From Boskovice, South Moravia region, Czechia
Based in Prague, Czechia
Magdaléna Roztočilová is an artist-chameleon: her portfolio includes painting, sculpture, installation, and art in the public space; created from all kinds of materials, using all kinds of techniques. Her works are delicate, usually figural, yet there is an air of ambiguity and the unknown around them, adding an almost disturbing edge to them.
Vessel NO.1, 2021, ceramics, 70x40x40 cm
A: Please, tell us a bit more about yourself. What brought you to art?
M: I don't come from an art-oriented family, nor did I grow up around any artists, but my hometown has quite a rich historical and cultural heritage, Jewish and Christian, and I've always been receptive to those influences subconsciously. I also used to visit Vienna often with my family which is near and offers heaps of inspiration.
A: What inspires you the most?
M: I guess I'd call it my "inner world." The greatest resource of artistic expression is the uniqueness of our inner life, the unique way each of us sees the world. Art has its own distinctive language every artist contributes to through their uniqueness.
A: Do you have any specific rituals while working (creating)?
M: Quiet. I have two children, meaning that everything is a little more difficult for me and the more I realize how much I value those moments of peace and focus. Being organized, preparing my workspace, set aside time and space for work.
A: What would you recommend to someone new to art (an artist or just an admirer), what to begin with?
M: The most formative moment for me in this sense was realizing that you need to choose one direction and only work with that, immerse yourself in it. Until then, the scope of my visual expression was very wide - I painted, created textile objects, and sculptures using all kinds of techniques - and concentrating in just one direction helped me grow the most and the fastest in the end.
A: Your top 3 words or phrases related to art?
M: Art is a language of its own. However, I feel like this perspective is often overlooked in contemporary discourse. Some categories, such as conceptual art, sometimes want to avoid debate about the visual form, but I think admitting that art has its own language and often doesn't even need an explanation, is essential. Sometimes when an artist attempts to describe their work using their own words, it can be misleading.
A: Your favorite Czech artists?
M: I enjoy art a lot and try to follow the contemporary art scene. Whether it's old masters which are quite rare in Czechia, such as Kupka or Preissig, or the newer artists, which I enjoy quite a few of. Although I have no time-defined boundaries in this sense. Often, when I see works of artists much younger than me, I can still find things in them that absolutely fascinate me. From the contemporary artists, I enjoy for example Dan Vlček's work, who's a painter. I often seem to like forms of expression which are entirely opposite to the one I choose for myself.
A: Is there a piece of art that embodies the Czech national spirit and culture?Why?
M: The Slav Epic. It's a versatile work, beautiful and magnificent. It has its place on the global scene, yet there is something classically Czech about its story. We just can't seem to accept this heritage and take care of it properly.
A: The perfect phrase to start conversation about art? How to connect with others through art?
M: I think it's important to give space to the audience whom I, as an artist, see as my co-author. Only when the dialogue between the artwork and the person observing it happens is the artwork's purpose fulfilled.
A: Where can we meet you?
M: I am a founding member of the artist studio Prám which is my default platform where I have my studio and where I spend most of my time. Most of my works are created there. At the same time, the older I get, the more I appreciate the café space and ambiance, where you sit with a cup of good coffee, converse about things from a new perspective, and reflect on your work and the work of others.
A: Is there any quote or idea that has guided you in your work and/or life?
M: At the moment, because it changes depending on the stage of life I am in, it's the concept of "right now." I am not someone who could be bound by a motto or a quote, that's not close to my heart, but if I had to define it, it would be the magic of the present moment which is my only reality. Chasing the future might disappoint me and dreamily reminiscing about the past leads one to think that they're not doing anything as everything has already been done. This is why "right now" is my strongest moment.