Vojtěch Horálek, Sun Spa, 2019

Curator: Linda K. Sedláková, introductory word and text for the exhibition Tereza Nováková
Venue: Galerie Kritiků, Palác Adria, Jungmannovo náměstí, Praha
Dates: 17. 4. - 12. 5. 2019
Contact: www.gemagalerie.cz  www.galeriekritiku.cz


The exhibition presents the latest work of Vojtěch Horálek, which combines the theme of the sun and water. "Tiny paintings with the theme of bathers and sunbathing nudes evoke an apparent feeling of complete well-being and the certainty that everything is in the best order. Unfortunately, this is not the case in all layers of light. ”The opposite is the scenic images associated with the fascination with the universe and the mysterious scientific discoveries found in another space-time. Why the summer recreational activities, such as games, gardening, sunbathing and soulless hanging out, are horrified and the uncertainty about what comes next, we will realize later, is hidden in the next layer of work. Their monumental, often half-naked bodies and depicted details of machines or animals seem mechanical and helpless or carefree naive with their stylization. The visuality of the work and its formal elaboration confidently irritate us and show the ubiquitous threat. In the case of Vojtěch Horálek, this formulation of ideas of plot works about the post-apocalyptic future is not a sudden realization of the catastrophic influence of man and technology on nature related to current trends in Czech and foreign contemporary art, but a long-term interest expressed by a very special artistic expression. For a long time, he has been more interested in the downstream currents or subcultures of contemporary Czech and Central European society and is sensitive to stereotypes and differences in societies (European, Euro-Atlantic, Eurasian). Here we find a multifaceted work filled with the mystery, adventure and exoticism of other and non-human parts.

Vojtěch Horálek gets to the topic of traveling to distant places, non-human civilization and imaginary travel through the fascination with Czech nature or the open landscape, which he traveled following the example of romantic artists with painting tools on his back and passing a mythical "initiation into the craft of painting". His life becomes a work and vice versa, but behind the seemingly naive formal manifestations we can see a thoughtful reflection of Czech diy, tramping in combination with iconic scenes from contemporary global pop culture (movies, clips, etc.). It creates the so-called everyday exoticism, an adventure we control experienced in the safety of our home, and thanks to developed mythological stories, it allows us to experience the fantasy world, but with a taste of everyday embarrassment, insensitivity or hypocrisy. His work must therefore be interpreted using complex, often even old-fashioned iconography and knowledge of myths. However, it must be borne in mind that Vojtěch's work, always full of various sources of inspiration and the author's imagination, which is deftly created from layers of various cultural phenomena, is also filled with humor, parody and irony of everyday life. In his work, Horálek also examines animal iconography, the semi-human and its metamorphosis, human traits, stereotypes in Euro-Atlantic society in the acceptance of races and, finally, interpersonal relationships in general and in specific "crisis" situations. There is a sub-theme of equality, voyeurism, threats to ideologies and loss of values.

Vojtěch's artistic language of expression is a medium of painting with strong drawing tendencies, which he applies especially in large-format paintings. However, he does not suffice with classical formats and surface painting, but he emerges into space and his paintings are rather original objects, but always with a partial utilitarian function. It arrives at a variety of non-traditional formats, 3D spaces, sewn textile paintings, swatches and light scenery from wood, glass, plexiglass, PVC and light bulbs. It combines found and cheap materials and so the recycling of materials for Vojtěch becomes such a natural starting point for creation that we do not even realize the ironic subtext and reference to the Czech visual culture of the normalization period.

Vojtěch Horálek graduated from Michael Rittstein's painting studio at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague. In addition, the author has long worked as an assistant professor at the Prague DAMU at the Department of Alternative and Puppet Theater, so it is no wonder that he also works naturally with stage, narrative and performance. Images-objects are often created in cycles or create additional compositions from them through spatial relationships. He lets various opposites of thought, as well as forms and various materials, and uses collage and assemblage.