Q & A with Peter Cvik
How did you get into art? What drew you to become a painter?
: Long story in short; My uncle (Peter Sceranka) was a sculptor. Me and my brothers, we used to go and see a part of the family during summer vacations as they lived in a different city. So, my first touch with art and studios was during my childhood. After I finished my studies in a gymnasium, I went to travel for almost two months, all alone across Europe. Things got somehow clear during this trip. I was 18 years old and started to prepare for talent exams for the Academy. First talent exams, I tried to be accepted for the department of graphical design (that was a choice of the brain). In the second year, I followed my heart and ended in 2nd place on talent exams for the painting department.
You mostly paint landscapes and architectural elements, what is your main source of inspiration?
My inspiration comes out of my daily life. I do live in a city, but I love nature. The main source is my traveling across the country. It does not matter if it is by foot, car, train, boat, or airplane. I paint what I feel and what is somehow write to my mind as a memory. I like to observe the light, tensions in between colors, or dynamic architectural compositions. My paintings are mostly impressions of my life that I mix up together on the canvas.
How did you develop this painting technique? Was it a gradual development, or did you get direct inspiration from something or somewhere?
I used to work a lot with computer postproduction of a sketch during my school years. Since I finished my Ph.D. studies, I left a computer or any digital or analog images as sketch as my response to the digital era we live in. I went back to the base of painting that is colour for me. I am researching the possibilities of my visual memory and the transmission of my thoughts visually. Layers represent different traces in my memory. I transmit them into the piece, and I am trying to keep it as much open for interpretation as possible. I start with sketching with charcoal on a blank canvas sometimes, but most of the pieces come out very naturally from the first touch of the brush without sketching.
Would you call yourself an abstract painter? How would you define your style?
: My work represents my thoughts and experiences. In that way, it is abstract. On the other hand, my paintings are visual projections of specific situations that have a direct connection to reality. Today I am mostly interested in finding the edge in between abstract and landscape painting. I like to think outside of the box. I can paint realism, but now I am more interested in sliding the edge between two worlds.
How do you decide when a painting is finished?
: This is hard to describe. I spend most of the time in my studio. I live with my work there. There is strong visual connection with works everyday. Sometimes I know it right after I finish physical act of painting, sometimes I do not touch the piece for few days or even weeks and I add some details afterwards and time to time I just look at the piece after this break and I realise that there is nothing more that I need or want to add. My passion is to leave the work open for the eyes of audience. Finish the sentence by three dots instead of one may be describes my response the best…
This might be an odd question- but do you feel similarly connected to each piece in the show, or do you have a painting that is your favorite and/or your least favorite?
Peter: I consider and compose the whole series as one big piece, I would say. This series contains around 5O pieces, and there are 16 pieces displayed in the exhibition. So I compose the exhibition as a story I want to tell to the audience. The installation of the show is very important to me; it evokes the experience of a dramatic gradation with personal interpretations for the audience. My favorites ones are the sold ones :)