He is one of the younger generation of Czech artists. Despite his relatively young age, he has managed to develop a standout visual and content style. Last year, he was included in the prestigious “30 under 30” rankings of exceptional young people by FORBES. He has exhibited his pictures in Miami, now he is off to Paris.
Adam, you’re a graduate of the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague. You have been through several studios, from classical painting to restoration of classical works of art. What influenced your work the most?
For two years I studied under Professor Zdeněk Beran, a time that was crucial and very intensive for me. After the professor’s death, I had to change studios and the other professors tried to transform me the way they saw fit, the way they perceive art. They kept telling me how to paint. But, when I look back, I’m glad it happened.
One of the studios I attended was headed by Jiří Sopko.
Yes, that experience influenced me a lot. Before I started going to him, I painted darker, more sombre pictures. The professor “forced” me to clean, brighten the colours of my pictures more.
There is often a white background in your pictures. That’s a consequence of studying at Jiří Sopko’s studio?
Partially it is. At the time I transferred to his studio, the sombre colours were replaced by more colourful palette. I started to work with white as a part of the cycle of images Purity (Čistota) and the unblemished nature of animals compared to people. It has remained with me until now, even though the meaning is a little different.
How do you remember your school years? Were they stormy?
I took school very responsibly. My school years were generally working years, I left the stormy periods to my fellow students (laughter). Getting into the Academy of Fine Arts was my dream. They took me the first time and when I started to work under Professor Zdeněk Beran, everything started to be very real (and great), which I was very grateful for and I wanted to make full use of the opportunity.
Where do you get your inspiration?
Basically everywhere around me. I primarily paint animals, which I give human properties, I try to create satirical works. So I don’t have to go far for inspiration (he adds with a laugh).
You recently started, among other things, to work with Beáta Rajská. Your motifs appeared on the dresses from her summer collection.
Working with Beáta is excellent. We got acquainted by chance at a party, after which I approached her. My pictures and the way they are designed attracted her attention so much that she decided to use them for her collection.
What are you working on now?
I’m currently working on images for the automaker Jaguar and planning an exhibition in Paris. And several other interesting projects that I would not like to mention yet.
Which exhibition do you remember most fondly?
That’s hard. But when I think, I suppose it’s the exhibition at the National Gallery, at the Trade Fair Palace. The memories of the exhibition in Miami are good, too. Actually, I only went to America because of my pictures.
Which of your works would you never give up?
There are things I have good memories of. Most of those that I did while I was still in school. I’d never sell them. But I don’t exhibit them any more.
You’re really focused on painting animals.
Yes, I’m best at that. I try to create satirical pictures with an element of humour and exaggeration. Despite the fact that I paint realistically, it’s not directly a form of illusion, so the background is uncertain and empty. The central motif is always a symbol. In a picture everybody can find their own story about how the picture has an effect on them. Which is many times more valuable for me.
Do you like travelling?
Yes, but I have a lot of work right now. So I always disappear for at most ten days.
Are you a hotel type, or are backpacks and tents closer to you?
Lying around in a resort is also great sometimes. But I like travelling with a pack on my back. I was recently in the Tatras with friends. Seven days sleeping outside – we walked the whole Tatra hiking route. The experiences are then often very intensive (laughter). I like to be in the countryside. I love going to Scandinavia, to the Canary Islands, or anywhere there is picturesque landscape not destroyed by people.
What do you regard as your greatest success?
If I should mention something from the recent past - I greatly value my work with Beáta Rajská. And I think it was great to be included in FORBES Magazine’s prestigious “30 under 30” rankings.
What is your credo?
I don’t have a specific one. I want to do what I enjoy doing. Painting fulfils me. When I’m painting pictures, I switch off and rest while I’m doing it. Today, most people don’t produce anything, they make their living with something imaginary. I like the fact that I create tangible objects. I’m happy when somebody buys one of my pictures not as an investment, but because it attracted his attention, he likes it and it makes him happy. That always makes you happy.