|Svetozar Radakovich is a native of Yugoslavia, where he was born in 1918.
He Received his BA and MA in Painting from the Royal Academy of Art in Belgrade.
After World War II, he worked with the United Nation's Relief and Rehabilitation
Agency where he met an American, Ruth Clark, who interested him in her field of expertise
which was metal sculpture. In1955, he immigrated to the USA. Between 1955 and
1959, he taught painting, drawing and design at the School for American Craftsmen and the
Rochester Institute of Technology, both in Rochester, New York. Then in 1959, he
came to California where he became much more interested in jewelry, metalwork, and
architectural sculpture. His teaching career continued at San Diego State
University, but now the emphasis was mainly on metals. In fact, by 1966, he had
established bronze casting as a source of study at the university. He had his own
foundry where he worked with architects on architectural sculpture. He also worked
in an academic setting with his wife Caroline, who was a professor of metal crafts at
California State University. Even though Svetozar "Toza" Radakovich is
well known for his metal sculpture, he is perhaps better known for his jewelry which has
won many international awards starting in 1966. His jewelry is art with utility.
It incorporates all the formal qualities of sculpture, and yet is is also personal
and transportable, an inclusive form of art. He has developed away from traditional
Renaissance shapes towered greater abstraction, which is, paradoxically, both more modern
and more ancient. While Radakovich uses traditional materials such as precious
metals and gems, he also uses space age alloys and found objects like beach pebbles.
Creating secret pleasures for himself and the owners of his jewelry happens to be
one of his personal styles. the inside of an ostensibly austere silver bracelet, for
example, might be inlaid with richly variegated and irregularly shaped precious and
semi-precious materials and gem stones. The artist feels that this aspect of his
work reflects nature, which hides as much, if not more, beauty than it flaunts--- the
inside of a shell, the underside of a leaf, for example. Only the creator of the
piece and its possessor know of the hidden treasure, unless they consciously choose to
share it with others.
Radakovich has exhibited his work extensively both nationally and
internationally --- Denmark, France, Germany, Japan, and across the United States.