From Strakonice, South Bohemian region, Czechia
Based in Prague, Czechia
Jitka Petrášová is a jack of all trades - she paints, illustrates, creates graphics, designs clothes, animates, teaches all of the above, and even owns a small publishing house. Her dominant trade, however, is painting on large-scale canvas, where she deals with her personal experiences, often memories of the past. Her handwriting is minimalistic and expressive, full of bright colors, rough brush strokes, and a certain rawness.
A: Please, tell us a bit more about yourself. How did you get into art?
J: It would be easy to say that I was born with a brush in my hand, but that's not the truth. Drawing and painting guided me in my childhood whenever I felt lonely. Living in a small village, that used to happen to me quite often as I was known as the "city kid."
Both my secondary education and university studies were art-oriented. However, how I found my way to Robert Šalanda's class at the Prague Academy of Fine Art, that's a little more complicated. That would be a story for a longer interview.
A: What inspires you the most?
J: Definitely life and the people I am surrounded with. That also includes my pets, of course.
A: Do you have any specific rituals while working (creating)?
J: The whole creative process is a special ritual of mine that I love. I walk my dog in the morning, I make myself breakfast and my favorite tea, play some music, and paint. And I also have to mention good-quality, natural light - that is essential; I never paint with artificial light.
A: What would you recommend to someone new to art (an artist or just an admirer), what to begin with?
J: Apart from the technical advice: forget advice; just be authentic and don't lie. Lies and deceit always come to light in art. In fact, they directly contradict it.
A: Your top 3 words or phrases related to art?
J: I'm not sure if I have anything like that - often I just remain quiet and enjoy myself. There are works of art so good they don't need a commentary (in other words, I stay quiet and simply enjoy). And then there are works that don't even deserve one.
A: Do you have favorite Czech artists?
J: I have many. I love the Czech school of animation: Břetislav Pojar, Karel Zeman, Jan Švankmajer, Jiří Barta, Hermína Týrlová. My favorites among fine artists are František Skála, Josef Váchal, Marie Blaboliová, Kurt Gebauer, Jiří Sopko, Jiří Načeradský, Luboš Plný, Jaroslav Róna, Jiří Šalamoun, Roman Kubička, Ivan Ouhel, Michal Cihlář, and many more. They all have a certain open-mindedness in common, a sense of humor and irony.
A: What piece of art do you think embodies the Czech national spirit and culture? Why?
J: The Monster Landscape by Kurt Gebauer.
A: The perfect way to have a conversation about art is: ...?
J: I feel like I spend way too much time around art as is, so I prefer to have conversations about other topics. I am interested in people and who they are, music and films, ... With my fellow dog-owners, we exchange experiences and if nothing else, we can always just complain about the weather.
A: Where can we meet you?
J: I work at home, my favorite place to be, but I work and think constantly. I simply let myself get inspired by everything that comes into my life and that happens around me.
A: Please, share your favorite quote (not necessarily related to art):
J: I always remember Ivan Wernisch: "Repetition (of anything and infinitely) leads to reality."
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