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Charles Billich, photographed in his studio.
|Born||September 6, 1934
Charles (Carlo) Billich (born 1934) was named Artist of the 1996 Summer Olympics. He is the recipient of the 2000 Sport Artist of the Year Award presented annually by the American Sport Art Museum and Archives.
He was named Designated Artist 2001 Centenary Nobel Peace Prize.
Inspired by his work entitled The Beijing Cityscape, the official image for the successful Beijing bid to host the 2008 Olympic Games, Charles Billich conceived a series of images based on the Bing Ma Yong Terracotta warriors. The Bing Ma Yong images are represented on a collection of 16 postage stamps currently in circulation in China.
Billich paints and draws in all media and sculpts in precious and semi-precious metals.
Billich's painting subjects include Ballet and sport, architecture and town planning, eroticism and classicism, portraiture and stage. Humanitarian pieces and works of religious significance are also within the focus of the Artist.
"Humanity United" was created from a brief extended to him by the Australian Red Cross to commemorate the 2001 Centenary of the Nobel Prize for Peace. Dr José Ramos-Horta, the then Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation for East Timor, requested he paint their Independence painting.
In June 2004, Billich exhibited at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. Hosted by the UN Friendship Club, Billich was invited back with his "Humanity United" collection in September 2006.
Inspired by his work "The Beijing Cityscape", the official image for the successful Beijing bid to host the 2008 Olympic Games, Charles Billich conceived a series of images based on the Bing Ma Yong Terracotta Warriors. The collection of images, portray the Bing Ma Yong Terracotta Warriors in a series of sporting compositions.
In June 2004 Billich completed "Jubilation China's 100 Year Olympic Dream Realised" - a piece depicting the celebration that followed the announcement of China's to be the 2008 Olympic host nation.
Billich also created "The World In Union." This is the official image of the Rugby World Cup 2003.
Charles Billich received the "Honorary Citizen of Atlanta" and the Key to the City during the Centennial Games; the title Sports Artist of the Year 2000, an Honorary Doctorate and the "Order of the Eagle Exemplar" from the United States Sports Academy and American Sport Art Museum. In 2004 he has also assumed the role of Trustee of this premier sports education facility. Billich has been decorated with the Olympic Gold Order by the French Ministry of Sport for his contributions to the French Olympic Team during the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.
Biography - Early life
Charles Billich was born in Lovran, Istria, in what was then Italy, now Croatia. After release from prison in Maribor for his journalistic anti-Yugoslav activities, he emigrated to Australia on the Italian ship Toscana on her last voyage before scrapping. He was asked to join the two Australians teaching English on board and that was his first Australian job. Upon disembarcation he worked for the Employment Service at Bonegilla Migrant Reception and Training Centre, dispatching immigrants and political refugees from all over Eastern Europe to work all over the Australian continent.
Three months later he went to Melbourne to study art at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology and the National Gallery Art School, working as taxi driver, sign writer, graphic designer and advertising art director before embarking on a career in fine art.
- The Vatican Collection, Rome
- United Nations Heardquarters, Geneva
- The White House Collection, Washington D.C.
