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AS IS | Dominika Petrtýlová


From Jičín, Hradec Králové region, Czechia

Based in Prague, Czechia

Dominika is a glass maker and a glass painter whose forte is vases, although she creates all kinds of objects. She makes her pieces all by herself before painting on them, allowing her to be present for the entirety of the creation process. She draws inspiration from the urban landscape and pop culture, putting a uniquely characteristic, refreshing, and modern spin on the Czech glassmaking tradition

A: Please, tell us a bit more about yourself. What brought you to art?

D: I already knew I wanted to make art when I was still a child. I don’t come from an artistic family so I’m not sure where it came, but I just accepted it as it was. I would constantly paint and draw and hoped to study traditional painting at a secondary school in Prague. But my parents were worried about me and refused to let me move, I guess they thought Prague would be too much for my fifteen-year-old self.

So I started studying a glassmaking school that was the closest to my hometown. I studied painting on glass. At first I hated it, it was as different from traditional oil painting as it gets, but I eventually realised how amazing the craft I was learning is and I immersed myself fully into it while I was still a student. There, my love for glass originated. I knew I wanted to study glass at the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague under Rony Plesl but before I was finally accepted, I managed to get a degree in graphic design at the Hradec Králové University. I learned a lot about art at the Academy, and found the beginning of my artistic journey, a path I am still walking even as an alumnus.

A: What inspires you the most?

D: My immediate surroundings, no matter where I am. I find the city inspires me more than nature, but most of all, I am inspired by nature in the city - greenhouses, orangeries, fountains with fish, baroque gardens, random flowers and animals living in the city center.

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

D: That’s something I am currently trying to learn; I observe which conditions help me be more creative and which less. I’ve come up with some tips for myself, though I’m not always able to apply them. Nonetheless, I am most creative when my mind is relaxed and I have time to observe my surroundings.

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

D: It’s a cliché, but I’d recommend to listen to your heart. Do what you love, even if you or the people around you consider it banal or not good enough.

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

D: Again, horrible clichés! Those phrases are: “It’s authentic.” “It’s disturbing.” “It’s powerful.” I use them when talking about good art.

A: Your favorite Czech artists?

D: Contemporary or historical? There really are too many, I don’t want to list them all because I am captivated by someone new all the time - sometimes it’s a living artist, sometimes a baroque or gothic one, etc. It depends on my current mind space, but I am impressed by everything authentic, real.

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

D: Probably the paintings of Josef Lada and Josef Čapek, or objects by Milan Knížák, Krištof Kintera, and Vendula Chalánková, and the artistic endeavours of the Ztohoven group. Everything that has a character, for the people, maybe a little rough and unrefined, with a sense of humor and hints of vagabondism, and everything that plays with the laws of absurdly funny situations.

A: The perfect phrase to start any conversation about art is: …?

D: I’m not sure if I understand the question correctly, but I don’t really start conversations about art, they either happen or they don’t. I don’t even know how to connect with others but I believe that if you create a work of art that is honest, it will speak to someone for sure, it wil connect you with them.

A: Where can we meet you most often?

D: That’s unpredictable, I like to wander around the Prague cafés but most often you can find me thinking in my flat on Letná, Prague.

A: Please, share your favorite quote or idea (not necessarily related to art):

D: Be honest with yourself and do what you find rewarding.

Thank you!

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