From Karlovy Vary
Based in Prague and Horní Štěpanice
Painting runs in Lenka Husáriková's blood, her mother and grandmother are both accomplished painters themselves. Yet she was able to find her own path which led her to the far East - she draws inspiration from the Chinese tradition of tangram and Japanese origami. She creates colorful, figure canvases with emphasis on geometry and spatiality, their detail extending from a visual experience to a conceptual, sensory one.
A: Please, tell us a bit more about yourself. What brought you to art?
L: I was born into art and my whole childhood was characterized by it, so the path has always been set for me (at least I think so). My family is very artistic and I was surrounded by paintings and sculptures daily, whenever I came home from school or visited my grandparents.
I sketched on whatever I found. I started with my brother's stroller, then post-it notes and paper. I ended up at a Folk ArtSchool, then studied painting at another school and then a high school in Český Krumlov that focused on art. What followed was possibly the biggest mistake of my life: I chose to not study at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague. I struggled for years after that.
A: What inspires you the most?
L: I am inspired by everything around me and in me, every day, every hour. As soon as I sit behind a computer or stand by the easel, the art creates itself. At that moment I know exactly what I want and how to achieve it. Sometimes my hands are a bit slow and disturb the stream of self-expression, which is something I have yet to work on.
I have progressed from realism to a geometric almost abstraction. Stepping into absolute abstraction doesn't feel right just yet, I have many answers to find within me, for example how to reach my goal technically and technologically, at the same speed my brain moves.
A: Do you have any specific rituals while working (creating)?
L: Regarding preparation for work, I have different rituals for summer and winter. In summer, when I arrive at my studio in Prague or Štěpanice, I turn on the lights, play some music or a film about art (I often listen to those), make myself a coffee, and sit down. I need a moment to brace myself. I go to my studio as I would go to work, and I know that chaos and lack of organization don't belong in my work process.
In winter I turn the heating on, in Štěpanice I need to clean the stove first. I heat with gas or electricity in Prague, with wood in the mountains. The crackling alone takes me to a higher plane of existence.
I do tangram or make origami and sketch or take photos of what I see when working. I prepare the whole canvas on my computer first, then transfer it to the canvas.
A: What would you recommend to someone new to art (an artist or just anadmirer), what to begin with?
L: I don't do that anymore. I got over it in the 12 years I have spent leading my own studio open to the public. If someone really wants to devote their time to art, they will find their way just like everyone before them. "You want to be an artist? Become one!"
A: Your top 3 adjectives or phrases related to art?
L: Color, idea, and composition.
A: Your favorite Czech artists?
L: I like František Kupka for his color composition, Karel Štědrý for ihs abstract expression, Karolína Jelínková for her harmony of color, and Stanislav Kolíbal for his sense of geometry. But I was most influenced by the work of my grandma, Jindra Husáriková, and Miroslav Peschl who is mentor, friend, and critic. I could talk to him about art for hours.
A: What piece of art do you think embodies the Czech national spirit and culture?Why?
L: That's quite a question. For example, the statue of Saint Wenceslas by J. V. Myslbek on Wenceslas Square. But it was artists like Milan Knížák, František Kupka, Kája Saudek, Toyen, Zrzavý, and many others, who brought our country international recognition.
A: The perfect way to start any conversation about art is: ..?
L: "Hey, check this out. It has a good vibe. Can you feel it?"
A: Where can we meet you?
L: In my studios, either in Prague or Štěpanice in the Krkonoše Mountains.
A: Please, share your favorite motto or idea (not necessarily related to art):
L: I'm not sure if it counts as a motto but I've stuck to this for years: "Leave your workspace in the evening in a state as if you'd never wake up again." And then this motto: "What makes endings beautiful is that something new is beginning."