How many contemporary Czech artists does the cultural public have good information about? One percent? Or even less? Hard to say. In other words, we know nothing about many of those who embrace creative passion. When they do not exhibit, when they do not have friends among theorists, critics and publicists, they are in the studios like behind the castle walls. The state and private media ignore almost all visual artists. Even those who have high credit in a professional environment.
The painter (also poet) Zdeněk Píža (born in 1955) is an orthodox surrealist. Very little is written about this, but it is not entirely unknown to artists. For Píza, a good platform from which his name appears in exhibition prints and newspaper articles is the environment around the surrealist group Stir up. Since its inception since 1995 it has been a member. And the publicity around Stir up is still visibly wider than the publicity of the artists themselves.
He studied painting under Václav Pajurek. From the late 1970s he worked as an advertising designer. He has participated in a number of group exhibitions and presented his work at Stir Group exhibitions abroad. In the last decade his works have been presented at international exhibitions of contemporary Surrealism in Portugal, Chile and Costa Rica. He is represented in the anthology of contemporary Czech surrealist poetry Flight to Night. He is the author of The Game of Dreams, poems bibliophiles The Walled Trumpeter (with his own illustrations), Copper Wasp and others.
THE ONLY REAL VALUE IS ORIGINALITY
From the text by Václav Pajurek on the exhibition Píža in the historical Moravian town of Frenštát pod Radhoštěm.
The painting and literary work of Zdeněk Píža is a lone cry of protests against the assassination attack of mundaneity, banality and mental marassism. It is a specific kind of catharsis in the current crisis of values. In a time of postmodern noncritical adoration of past avant-garde achievements and shameful copying and robbing, and as a result of diluting long-discovered truths, originality is the only true value.
The original approach is essential for Zdeněk Píza. It is therefore of great importance. Of course, he solves known facts in a new way. It is always a challenge to find unusual concepts of a higher, surrealistic stage of one's existence and understanding of the world. A typical form of Pížov's expression is the intensity of the internal tension. It often has the character of painterly clashes of fine and monochromatic cylinders with distinctive structures. He does not hesitate to work with so-called indirect art techniques such as collage, decal and the like with this method.
SURREALISM IS A WORLD WITH INFINITE SPACE | A small interview with Zdeněk Píža
JD | The viewer perceiving your paintings enters the world of paintings with rich shapes and captivating colors. Your distinctive drawing ability is always essential. They say it's a gift of talent. Who does not have it in the drawing still struggles for form.
ZP | Leonardo da Vinci said that talent was only three percent of his work. The rest is a constant effort of good craftsmanship, endless inspiration nourished by a lifelong study and sensitivity of the artist to his surroundings. I'm a type of painter, but the drawing is of course alpha and omega. On it stand the composition and other essentials. But I am more interested in playing with color, with its rollers, spums and sometimes sophisticated interplay of lights and shadows that will eventually lead to impressive creations.
JD | In your youth you were intrigued by surrealism. You were a member of Karel Teige´s society and since the mid-1990s you have been part of the surrealist group Stir Up. Surrealism originated in 1919. How has it changed in the long term?
ZP | It remains essentially unchanged. A century ago he opened a world with infinite space. In this world it is possible to walk for hours and days, experience incredible stories, meet people and things of wonderful shapes and qualities. Even today, it is a peculiarity of Surrealism to see the world around you through the eyes of a miracle. To resort to a fantasy world.
JD | Vaclav Pajurek wrote that your work with light is esoteric in nature, contains secrets, allows for various interpretations.
ZP | I prefer a veristic approach to painting where central and transparent surface transitions are central elements. I'm painting with oil painting. It is a lengthy and close process. Some oil paintings still complement the relief structure to gain a different charge. In the pictures I like secrets. It provides space for audience associations. For many years I have been studying mysticism and sectarianism, which I use extensively in my work.
Agulha Revista de Cultura
UMA AGULHA NO MUNDO INTEIRO
Número 149 | Janeiro de 2020
Artista convidado: Lubomír Kerndl (República Checa, 1954)
Editor convidado: Jan Dočekal
Número especial dedicado ao Surrealismo na República Checa
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