Ratko Ikic

On Saturday morning I had breakfast with Nick and Nadine of


. Afterward, on the way South to


we were distracted by a row of huge, colorful paintings leaning up against a wrought iron fence on Ashland avenue. We immediately pulled over for a better look and ended up talking to the artist, Ratko Ikic. He didn't have much English and none of us speak... Bosnian? So very little was really communicated (he has a book of English Castles that he references... and that's about all I got). These are a few of the paintings. They are kind of stunning.

Clearly he's self taught, I'm guessing he came to painting late in life. But they really had a pretty amazing, idiosyncratic sense of mood and light and color. And the guy is ambitious. They were big. And there were a lot of them. It was pretty amazing in about six different ways at once.

That's him in the cowboy hat. He's got a gallery/studio at 4036 N Ashland. Go knock on his door if you're curious. He might actually try to give you one.