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AS IS | Anna Jožová

Glass artist

From Prague, Czechia

Based in Prague, Czechia

Anna is an artist that commands glass and porcelain. She likes to experiment with the material and various techniques; her works are often decorated by glass shards or metal rod

A: Please, tell us a bit more about yourself. How did you find your path to art?

AN: The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, as they say. And I didn’t fall far from the occupation of my parents, who studied the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague. As if fate already had its own plan for me, every path led me right into art’s embrace. I initially planned to study sculpture at the Academy, but I became enthralled by glass in the end. I went for a consultation at the Studio of Glass at the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague - made my decision right there!

A: What inspires you the most?

AN: Definitely nature in all its forms, my surroundings and a return to something ancient, visceral. My work of the past two years has still been drawing from my internship in New Zealand and the climate crisis it was related to. In a few weeks I’ll be setting off to far places again, only this time to Israel.

A: Do you have any specific rituals while working (creating)?

AN: Of course, it’s movement! Before I sit down to work, I need to get rid of all that extra energy. Then my brain can go full throttle. Ideally I run in the terrain near the ocean, but what can I say… I have to be more humble here in Vinohrady, Prague. New projects often emerge entirely naturally too, from being present in the glass workshop and in contact with hot glass.

A: What would you recommend to someone new to art (an artist or just an admirer), what to begin with?

AN: To begin under good quality leadership, an authority that will get the right motivation out of them. I couldn’t do without a magical being like that myself. For me personally, I found the leadership of professor Rony Plesl incredible helpful like that. He put me on the right path and now I’ve been walking it myself.

Apart from that, it’s incredibly important to visit good exhibitions and surround yourself by inspiring people, but to follow trends as well. I found experiments with the material detrimental to my development.

A: Your top 3 phrases/words related to art?

AN: Crikey, that’s hard… It’s true that in my beginnings at the Academy, I was taken aback by how the people defending their theses kept dropping one intellectual big word after another. In that moment, I felt like I should probably pack up and go fry chickens at KFC. Luckily I created my own idiosyncratic style of expression later. But these three words I shoot from the hip… Dynamic, untamed, and natural.

A: Do you have favorite Czech artists?

AN: Of course! And they’re great artists! On a personal level I worship Ivan Pinkava whose photographs are a portal into another place, I praise Ondřej Filípek who always surprises me with his stylization of the human body, as well as my great role model Tadeáš Podracký. And recently I have appreciated the work of Anna Ruth and the expressive Ester Parásková.

A: What work of art do you think embodies the Czech national spirit and culture?Why?

AN: Maybe I’m derailing now, but as soon as I processed the question, I thought of the Prague golem! Of course, it’s just a legend, but isn’t it a beautiful idea of this enormous, clay golem walking around Prague, bewildering tourists?

But now for real. For me that would be the extensive relief sculpture from the glass workshops of Libenský & Brychtová at the New Scene of the National Theatre. To me it represents a certain obstinancy and endurance of both artists. The making of it was unbelievably challenging, and yet - it happened! There is a combination of courage, diligence, and determination, that’s what our nation undoubtedly is. But did you know the work was supposed to be illuminated from below? Now that would be something!

A: How do you like to start conversations about art? How can we connect with others through art?

AN: I just thought about how often during exhibitions, it’s expected you will connect with others through the exhibited works. I prefer to start conversations organically, debating general, mundane topics. Often we talk about nothing and everything and eventually talk our way to the artistic topics. After all, talking about your own works is difficult, it’s like trying to expose something deeply personal, a piece of your soul. The best way to connect with others through art is without doubt at openings and wherever people with the same art interests convene. There’s always room for sipping wine and chatting.

A: Where can we meet you most often?

AN: I have a studio in Prague in Vinohrady, but my favorite place to design new works is in an old Academy building, in a room with a view of the Rudolfinum. When I really need to think and focus intensely, I look for places where I can’t meet anyone from the art field. Places you wouldn’t expect. Realizations happen in glass workshops in northern Bohemia.

A: Please, share your favorite thought (not necessarily related to art):

AN: Damn… I can’t think of anything good. Nonetheless, I really like Halina Pawlowská and this quote of hers has proven true to me: “Come late, eat little!”

Thank you!

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