An important representative of modern recycled pop art. Fashion designer, draftsman and painter. Living and creating in Prague.The crucial event that changed her life was the birth of her son. Unfortunately, after the birth, she went through a postpartum depression, and to get out of it, she started painting large canvas and making big exhibitions. In respect to art, she was greatly influenced by Tamara de Lempicka, Jean Michelle Basquiat and Andy Warhol.
Hello Vendula, welcome and thank you for agreeing to this interview. Looking at your Instagram account, it is easy to see that your art seems to have a very personal touch. It almost seems like it has autobiographical features, almost like a novel. I am happy that we will learn more about you, your live and art.
LSA: When does your artistic story actually begin?
Vendula:I think that my artistic career started in childhood. Then it was mostly fashion designs. I studied at the School of Arts & Crafts and Clothing School and then later at the university – the field of fashion designer. I left school, at that time I found it more interesting to travel and paint graffiti.
LSA: Which people and events have impressed you the most?
Vendula:There are a lot of people and events that have affected me. But probably my mother most, she always supported me in everything I wanted to do and taught me to fight and pursue my goals despite the obstacles that I have to say were and probably were very difficult. The crucial event that changed my life was the birth of my son. Unfortunately, after the birth, I went through a postpartum depression, and to get out of it, I started painting large canvas and making big exhibitions.
In respect to art, I was greatly influenced by Tamara de Lempicka, Jean Michelle Basquiat and Andy Warhol.
LSA: How are these people and events reflected in your art?
Vendula: As I already mentioned, my mom taught me to fight for the things I want to do. My son has been a great inspiration to me since his birth and especially he is an incredible engine that keeps me afloat. For me, Tamara de Lempicka is a woman in art, who painted for a selected society, rich people and proved that even a woman can be wanted and sought after by her art.I enjoy Jean Michelle Basquiat for the fact that he lived on the streets and became a famous and respected artist overnight. He was cheeky and when he didn’t want to talk to someone, he didn’t talk to him. He painted only in a suit from Armani and did only what he wanted. Andy Warhol’s paintings did not appeal to me as much as his drawings, but especially the fact that he managed to have an art factory and I have the same goal.
LSA: What is the purpose of art and artistic expression for you?
Vendula: Art is self-expression to me, recording my life through composition (creation). I believe that in my case it is a mission. I also believe that I can be an inspiration to others.
LSA: You use a variety of means and media. Among other things, you use elements of pop art. Why is this form of expression so important for you?
Vendula: Yes, my work is based on pop art. I started on the street; I painted graffiti and characters that expressed me. But the main reason I chose pop art is to get it among all people!
LSA: In many places in your work, you present yourself as a quotation of your art, so that there is a direct connection between you and your work. I’m thinking of your Bugs Bunny series, for example. How did this connection come about?
Vendula: The Bugs Bunny and Lola series are inspired by me and my lover. It’s actually the two of us. He was a ferryman in my difficult time when my family fell apart.
LSA: Such a direct reference to your person, especially with regard to sexuality, takes a lot of courage. I’m sure you’re aware of that. Why do you take this risk?
Vendula: : Yes, as I already mentioned, what I paint is actually what I live. In each period, I choose characters who can represent me in my paintings in some way. The Bugs Bunny series is about living in a marriage that wasn’t too happy at the end and I found a lover who I fell in love with and the rabbits were actually the two of us.
LSA: Sexuality is in the foreground in many places in your works and in your personal examination of your life and art. The corresponding allusions are sometimes very clear. What moves you to do this?
Vendula: I don’t know if it’s a risk, but it’s part of my life. Despite the fact that it is an inexhaustible well of inspiration!
LSA: It seems to me that you clearly distance yourself from chauvinistic principles and adopt a rather feminist attitude in dealing with sexuality. Can you tell our readers something about this?
Vendula: For me, good sex is a great inspiration. Inexhaustible inspiration. It’s a part of our lives, people just don’t talk about it or I don’t paint it on canvas! Men think that when I paint such things and I like sex, they might buy the painting from me and then expect me to sleep with them. Or how some men can seduce cheaply. I don’t know for who it works, but definitely not for me!
LSA: In one post you almost got naked and openly wrote about your painful and sadly burdening experiences in connection with an abortion. It was, as it reads, a wanted pregnancy. Would you like to explain something about this? (Please only answer this question if you want to. I am asking it because you posted about it. I don’t want to offend you).
Vendula: Yes, my boyfriend and I really wanted a baby; unfortunately we found out on the ultrasound that the baby was not okay. I didn’t have to have an abortion, but my dad had died at that time, and I was dealing with our son’s father court affairs. The idea that I would give birth to a baby with whom I would have a relationship, who would have to undergo many surgeries and those operations would not necessarily turn out well. I would be hurting him and myself, so I had an abortion. For me, it’s a big wound, a pain that will probably never heal.
LSA: If you imagine an ideal world along the lines of what we discussed earlier, what would it look like?
Vendula: For me, an ideal world means to live in peace, calm and to love people.
LSA: Do you think that art, thought of in a visionary way, can change something in the political, as well as the lived reality of societies?
Vendula: I think so, yes and that the aforementioned pop art is totally made for it.
LSA: During Corona, I’m sure your everyday life has also changed. Does Corona influence your artistic work?
Vendula: You know, the situation with Covid actually helped me a lot. I’m not collapsing or anything, I’m trying to see the good in the bad. In quarantine, I started restoring furniture. I had to come up with something that would be nice, not too expensive, something that everyone would buy and use for several years! So I started painting on chairs and that saved my and my son’s life. We had enough to pay the rent and that is the basis no matter what.
LSA: Do you have actual art or fashion projects?
Vendula: Since I can also do clothing cuts and I can sew quite decently, I am thinking to establish my own streetwear brand. For now, I’m selling fashion sketches.
LSA: Do you have planned projects or ideas for the future?
Vendula:I have a lot of plans and projects, but it is probably crucial for me to unite my factory somehow. I work on a website with an e-shop. Where you can order everything from me, from a chair to canvas. And I would also like to do big exhibitions again, when the world returns to normal
interview by Dieter Hanf