From Pilsen, Czechia
Based in Pilsen, Czechia
We interviewed astounding Marek Uhlíř about his art journey, favorite Czech artists, rituals, his go-to habits while creating, places where you can meet him, and many more
A: Please, tell us a bit more about yourself. What brought you into art?
M: I was born in Pilsen in 1975. I've enjoyed painting ever since I was a kid; when I got a little older, I became intrigued by Salvador Dalí's work, surrealism, and the avant-garde. Eventually, I discovered Andy Warhol and began exploring contemporary art as well. I studied at the Miroslav Ondříček Film Academy in Písek, majoring in animation. I had worked on several films before finding my way back to painting because I realized I prefer individual creation.
A: What inspires you the most?
M: I think my imagination, which I sustain by listening to music and a spiritual understanding of nature, architecture, etc. And seeking out art.
A: Do you have any specific rituals while working(creating)?
M: Usually I create sketches on paper over a period of time, which I later sort through and use to assemble the bigger picture. This way I have a specific idea of the artwork even before I start painting it. I also used to work with geometric grids to assist with sketching. I like to try different techniques of spilling and printing paint. Normally I listen to music while creating.
A: What would you recommend to someone who's new to art (an artist or just an admirer), what to begin with?
M: Either start with the pencil or paint. If you need inspiration, I'd recommend visiting a gallery. In Prague, you might want to check out the National Gallery or the Art Prague fair.
A: Your top 3 adjectives related to the art?
M: Idea, style, technique
A: Could you please share your favorite Czech artists?
M: František Kupka I admire for his geometric abstraction, charged with a sort of cosmic spirituality. Toyen and her surrealism. Alfons Mucha for his perfect style and spiritualism.
A: Which art piece you'd say embodies the Czech national spirit and culture? Why?
M: The Slav Epic by Alfons Mucha - I admire the elaboration, monumentality, charge, patriotism, history. The colossal sacrifice of many years, immense effort, all for the Czech nation from an artist who was already recognized all over the world. Sadly, the Czech Republic never dedicated a gallery to this work; it even used to be abandoned in a cellar somewhere. Luckily the canvases were eventually discovered and finally appreciated.
A: The perfect phrase to start any conversation about art is: ..?
M: Meeting artists at exhibition openings is a great opportunity, talking to the author while standing right in front of their work.
A: Where can we meet you?
M: I create in my studio/flat in Pilsen. I am a member of the Pilsen Artist Union, with whom I plan exhibitions. I would like to participate in the Art Prague fair, where I have already exhibited several times. I am also interested in opportunities abroad, social media, etc.
A: Please, share your favorite quote or idea (not necessarily related to art).
M: Art and painting have a special place in my life and heart. Through art, I share my thoughts, feelings, and joy creating brings me.