Arcimboldo / Gallery / PAST LIVES

Jana Palečková & David Kolovratník

October 10 - November 16, 2019
T: +420 222 700 955
F: +420 246 013 685

The artists are linked not only by the base material that serves as the starting point for their artistic creations, but also in the way they think, the way they address their subjects. Both focus on long-forgotten memories and people who were at once very important to someone, but over time, these family members, friends, great loves have become just immortalized anonymous people with secret dreams and wishes. The artists strive to get under the skin of these people, putting them into new environments and contexts and, through these situations, communicate with them anew, discovering long-forgotten relationships. These stories bring these people back to life, they become familiar, and although the stories may at first seem bizarre or disturbing, in them we can search for parallels in our own lives and stories that are often independent of ourselves and willing to develop and run in different directions, and will continue this way into the future. 

Despite the fact that neither artist has undergone formal training – another link between them – each of them has found a distinctive artistic path and theme that they’ve each worked on for years, developing it and moving it forward. Both artists have taken the possibilities and limits of working with photographic materials, of taking images of people unknown to us, and creating something entirely new. Jana Palečková maintains the photograph’s format – usually quite small – and enhances it with oil paints, either adding something or painting over basic elements of the image, creating new tragicomic, surrealistic images suffused with black humor. On the other hand, David Kolovratník uses photographs merely as a visual prototype, which he then abstracts, magnifies, and enhances with areas of color, which serves to free the figure from its original context – which long ago lost all essential meaning. He places his figures into new contexts which can seem funny, but are also somewhat unsettling, raising questions about the painting and the figures themselves, but also about our own life stories, which often can seem like a series of absurd, incomprehensible situations and relationships.

Curator: Kristina Pourová

Jana Palečková (born 1979)

The artist, originally from Prague, is self-educated and focuses mainly on editing old photographs, which she transforms in a very individual way using oil paints.

She finds her base materials primarily in antique stores and flea markets. She takes photographs that were once an important memory for someone and revitalizes and transforms them into completely new contexts using unexpected new elements and substitutions to give them new life.

David Kolovratník (born 1978)

David graduated from technical high school in Hradec Králové. Until 2015, he worked as a prosthetic technician in orthopedics. He has been focused on painting since around 2009. He also developed his skills in semestral painting courses at Scholastika in the studio of Jitka Mikulicová.

In his work he is interested in the unknown past of part of his family. He works with an inherited photo archive, the fragments of which are the templates for his artwork. He builds up the characters, whose past realities can only be guessed at, then he puts them into entirely new, often non-existent situations and relationships.

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