Graffiti writer, street artist, designer
From Olomouc, Olomouc region
Based in Olomouc, Olomouc region
Tomáš Junker's discipline may be a little unusual - under the name Pauser, he creates graffiti artworks. His artworks decorate many cities, both in Czechia and abroad. His work is easily recognisable: it's full of colors, symbols, and hidden meanings.
A: Please, tell us a bit more about yourself. What brought you to art?
P: Following the Velvet Revolution of 1989, I became aware of the influences coming from the West. I would watch MTV; Michael Jackson topped the charts at the time and I saw graffiti for the first time in the music videos for Bad and The Way You Make Me Feel. It was such a tiny nudge, but it greatly influenced the path I decided to take, as a graffiti writer. I focused on clothing design in secondary school and university, all while continuing to create graffiti.
In the past, my work was informed by the rhythm of the funk, disco, and groovy atmosphere of the 80s. These days, it’s more concerned with modern technologies and augmented reality. Despite the digital revolution I try to maintain a style packed with colors, geometrical shapes, hidden symbols, and graffiti.
A: What inspires you the most?
P: I am inspired by my life and experience, my relationship with music and nature (mainly the ocean and its fauna). From this stems my opposition to consumerism and the devastation of natural resources. I enjoy exploring contrast and hidden symbolism. Apart from crypto and music, I find inspiration in dreams or new technologies.
A: Do you have any specific rituals while working (creating)?
P: I have adopted a specific workflow that I have been trying to improve, simplify, and enhance. I have replaced paper with an iPad pro and an Apple pencil. It’s a universal tool for every designer. I use technologies that work with augmented reality to reveal the hidden content of my works.
My ritual is staying faithful to spray paint. That’s something I have stuck to and is an essential part of my work. All my pieces are made using spray paint in combination with acrylic or oil paint.
A: What would you recommend to someone new to art (an artist or just an admirer),what to begin with?
P: I believe practice is essential. Whether you’re naturally talented or not, you need to train in drawing and painting. Try new techniques, colors, and compositions; search for your own path. Ideally, find your own style that will feel right and stick to it.
A: Your top 3 adjectives or phrases related to art?
P: I don’t think three words or phrases can sum up art. Art is a complex matter for me and tends to bring more questions than answers.
A: Your favorite Czech artists?
P: Since I work in the graffiti community, I am in a bit of a bubble and only follow people who do graffiti as well or have emerged from the community. In Czechia that would be Pasta, Michal Škapa, Jan Kaláb, Masker, or Chemis. From artists outside of the community I like Adéla Jánská.
A: What piece of art do you think embodies the Czech national spirit and culture?Why?
P: I don’t think there is one right answer to this - each generation has an artist who represents it artistically. My generation had the artists I mentioned above, together with the work of David Černý. His pink tank symbolizes the end of the communist era. The previous generations had artists such as Alphonse Mucha, the Čapek brothers, or František Kupka.
A: The perfect way to start any conversation about art is: ..?
P: The best conversations about art are had while standing right in front of it. The point is more than simply deciding whether you like it or not, it is to understand the purpose and meaning of the piece itself. The best way is to talk directly to the artist or curator. Personally, I connect through art through augmented reality, by setting into motion a specific element, symbol, or part of the painting to tell a story or make a point.
A: Where can we meet you?
P: I spend most of my time in my studio in Olomouc where I work. Apart from that, I travel around the world a lot and, if possible, work there, too. One of my favorite experiences was working while traveling in Provence, close to Cázanne’s mountain Saint-Victoire.
A: Please, share your favorite quote or idea (not necessarily related to art):
P: I am not one for mottos but I don’t like when people say they can’t do something. I often answer: “Then learn to.”