Interview: Daniel Pešta

Daniel PestaDaniel Pešta, Carmens, 2013. Mixed media

Interview: Daniel Pešta

Daniel Pešta was born in 1959 in Prague. A graduate of the Václav Hollar School of Art, he spent the totalitarian years existing outside of official cultural circles. His primary focus was on drawings, and he worked as a graphic artist. In the 1980s and ’90s, Pešta began applying his poster design techniques – which had always balanced on the boundary to painting – to non-commissioned work. Since the very beginning, he has been working to further develop his artistic style. After returning from his first study trip to New York in 1998, he begins to experiment with a diverse range of materials such as paper, wax, leather, and transparent resin. In terms of subject matter, Pešta’s work frequently touches on political or social issues, but always remains visually concrete. 

Luca Curci When did you start to make art and why?

Daniel Pešta – When I think about it, I never wanted to do anything else in my life but art. In my mind, I have always been in some kind of “visual fantasy”. I can say that my inner mental space has always played out through a visual perception of the world.

Daniel PestaDaniel Pešta, I was born in your bed, 2013. Video still

L. C. Can you talk about your art? Who and what inspires you?

D. P. – My art has always been influenced more by feelings than rationality. This is probably also the reason for my conceptual leanings in both my paintings and especially in my installations. I don’t aim to define myself in any way against tradition. I always use that medium that strikes me as the best suited to the issue at hand. I am interested in the human soul as well as the complexities of society. I am a political person and feel the need to express myself on the events going on around us. We live in a new information age, and I find it impossible to merely sit around “sheltered” in the studio, making art without paying attention to my surroundings. For me, a boundless source of inspiration is man, his strength and vulnerability, eternity and subtlety within abstract space-time.

L. C. What is the best advice you have received as an artist?

D. P. – Always doubt yourself! An egocentric, self-satisfied artist is like an extinct volcano. He doesn’t surprise anymore.

Daniel PestaDaniel Pešta, I was born in your bed, 2013

L. C. What does art mean to you?

D. P. – Each of us has some means of communication. For me, it is visual art. But it is not just about communicating with my surroundings; it also possesses what we call an “existential component”, which is difficult to achieve through words and so I use images.

L. C. What do you think about International ArtExpo?

D. P. – International ArtExpo is the right superfast moment in the right multi-informational place called the World. It is precisely the right model for our era. Plus it has an excellent and attractive graphic design and visuals!

Daniel PestaDaniel Pešta, I was born in your bed, 2013. Video still

L.C. Do you think that International ArtExpo can represent an opportunity for artists?

D. P. – I think that International ArtExpo was made for opportunity. It is incredibly suspenseful to watch today’s possibilities for the movement of information, which spreads at the speed of lightning. What more could an artist want but to present his work through this channel. International ArtExpo has turned our planet into one big amazing gallery!

more. www.danielpesta.com/en/

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