Vision Impossible: Capturing the Object of the Sublime

visual art Prague Eva Fajcikova

Historical depictions of heroism, insanity, and even horrifying sickness all have something in common. They each exemplify the wide spectrum of the human mind, and how many artists have attempted to capture it. 

One such artist is Eva Fajcikova {@eva.fajcikova} who debuted her exhibition titled ‘Mirage’ at VNITROBLOCK right in the Art District of Prague. She channeled several common themes such as mental instability, rage, and regal femininity that all seemingly matched into a single narrative. We were lucky enough to have the chance to chat with Eva at her Pragovka studio. 

 

Art of Prague: When we saw ‘Mirage’, your style reminded us of Francis Bacon. In fact, there’s a painting right here in your studio [pictured below] that resembles his portrait of Pope Innocent X.

Eva Fajcikova: Yes, I really like Bacon, especially his portraits. Bacon made several studies like these which are frightening, yet awe-inspiring. This painting of mine is actually not finished yet…so we’ll see!

visual art Prague Eva Fajcikova

Well, it’s a great work-in-progress! We also interpreted some themes in your exhibition like rage, vanity and spirituality. What exactly are you trying to express about humanity?

Actually, what I want to portray are women. If you noticed, they make up the vast majority of my subjects. Throughout history, women have mostly been shown in passive roles. You know the lady sitting on the sofa in my painting Pythia? That’s the typical feminine depiction. She’s passive, beautiful, lying and doing nothing like it’s her only job. With Mirage, I wanted to flip that on its head.
So in contrast to Pythia, Ecstasy of St. Therese shows female nurses in a psychiatric hospital restraining mad women. There is an evil, terrifying aspect to the painting that’s important for me to portray. Usually people don’t want to see women experiencing the full range of emotions…And it’s especially difficult to find in art.
When I paint women they may be beautiful, but they are also bloody, they are destroying something, they are fighting each other. That’s not something many people ever expect to see in art. Even nowadays, people don’t like female boxers because women aren’t supposed to fight. Their role is a nurturing one, but this aspect is not inherent to every single woman.

visual art Prague Eva Fajcikova

You went through a bit of a “purple phase” with Mirage. Why did your paintings center around this hue?

The Tower, my collection before Mirage, was really monochromatic. I used around three total colors on average per painting. This was really maddening because when you create paintings with just a few colors, it becomes repetitive. So I really needed a change.

 

Your artistic journey looks similar to that of Picasso with his blue and rose periods. Have you had any other phases with color?

Actually, my very first phase was way too colorful. Since I have no problem duplicating any color I see, it’s easy for me to go a little crazy. The paintings then seemed too amateur, and a bit naive.
In Europe and the Western world, monochromatics are deemed more sophisticated than colorful things. If you think of the stereotypical artist, architect, or writer, they’re always wearing black. You see, gypsy people use SO much color, but people associate that with kitsch. However, labelling something “kitsch” is nothing more than a learned habit.
But as for me, I probably need to control myself with color [laughing]. I like color a bit too much.

It’s interesting that color was such a primary motivation for this collection because a mirage is defined as something that the eyes can see, but the brain misinterprets and assigns its own meaning to. What do you think of this explanation?

When you read religious texts, you discover accounts of people who have had visions of prophets and angels guiding them. Many of them are given the title of ‘saint’, or are at least held to incredibly high esteem. If you imagine how that is interpreted in modern times, it’s no surprise that society labels people who have visions as sick. We say that they are schizophrenic, hysterical, or just in need of some serious help. In general, we have a problem in our culture with “abnormal” people who are different. We think that the things they see aren’t real. But how can we really know? When we think of the old saints…sure, they may have been a bit mad, but that doesn’t mean that what they saw wasn’t real. So for me, this is the mirage, the illusion that I’m trying to capture in my collection. 

So you’re trying to make a statement about the hidden parts of reality.

Primarily, I aim to paint the object of the Sublime. The Sublime is a very complicated subject with many subliminary categories, and it’s difficult to achieve on a 2D canvas because it’s so abstract. I don’t know if I will ever achieve it, to be honest. However, it is a lifelong journey of mine – similar to reaching enlightenment, in a way. The challenge is that the whole idea behind the Sublime is that it is indescribable, like the holiness of the woman. You can’t paint it, because then it wouldn’t be Sublime. Just like if you knew how to describe a God, then it wouldn’t be a God.


We couldn’t agree more. What about you? Be sure to stop by the Dudes&Barbies gallery at VNITROBLOCK until September 16th to see Mirage for yourself. 

For more information regarding Eva’s current and future exhibitions, visit her website and follow her on Instagram @eva.fajcikova

visual art Prague Eva Fajcikova

 

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