INTERVIEW: JIŘÍ STRACHOTA | ITSLIQUID

INTERVIEW: JIŘÍ STRACHOTA

Interviews | June 5, 2023 |

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Image courtesy of Jiří Strachota

Interview:Jiří Strachota
Luca Curci
talks with Jiří Strachota, during VISIONS, third event of CANVAS INTERNATIONAL ART FAIR 2023 held in Venice at Palazzo Albrizzi-Capello.

Jiří Strachota lives and works in Bratislava, Slovakia. Here she also mainly participates in art life, either in collaboration with her fellow artists, art curators, and art historians at symposia and workshops or in collective and individual exhibitions. Usually, she works in oil painting in combination with other materials and in drawing, where she mixes different technics too. She usually creates artwork in open series, on which she works with breaks for several years and to which she returns cyclically. In her works, she often portrays a human journey – a journey of secrets, self-discovery, and lost intimacy – in the series Lost Steps, Other Places, Unknown Face, Stories in Us, etc. In the cycles Anthropocene and Earth of people – Earth without people, she deals with man’s desire to conquer our planet, a desire that borders on its destruction and our self-destruction. The ability, that human society has acquired over the past few centuries. The ability to reshape the landscape to suit their needs on a massive scale, often regardless of the possible consequences. The reshaping of the landscape then changes not only its external appearance but ultimately also the behaviour of the landscape within large areas, which affects our entire planet.

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Image courtesy of Jiří Strachota

Luca Curci – What is art for you?
Jiří Strachota
For me, art is one of the ways in which I communicate with the people around me. With everyone who comes to the exhibition, with everyone who sees my work on the internet. I’m happy when people ask about the content of the work, the form I use and what it means to me. Through art, I try to express my desires and hopes, but also my fears and pains. Internal, intimate, but also public and societal. For me, art represents the search for beauty around us, but also the search for answers to many questions that arise from our existence in society, our existence in the environment in which we live, and our existence in this world.

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Image courtesy of Jiří Strachota

LC – Which subject are you working on?
JS –
I have several pictures painted. Before completion is the “Interview” painting. A dynamic gestural and psychological expression of communication between two close people. I am also working on erotic themes which I would like to send to an art fair in London. I also have work in progress with ecological themes and the theme of the war in Ukraine as a continuation of the art series.

LC – How is your creative process?
JS –
I work in larger units – cycles, to which I return at regular intervals. Usually on several paintings at the same time. I use the techniques of drawing on paper and oil on canvas. I enrich both techniques with other media that do not directly belong to them historically. The basis of the drawing is usually natural and artificial charcoal, and black chalk, into which I intervene with rubber and acrylic. This creates a layered drawing, which I supplement with non-traditional materials such as metallic pigments, ash, steel dust, synthetic asphalt, etc., depending on the content of the drawing. I use a similar principle in some paintings on canvas, where I also supplement oil paints with non-traditional materials. For example in the “Anthropocene” cycle, I go to the depicted places, where I take photo documentation and at the same time collect characteristic earth materials (coal and clay from surface coal mines in Mostecko in northern Bohemia, multicoloured kaolin from kaolin mines in western Bohemia, limescale from an oil refinery, etc..), which I then use after drying and grinding to create parts of the resulting image. This creates combined techniques that physically complete the authenticity of the work.

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Image courtesy of Jiří Strachota

LC – Which art themes do you pursue? What is your preferred subject, if there is any?
JS –
In my works, I focus a lot on ecological topics such as the coexistence of man and the landscape and the devastation of planet Earth. Another area is the digitization of our world. More precisely, the loss of our identity in the multiplied digital display and personal communication of each of us through these media. I also deal with current topics such as the Covid19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine. That is, in a broader context, the unhealthy manipulation of politicians by human society. I don’t have any favourites in the subjects I work on. I return to them cyclically and enrich them with new approaches that I “discovered” while working on previous cycles.

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Image courtesy of Jiří Strachota

LC – Do you use art to express something in particular? Is it your medium of expression?
JS –
In my works, I focus a lot on ecological topics such as the coexistence of man and the landscape and the devastation of planet Earth. Another area is the digitization of our world. More precisely, the loss of our identity in the multiplied digital display and personal communication of each of us through these media. I also deal with current topics such as the Covid19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine. That is, in a broader context, the unhealthy manipulation of politicians by human society. I don’t prefer any of the ones I’m working on. I return to them cyclically and enrich them with new approaches that I “discovered” while working on previous cycles.

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Image courtesy of Jiří Strachota

LC – We were attracted by your last artistic production, has the artwork presented been created for the exhibition or as a part of preexisting works?
JS –
I was invited to participate by the ITSLIQUID group. The works presented at the exhibition were created as part of my artistic cycles and we selected them by mutual agreement. They are works from the cycle “Unknown face”, where I deal with the question of our digital identity, or losing our concrete identities in the digital space.

LC – Do you agree with our vision of art and what do you think about the theme of the exhibition?
JS –
Your vision of art and its presentation is very interesting. It allows artists to present their works in very representative spaces practically all over the world. You thus bring the opportunity to view the works for a wide professional and lay public. The themes of the entire Canvas Venice cycle, both Visions and Mixing identities and Bodies, were extremely interesting. They represent a challenge to cope with for every participating artist.

LC – Did you enjoy cooperating with us?
JS –
Cooperation with you was very interesting. It was a new, very positive experience for me. And I will be very happy if I manage to do it again in future. I will just prepare a little better for it and hope that I will be able to attend the opening as well.

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Image courtesy of Jiří Strachota

LC – What do you think about ITSLIQUID Platform?
JS –
The ITSLIQUID platform is well and interestingly built. I like the possibility of exhibiting in several locations around the world in very beautiful and interesting spaces and in places where there is a high concentration of art institutions and collaboration with art curators and art lovers.

LC – What do you think about the organization of our event?
JS –
This was my first event with ITSLIQUID. I was a little worried about how it would turn out. But I can say, that I was very pleasantly surprised by the organization of the whole event. It was professional, and the communication was fast and accurate, for which I thank Ms. Cafarelli. Unfortunately, I couldn’t attend the opening, but according to the photos, it looked great. Even the delivery of the images went smoothly, despite the initial complications. I also thank Mr Lorenzo from MBE for his willingness and professionalism.

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Image courtesy of Jiří Strachota

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