From Prague, Czechia
Based in Prague, Czechia
Matěj Olmer represents the younger generation of Czech contemporary art. He combines graffiti and painting in his works and often draws inspiration form his own poetry. He creates his typically colorful and associative pieces by intuitive work, layering, and collage-like combinations of elements
A: Please, tell us a bit more about yourself. What brought you to art?
M: When I was a child, I used to enjoy flipping through books about art and artist monographs which we had many of at home. I was fascinated by artist biographies, for example, at a fairly young age I read Naked Came I about August Rodin. During my beginning pubescent years I immersed myself entirely in graffiti, in which I synthesised all my previous artistic aspirations. I gradually brought the “classic” graffiti style to what bordered on an unrestrained, almost painterly and drawerly expression. That was the impulse that catalysed the transformation and I began with painting on canvas and other forms of artistic expression.
A: What inspires you the most?
M: The moment of the inner “alignment” with the higher or other dimension of the world, a sort of transcendental trance. At the same time I love natural sciences and humanities across fields.
A: Do you have any specific rituals while working (creating)?
M: Often I need a moment of relaxation and forgetting myself, dissolution of the mind, a special state of the consciousness or its loss. I like to put on audiobooks, music, or podcasts in the background.
A: What would you recommend to someone new to art (an artist or just an admirer), what to begin with?
M: Only through will to creativity. It’s necessary to follow one’s passion and never become tamed at the core of one’s soul.
A: Your top 3 phrases/words related to art?
M: Authenticity, rawness, beauty.
A: Your favorite Czech artists?
M: I’m sure there are many but above all I’d like to mention Master Theodoric. I find Czech painting of High Gothic to remain largely unappreciated.
A: What piece of art do you think embodies the Czech national spirit and culture? Why?
M: You mean like the German Epic?
A: The perfect phrase to start any conversation about art is: …?
M: Conversation about art should be without prejudice and openminded. Too much academism ruins your life.
A: Where can we meet you most often?
M: I like to ride my bike around town. I love the urban landscape, but even more so the “real” one, so nature as a whole. Nature’s interaction with one’s inner world is an eternal source of inspiration.
A: Please, share your favorite quote (not necessarily related to art):
M: ‘“I” is another.’ - Arthur Rimbaud.
‘I don’t pain nature. I am nature.’ - Jackson Pollock.