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After long years of living together with artists of various sorts and browsing galleries around the world, from the Museo del Prado in Spain to the Louvre to the New York Museum of Modern Art, and traveling across the whole of Italy - actually one big gallery - I began to feel that me too, ought to use my perceptions of theatre and travel to produce something.

One of my first paintings was more like a collage - a girl on a bicycle with flowing hair. Since I wasn't able to make the thin lines of the hair with my paint-brush, I glued thread on instead.

Looking at my first canvas makes me wonder at the brashness with which I manipulated its colored surfaces. In one of my first Hradcany paintings, I made the Vltava a large, wavy, purple surface, and I remember how director Vera Chytilova asked me what I meant by that "plowed-up purple field”.

Now that I've been painting for thirty five years I am grateful to fate for giving me the chance to hole up in the world of my pictures when I was sad, and when I was happy. It is a hobby, which helped me at a pretty confusing time and continued to be of comfort, even while it was turning into a profession. Years later I sometimes have to search for that naiveté, but if my paintings give those around me pleasure, that?s exactly why I paint them - and enjoy it.

(Emma Srncova)

One afternoon, Emma took a look around her with those dark, beautiful eyes of hers and saw something familiar to all of us: people surging through city streets with gloomy, humorless faces, passing each other apathetically yet ready to go off at the slightest annoyance, getting on the subway to suffer their few stations before arriving home with the feeling they had been cheated in some way. And exuberant Emma all at once said: Wait a minute! Who wants to look at all those sour Czech scowls, at begins grumpy and indifferent to their environment marching the streets with unsmiling and empty expressions on their faces? What would happen if, say, every capable person made some sort of contribution toward reducing our indifference and grouchiness? And so Emma Srncová began painting. She gave her imagination free reign and the rest was as simple as tracing over that which it generously presented to her. On canvas, on plywood and even on cutting boards previously employed for tendezing schnitzel, paintings began to develop which have a strange power - of raising the corners of a person mouth upwards. Well, maybe that isn't exactly haw it happened, but the pictures do work just as I've described. And that's why I've put my pen to paper to declare that with a few more Emmas, we'll be clear of the worse.

Jiří Suchý, Monograph EMMA, published by Bily slon, 1997

© 2002 Emma Srncova, ArtForum / ICZ a.s.
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