks of tools, but they have been used for other less noble purposes, and wouldn't sing through wood without a lot of attention from stone.
The hard work of many hands was simply everywhere: