Artisan pipes

Smoke and wood

Ivo Oblijan’s uniquely made pipe/sculptures are rare and suggestive proof of the fragility, perhaps even of the immateriality of the boundary between so-called pure art and applied art.

If one defines art as creation, and sculpture as tridimensional form that one must be able to feel with hands and eyes from all angles, Ivo Oblijan’s pipes are the quintessential artwork; and if one puts tobacco in them and lights them up, they then become a useful and pleasant object. They are imagined and created with the same regard for smokers and for non-smokers, for the dreamy literati and the defenders of utmost formalist rigour. The artist/creator successfully transposes into their structural shapes his personal vision of the sky, the earth, its inhabitants and the traces of their existence. Not for a moment does he forget that, among the pipes’ users, there will be, on the one hand, those who will be quite satisfied with the pipe’s good grip and the correct drawing of the smoke, and on the other those who, on the occasion of this daily ritual, will recognize, in this fruit of the artist’s imagination, the symbolism of the lasting division between the ineluctability of conformism and the deep-seated longing for escape, the desire to get away from daily life’s ordinariness.

Professor Darko Glavan
Muzejsko galerijski centar,
Zagreb, Croatia