Born in 1930 in the rural village of Hlebine in the Podravina region, Dragan Gazi revealed an artistic talent while still in school. He refined this talent by sketching scenes of rural life in the quiet of the fall and winter months and through instruction from his neighbour, the renowned Ivan Generalic.
Gazi lived as a peasant farmer and cared for his invalid brother, never venturing far from his birthplace even after he had established a name for himself in the urban centres of Yugoslavia and abroad. He preferred to work the land and enjoyed recording scenes of rural life, as he felt that his images would help preserve his beloved horses, landscape and people for posterity. Even though his own life had its hardships, Gazi chose to depict his landscapes in soft pastel colors and gave his subjects a cheerful aura.
The materials and methods Gazi used evolved from simple pencil sketches to watercolour arrangements, and later still he followed Ivan Generalic’s lead and shifted his focus to painting with oil on glass. Gazi died in 1983.