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AS IS | Filip Švehla


From Prague, Czechia

Based in Prague, Czechia

Filip creates paintings and objects that immediately capture one's attention with their colors and dynamic geometry. Filip's artist handwriting is the result of his interest in light and its behavior, and architecture and its forms, especially those marked by time or natural elements

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

F: My first point of contact with art was graffiti which made the housing development where I grew up, otherwise very monotonous, special. With my interest in visuals, I later started going to an after-school art class where I became immersed in painting and gradually decided to do art professionally. Later, thanks to my studies at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague, I adopted the challenging habit of constant and consistent work and found my preferred way of expression - abstract painting - that I’ve been devoting my work to in the past couple of years.

A: What inspires you the most?

F: I consider it essential to retain open-mindedness and sensitivity because literally, anything can be a source of inspiration. In my paintings I often draw from the process of painting itself - one canvas brings up formal questions I attempt to tackle in the next - so my source of inspiration is the painting itself. However, I often encounter the key stimuli on my travels, for example to oriental lands that have enchanted me with their agitating sensualism. Observing light and architecture also contributes a great deal.

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

F: My main ritual is regular work at my studio. Even if it’s just for a short moment or if I just come up with a couple of sketches, it’s important to remain in the creative head space.

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

F: Most importantly to not lose enthusiasm and not rush things. I also believe it significant to have an encompassing overview of the art history and to “consume” and try to understand as many pieces of art as possible.

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

F: I don’t think I have any but for me, a work of art is generally a medium that allows me to see something and to see it better than I am normally used to, which is why, when describing an artwork, I tend to focus on understanding what it can show and reveal to me.

A: Your favorite Czech artists?

F: From the historical ones, I’ve always liked Zdeněk Sýkora for his modernistic approach to painting and Jiří John for the subtle tension in his canvases and his work with composition. From the younger artists, I’ve been intrigued by Ondřej Boušek’s work, mainly for his idiosyncratic and focused attitude to work. The originality of his approach and his unending patience for the realization of his ideas is very refreshing to me.

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

F: It’s probably a simplification but for me, that would be Jan Preisler’s Black Lake. Its color scheme, themes, and overall atmosphere sum up some of the dominant motifs of Czech art. Also, Czechoslovak films of the 60s new wave.

A: How can we connect with others through art?

F: By visiting exhibitions and artist studios.

A: Where can we meet you most often?

F: For the last few years my studio has been a part of the Lieben Art Contemporary community. I have become very fond of the space for its lighting which is very important to me and especially for the opportunity to meet my fellow artists on a daily basis. I also like to go on longer or shorter trips abroad which allow me to work and collect stimuli from a new perspective. Right now I am preparing for residence in New York this autumn.

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

F: The one idea that has stuck in my mind the most is by Jiří Sopko, who, during my time at the Academy, would often say that a good work of art is the one that pushes us to come back to it repeatedly and keep finding new things in it.

Thank you!

For more: IG


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