The Culture of Now 
The Art of Darinka Blagaj         
The Smile Office - Living Art, Toronto

                      

"Sometimes people ask me what I see when I "look".

When I look into my own eyes - i see/feel the divine within me. That is the same light or frequency I am 

attracted to and that I tune into in another being. When I look into another's eyes I see/feel the divine.  

When I am in Nature, it is this same energy that calls out to me and I tune into.

It is the divine I "look" for and it is the divine I find in everything. "


Come experience an Art Breath!

appointments: See Contact page


Darinka Blagaj Curriculum Vitae & Bio

Darinka Blagaj, was born in Croatia, lived in Austria before coming to Canada with her family as a child. She identifies herself as a Canadian artist with an international career. Firstly, a visual fine artist, who works mostly in oil and charcoal. who  "paints the future", and secondly as a performance artist, researcher and developer of The Culture of Now. 

Her professional career is full of exhibitions that were painted in the country she was visiting and living at the time: 

Early Career 1985-1995

An avid world traveller and painting gypsy - painting and making art and exhibitions happen onside.. Darinka explored life in Vancouver's Railway Street, NYC's Lower East Side, Mexico's Caribbean coast & Mayan lands, Guatemala's Panahachel & Lake Atitlan, Costa Rica's Montezuma, Honduras Islands of Roatan & Utila.

1985-1990 - Early career, cafe exhibitions on Queen St. West, Toronto, 

1988-1990  NYC- Lower East Side, Greenwich Village at various galleries, art centres, Cafes. Photography performance art with Ron Giii.

1987-1988  Vancouver - Railway St & Centre St in Vancouver, 

1990 -  Xalapa, Mexico  - "Al Otro Lado Del Sol", In Xalapa's stae Gallery, sponsored by the governor of the state and Marie Louise Ferrari, the Canadian Embassy, covered by channel 4 tv.

1991 - Barcelona, Spain - MRKVA,Carrot "The Roots of Culture - Wearing The Emperor's Clothes with a Nose" - sponsored by a private collector at Circulo Comtal private cultural club. Pre-Barcelona Olympics, with performance art.

1993 - Bremerhaven, Germany - The Architects show

1993 - "Sotto Voce" - Toronto, Access Art Now, Eaton Centre, artist run co-op show. With performance art, installation of the elemental: earth, air, fire, water, ether.

1993-1995  Photography performance art with Philip Winestone.

1995 - Toronto - "Orgasm - Solo Show - 10 year Retrospective" - 150 pieces of art - installation and regular performance art nights for 6 weeks.

Mid Career 1997-2016

1997 - Maui, Hawai'i - Painted a new series at The Hui Art Centre.

1999 - Toronto, "The Voyage is Love," Gallery Arcturus. Featuring the Chakra paintings. Turning an energetic vortex in the city through the installation of crystals within the show.

1997- 2010 Toronto - The ALEILA FESTIVAL - She is a creative comeUnity pioneer and a visionary who created The Aleila Festival - an expressive and healing arts festival retreat for 13 years, giving many artists a role as facilitators - a place to begin their own sharing work within a new platform - giving an opportunity for hundreds to experience a sacred circle and comeUnity through creative and healing art with spontaneity & presence at its core.. 

2001-2002 Peterborough New Dance, original performance art pieces - "Water Feet" & "Star".

 Plus a few small local exhibitions. 

2001 - 2007- Spirit Portraits, & Private collector commissions.

2013 - Toronto- The Smile Office - beginnings, & Spirit Portraits, Day-Retreat Playshops, gallery created, exhibits.

2014 -  New Public Commissions - Healing Art Paintings, Private commissions - Spirit Portraits, Corporate commissions, Urban Totems, Cut-Outs Exhibitions

- Opened the Smile Office Studio in Toronto, Art Salon, Living Art Space & The Smile Office - NOWism Movement

2015 - Toronto- The Smile Office - Culture of Now Movement.  

New Public Commissions - Healing Art Paintings, Private commissions - Spirit Portraits, Corporate commissions, Works for Hospitals and healing Centres.

2015 -  Summer -"Flow" - Exhibition at  Rest Nest Float Club Gallery, Yorkville Toronto 

"Wedding Dress Run" Flash Mobs - Summer 2015 in Yorkville - Performance Art, invoking Joy & Bliss, back into the lives of women who may have lost that spark of personal bliss within marriage. Street dance to village folk music adapted & composed by Tatjana Cornij on acordion. Street parades in wedding dresses in Yorkville - rejoicing!

Studio Holiday Show "Un-seen", featuring new paintings on canvas and wood.

2016 - Studio Shows - Charcoal Nudes, Healing Paintings, Urban Totems - New Series

The Birth of a new Culture of Presence

Now is... Herstory


Darinka Blagaj’s international fine art career spans more than 3 decades, with over 55 solos exhibitions around the world. Her clients are varied from multi-millionaires to waiters & waitresses, to companies & corporate collections. Her story stems back to the early 80’s - 90’s in the Queen Street West area in Toronto, Railway Street in Vancouver, and the Lower East side of Manhattan NYC. Her daily adventures brought her in contact with a wide array of experimental culture & people, giving her places and inspiration to create fine art, performance art & installation art. Through a daily momentum of drawing, painting and writing for up to 18 hours a day, Darinka eased deeply into her intuitive flow.- a clear channel to her divine source  became her trademark. Her career is an exploration of this invitation and allowing her creative flow in the moment without imposition, or judgement and through it she has encountered the central reservoir which delivers personal transformation and unity consciousness.

 

Not knowing what she was about to paint, and moving forward into a dance with the blank canvas and the blank page - the void: Darinka's raw nerves unlock and ignite the portal of innocence making her works vehicles of transformation and direct self-awareness for the viewer. These are the ah ha moments, as a viewer, when you are faced with raw nerves, or another being's truth - your mind is ignited by your feelings, creating new synapses to process this loaded visual vocabulary. This is the impact of her movement, "A Culture of Now". which she shares through her visual works and her public performance art works and public engagement projects through The Smile Office.

Over her 31 year career, the works do not hold one "style" or motif - yes, the "divine feminine" is a major player, yet once you see and experience a Darinka painting or drawing - you recognize the "energy signature" of allowing. Few artists imbue space with such joy, hope, healing and peace.

Internationally  exhibiting for 10 years prior to her family life, Darinka Blagaj has lived a wild bohemian adventure, listening to her heart. Two near deaths contributed much "energetic upgrade" to her understanding of the fabric of reality. As a mother of two, she homeschooled her children for 10 years, creating with life on a daily basis. She has an ongoing love affair with the earth, the elementals, and the unseen world - the void -  of her creative imagination, and an intuitive approach to the collective expanding awareness of humanity.