From Havlíčkův Brod, Vysočina region, Czechia
Based in Prague, Czechia
Petr Gruber creates charming canvases that immediately grab attention with their treatment of color - playful, surreal, and dreamy. Another defining element of his style is the constant interplay between the concrete and the abstract - despite painting landscapes, he reduces their shapes to near abstraction, resulting in an otherworldly, almost filtered feel.
A: Please, tell us a bit more about yourself. What brought you to art?
P: I always wanted to paint. Ever since I was a child, I have been enchanted by the romanticism of being an artist and I'd dreamed of becoming a professional. I started painting despite not getting into the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague.
A: What inspires you the most?
P: Mostly music. I am inspired, for example, by the beginning of a song or when I hear music in a film. I also go to nature, especially to the mountains.
A: Do you have any specific rituals while working (creating)?
P: Yes, I have. When I come to the studio, I close the windows and make myself a cup of coffee. Then I sit for half an hour before I start doing anything, just listening to music and watching YouTube. Sometimes I take a break and go for a swim in the swimming pool.
A: What would you recommend to someone new to art (an artist or just an admirer), what to begin with?
P: Be enthusiastic about one idea. Eventually, one gets to other artworks and things start to come together, but the desire to create a work of art that shakes a person is paramount. Of course it can also be a video, a sculpture, or a performance.
A: Your Top 3 adjectives related to art?
P: Expensive, beautiful, necessary.
A: Your favorite Czech artists?
P: Igor Korpaczewski, Václav Bartovský, Rudolf Kremlička, Vladimír Véla, Jan Merta.
A: What piece of art do you think embodies the Czech national spirit and culture? Why?
P: I would choose from literature, the work of Bohumil Hrabal. I think the national spirit is there. It's hard to say who I would pick from contemporary artists because it seems to me that no one cares about portraying the national spirit in art. Perhaps it the work of the conceptual artist Kateřina Šedá.
A: The perfect way to start any conversation about art is: ...?
P: At the pub.
A: Where can we meet you?
P: I live and work in Prague. I often go to my studio in Albertov, Prague. Next year in January I am going to have a big solo exhibition at The Chemistry Gallery in Prague and this year I will have two joint exhibitions. The first will be in the Austrian Cultural Forum in Prague and the second in Dobrš.
A: Please, share your favorite quote (not necessarily related to art)
P: Think of your lucky star.