Charles Billich was born in Lovran on September the 9th, 1934. In a painting career spanning some forty years his art has been shaped by personal experience.
As a teenager, Billich was a student dancer with the opera corp de ballet in Rijeka, where he went to college. He also wrote satirical articles he wrote for a local magazine, and for doing so was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment by a repressive Communist regime.
Two years into his imprisonment he was unexpectedly released. He at once sought political asylum in Austria where he studied at the Volkschocheschule in Salzburg. to Australia in 1956 he studied at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology and the National Gallery School of Victoria. His work is surrealistic.
"I manipulate reality. I turn it into some kind of symbolic analysis which works on several levels of meaning. There is a touch of irony in what I paint as there is in all surreal art, it contains a fair amount of humour". He paints and draw in all mediums.
Today, Billich originals adorn boardrooms, galleries and collections across five continents having been exhibited at the worlds most prestigious venues. He is the recipient of many coveted awards including US Sports Artist of the Year (2000) and the Spoleto Prize (1988).
Other career highlights include the Mary MacKillop commission, now hanging in the Vatican after an Australia wide tour of 55 cities and his work "Humanity United" created for the Australian Red Cross in the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Nobel Peace Prize, now hanging in their Geneva headquarters.
Accolades include an Official artist for the Rugby World Cup 2003, Official Artist for the US Olympic team 2004. Artist for the Beijing Olympic bid for the 2008 summer games. Royal appointment as the Coronation Artist by His Majesty King George Tupou V of Tonga.
Awarded a Honorary rank in appreciation for support and contribution to the Commando Welfare Trust.