Interview: Daniel Pešta

Interview: Daniel PeštaImage courtesy of Daniel Pešta

Interview: Daniel Pešta

Luca Curci talks with artist Daniel Pešta during BODIES+CITIES SKIN exhibition in Venice on May 2016. Born in Prague and graduate at the Václav Hollar School of Art, Daniel Pešta’s primary focus was on drawings. At first he studied the figure and gave shape to its vulnerability, then he worked with portraits in which he focused on expression. Over time, his works became more abstract: he reduced their colors and began to approach the essence of his visual style. Experimenting with a diverse range of materials such as paper, wax, leather, and transparent resin, he came closer to the complicated nature of the human soul.

 

Interview: Daniel PeštaImage courtesy of Daniel Pešta

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Luca Curci – We were attracted by your last artistic production, has the artwork presented been created for the festival or is it a part of preexisting works?

Daniel Pešta – Firstly, I would like to thank you for your continuous interest in my work, which pleases every artist. The presentation of my artworks varies, some of them are presented for the very first time on the occasion of festivals, such as Bodies + Cities Skin, some of them have already been presented as a part of another exhibition project. In both cases, I always try to make the art function in the given situation meaningfully in the context of my concept.

L.C. – Please tell me what are you working at right now…

D.P. – At present, we opened my new exhibition entitled “Nocturnal Head Records” in the architectonically extraordinary White Gallery, designed and realized by the collector Martin Janda in Litomyšl, which is a beautiful historical city in the Czech Republic, listed among the UNESCO monuments. Besides works that I have already presented on the occasion of last year’s Venice Biennale, I exhibited new artworks in the White Gallery as video art Annunciation, new large scale painting Membrane, several new objects and sculptures from white bee wax, also thematically connected to the concept of birth. Apart of this, I am continuously working on a new cycle of large scale paintings and video arts under a common title “Screams” within which I spontaneously react on dramatic politically-social impulses, such as terrorist attacks, migration crisis consequences, Ukraine war and so on. As a person who has lived in a totalitarian system for a half of my life, I believe it is necessary to appeal to the new dangers that tangibly surround us once again.

 

Interview: Daniel PeštaImage courtesy of Daniel Pešta

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L.C. – What is art for you?

D.P. – Art is a communication mean for me. I think the significance of art is still irreplaceable, maybe even more than it used to be, especially in the current media-based times, when many thinks become ephemeral already in its beginning. Art stays as a permanent value, as a testimony, as a comprehensible language with no boundaries.

L.C. – What’s your background? What is the experience that has influenced your work the most?

D.P. – My biggest security in life is my family, my wife, all of our children, my friends and of course my oeuvre, that is an essential part of my being. Influence by other artistic tendencies does not touch me that much anymore, but as a young artist I also used to have my artistic role models that influenced my work. However, I am influenced by the concern of our future, unstable politics, social injustice, violence, ecology… all this alarm me greatly and more and more strongly than for example any form of expression.

 

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L.C. – What role does the artist have in society? And the art?

D.P. – Artists and art serve as a litmus paper of the society, as a phenomenon that is free in its nature and therefore dangerous in totalitarian systems. Free art is an irreplaceable pillar of democracy. If there was word in the beginning of everything, then a part of it must have been an image and a sound as well!!!

L.C. – What is your creative process like?

D.P. – My creative process usually starts as a subtle drawing on a small paper. I decide some of these drawings to be viable later on and I elaborate them into a specific artwork.
I am an “atelier” type of artist. I need silence and the solitude of my space. This is the only place where I can concentrate on my work.
On the contrary I absolutely can’t concentrate in plein air, the nature disturbs me by its beauty. It is too intense for me, too pure. I don’t feel the need to comment it or to try to depict it, I want to live it. Also, so many great artists have already depicted it so perfectly in the past, that I consider this chapter closed.

 

Interview: Daniel PeštaImage courtesy of Daniel Pešta

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L.C. – What do you think about It’s LIQUID platform?

D.P. – I have been collaborating with It’s LIQUID group for many years, moreover its founder Luca Curci is a great friend of mine and I always look forward to meet him again!
I think It’s LIQUID platform connects everything I mentioned before. Current top-class art, fast information that becomes irreplaceable thanks to high quality selection and amazing realization. It’s LIQUID already ranks among perennial starts of the worldwide visual arts!

L.C. – What do you think about our organization of the event?

D.P. – I know from my own experience very well, that It’s LIQUID is the absolute peak not only by the selection of themes, background and artists, but also by a great organization of all the projects I took part in and I hope to take part in the future.

 

 

more. danielpesta.com

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