From Valašské Meziříčí, Zlín region, Czechia
Based in Bergamo, Italy
Renata Machýčková works primarily with paper, using a cutting knife to cut intricate shapes she then molds and shapes, making them rise from the two-dimensional surface. Renata's works are detailed, neat, and delicate, asking to be touched, yet hiding undertones of destruction and vulnerability in their sharp edges.
A: Please, tell us a bit more about yourself. What brought you to art?
R: Art has been with me my whole life, it's a natural part of myself. Searching for my life's purpose and finding my way to art came to me instinctively.
A: What inspires you the most?
R: At the beginning of the process I let the workflow guide me. I am interested in the process, not a specific nameable concept. The inspiration and direction are often only revealed during the process. It's a harmony, bordering on a physical experience, where I attempt to extract a specific detail that I obsessively repeat in the final artwork.
A: Do you have any specific rituals while working (creating)?
R: I create my paper works exclusively at home where I am surrounded by children and daily-life responsibilities. Despite that, it's a setting characterized by a certain peace and balance where I am not limited in any way. At the same time I need variety in my work dynamic; in that case, I leave to go to my studio where I am freer to experiment and find new approaches.
A: What would you recommend to someone new to art (an artist or just an admirer)? What to begin with?
R: I remember the catchphrase my secondary school teacher would always repeat; that the foundation of artistic success is above all every day, constant hard work rather than talent, which is just a precondition.
A: Your top 3 words or phrases related to art?
R: Authenticity, power, inner resonance. Those are the basic elements I need to see in every piece of art.
A: Your favorite Czech artists?
R: From the contemporary young artists I appreciate the work of Hana Garová's, a painter who I find is one of the few who represent the true essence of painting. All her pieces have profound power. During her work process, she destroys and paints over her paintings to a point of illegibility, yet she manages to maintain her own form and character. I also admire the craftsmanship of Anna Hulačová whose installations always immerse me.
A: What piece of art do you think embodies the Czech national spirit and culture?Why?
R: At the moment it's sadly the empty Czech pavilion at the Venice Biennale, aptly reflecting the Czech mentality.
A: How do you like to connect with others through art?
R: In this age ruled by social media, connecting with others is very easy. I often approach unknown artists whose work impresses me enough to initiate a conversation.
A: Where can we meet you?
R: I live in Bergamo where I spend most of my time and where I create my paper works. I recently moved my studio outside the city, coincidentally to a former paper factory. I return to my home region of Wallachia, which I've been drawing from in my work lately.
A: Is there any quote or idea that has guided you in your work and/or life?
R: Probably not letting myself be intimidated by the pressure of our time and the social media trends which don't influence only artists, but instead trust my own opinion and constantly work on myself.