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Vojtěch Kovařík, Mendes Wood DM at Villa Era, Vigliano Biellese, Italy
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For Czech artist, Vojtěch Kovařík, iconography and mythology are fundamental to his work. His large-format, forceful and vividly colored compositions result in impactful paintings that evoke the strength of sculpture. His herculean figures are contorted, seemingly defeated by the frame of the canvas, flaunting their blue, green, and yellow flesh amongst vegetal backgrounds. Kovařík was first trained in ceramics and sculpture and started painting later as an autodidact. This self-taught formation led him to mix oil, acrylic, and spray paint suggesting relief in a plane surface.

Figures from Greek mythology as well as pop culture references appear in Kovařík’s paintings, fully embracing figuration. His interest in Greek mythology comes from its importance in the European cultural collective unconscious but subverts its meaning by reconstructing its most prominent characters. The Hesperides (Nymphs of the Night) become rotund men, Artemis far from her frail archer archetype morphs into an imposing death figure. Conversely, many stereotypically hyper-masculine characters display postures evoking fragility and introspection. Their faces are often blurred (Hakuho, David, Knock-out) or presented as masks (Hermes, Iron Mike, Gladiator), showing their difficulty to claim a firm identity. Goliath is depicted in pink while Prometheus strikes a sensual pose.

Kovařík’s tone sways ambiguously between violence and silliness. His giant, flagrantly flaunting their masculinity become caricatures, ridiculous objects of curiosity. His purposeful exaggeration of human anatomy creates a sense of honesty and naïveté, questioning the traditional notion of physical strength and power.

CV

Educação
Mestrado na Faculty of Arts of the Ostrava University, República Tcheca
Academy of Fine Arts em Varsóvia, Polônia
Bacharelado na Faculty of Arts of the Ostrava University, República Tcheca

Exposições individuais
2020

Mendes Wood DM at Villa Era, Vigliano Biellese, Italy
Hidden Garden, Galerie Derouillon, Paris, França
2019
Capture Hypothesis, The Cabine, Los Angeles, Estados Unidos
Lovers and Fighters, Public Gallery, Londres, Reino Unido
Landscapes of Muscle, Galerie Dukla, Ostrava, República Tcheca
Heaven Hell Paradise, Galerie města Třince, Třinec, República Tcheca
Temple of Doom, Berlínskej Model, Praha, República Tcheca
2018
ARMAGEDDON, Galerie OFF/FORMAT, Brno, República Tcheca

Exposições coletivas
2020

A Very Long Wait, Newchild Gallery, Bélgica
Arco with L21 Gallery, Espanha
Art Rotterdam (Art Fair) with Hero Amsterdam Gallery, Holanda
2019
A Private Matter, LM Gallery, Latina, Itália
A Snake Without A Head Is Just A Rope, Sim Smith, Londres, Reino Unido
Contemporary Visions 2019, Beers Londres Gallery, Londres, Reino Unido
12th Prize of Art Critique for Young Painting, Galerie Kritiků, Praha, República Tcheca
2018
Tales of Talent, Galerie Wolfsen, Aalborg, Dinamarca
2017
Temporary Storeroom - Drawing: Case Study 2, PLATO Ostrava, Ostrava, República Tcheca

Prêmios
2019

Winner of 12th Prize of Art Critique for Young Painting, Galerie Kritiků, Praha, República Tcheca

Residency
2020

The Fores Project, Londres, Reino Unido
2019
L21 Gallery x Camper, Palma, Mallorca, Espanha
La Brea Studio Residency, The Cabin LA, Los Angeles, California

Exposições
Mendes Wood DM at Villa Era
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