Artist: Marjan Kekec-Ogradni
Born: 1947 in Ptuj, Slovenia
Works and resides in Berlin since 1970.
The special inclination towards nature, towards people, as well as his old homeland of Slovenia, inspire the painting of Kekec Marjan Ogradni.
Maribor, Moravci, Ptuj, Berlin and Munich.
The Slovenian Buddy Bear is named "Kurent" - out in the country "Kurant" - it is the most popular character of the carnival in Slovenia. According to oral tradition, it is a demon who drives away the winter, awakens nature and calls for springtime life. "Kurant" has magical powers and, thanks to his powerful outward appearance, still arouses fear and respect.
"Kurants" can be found in groups or alone.
The back of the bear depicts several characteristics of Slovenia:
- the grapevine:
The four-hundred-year-old Grapevine, probably the oldest in the world, is a trademark of the city of Maribor.
- The dragon:
The coat of arms of the Slovenian capital of Ljubljana.
Four bronze dragon figures adorn the most beautiful bridge in the city (the Dragonbridge, built in 1901).
- The lime leaf and the Triglav:
The lime tree is one of the symbols of the Slovenian people. The Triglav is the highest mountain in Slovenia, which, according to an old Slavic legend, watches over the heavens, the earth and the underworld.
- the sun:
Slovenia lies on the "sunny side" of the Alps.
Sponsor: LHB, Internationale Handelsbank AG, Frankfurt a.M.