- Ferrari Collection, Milan
- Shaolin Temple, China
- International Red Cross Museum, Geneva
- International Olympic Museum, Lausanne
- Museum of Modern Art Mobile, Alabama
Art Bank Commonwealth of Australia; City of Düsseldorf, Germany; Brisbane City Hall Art Gallery; The Parliament of Victoria; Australian Embassy to Germany; Australian Embassy to Croatia; Hall of Congress, Washington D.C., Queensland Art Gallery; U.S. Sports Academy; Royal Collection, Kuala Lumpur; City of Melbourne; Government Utah, USA; Government East Timor; Central Queensland University, Rockhampton; The City of Sydney; Embassy of Croatia, Canberra; Australian Embassy to Japan; City of Kanagawa, Japan; USA Australian Olympic Committee Headquarters, Sydney; New York State Govt. Port Authority; The Royal Collection of Thailand; Parliament House, Dili, East Timor; Exhibition Building, Melbourne; Royal Australian Air Force; Rockhampton Gallery, Qld; The City of Hakodate, Japan; The City of Osaka, Japan; State Theatre, Sydney; The Parliament of Japan; City of Rijeka, Croatia; NSW Government, Australia; Beijing Olympic Organising Committee; City Of Qingdao China;
- Artist, Florence Biennale 2009
- Artist, Monaco Eco Art Parade 2009
- Artist, ChinaWhite Cartier Polo Tournament 2009, Guards Polo Club, UK
- Artist, St. Tropez Open Du Soleil Polo Tournament 2009, France
- Appointed, by Royal Command, Artist in Residence for the Coronation of His Majesty King George Tupou V, Tonga 2008
- St Moritz Art Masters, Switzerland 2008
- Artist for Australian Olympic Team, Beijing 2008
- Artist for US Olympic Team, Beijing 2008
- Artist Carnivale Christi 2004/2005
- Artistic Patron Sydney Polo Club 2004
- Artist for Australian Olympic Team, Athens 2004
- Artist for US Olympic Team, Athens 2004
- Artist for Australia Day Regatta 2001 - 2006
- Trustee United States Sports Academy
- Patron NSW Chin Woo Athletics Association
- Artist Sydney Greek Festival 2004
- Artist for Rugby World Cup, 2003
- Artist for Timor-Leste Independence Day, 2002
- Artist for United States Olympic Committee, 2002/2003
- Designated Artist 2001 Centenary Nobel Peace Prize
- Sports Artist of the Year, 2000
- Artist for the Australian and US Olympic Teams, Sydney 2000
- Artist Beijing Olympic Bid, 1999-2000
- Artist for the Australian and US Olympic Teams, Atlanta 1996
- Artist 1996 Formula 1 Grand Prix, Melbourne, 1996
- Commemorative Centenary Painting, Australian Football League, 1996
- Eco Art Parade 2009
”Eco Art Parade 2009" is an environmental art exhibition in aid of the Prince Albert II Foundation of Monaco. This year’s theme is that of the Bonelli’s Eagles, an endangered species of the Mediterranean, whose protection is supported by the Foundation.
To honor the beauty and the rights of the Bonelli’s Eagles, Charles Billich presented a bronze sculpture of “The Order of the Golden Eagle.” The work can be viewed from 8 June to 8 October 2009 in the Principality of Monaco.
- Winner, Florence Biennale 2009, Lorenzo Il Magnifico Painting Prize
- 77th Honorary Shaolin Monk, Henan, China 2004
- Milan & Spoleto Awards, Italy, 1989
- Victorian Heritage & Cultural Award 1988
- Centennial Olympic City, USA 1996
- Honorary Citizen of Atlanta,1996
- Order of the Eagle Exemplar, USA, 2000
- Doctor Philosophy Honoris Causa-United States Sports Academy
- Prints award/Gold Medal 1987/88
- Spoleto Award, Italy, 1987
- Who's Who in Australia 2009
- USA Sports Academy Publication, 2000
- Billich Art Armanae, Grafiche Nicolini Editore, Italy 2000
- 2000 Outstanding Artists and Designers of the 20th Century, UK
- Artists & Galleries of Australia
- Billich 1971-1991(Editalia)
- Encyclopaedia of Australian Art
- Australian Impressionist & Realist Artists
- Who's Who of Australian Visual Artists
- Official site - Australia and Asia
- Official site - Europe
- "Home Is Where My Art Is" - Financial Times - Weekend Edition, 28 March 2008
- "Century-old Olympic Dream Comes True - on Canvas," 29 July 2004
- "Olympic Artist Shows Painting: Magnificent Tianjin
- "Sport Artist of the Year 2000: Charles Billich" (CCTV.com)