Back | Home


   No art comes easy to life - otherwise it wouldn't be the real art. The way the artists deal with their problems are however many and quite different. Some are just patiently waiting for their inspiration, others prefer to provoke it. Some finalize all their designs in their heads - like Mozart did, the other - like Beethoven - write many versions and eventually throw them away, except for one, the right one. Some are diligently working their way up as a careful builder does, block by block. Still others are fighting with ideas until they get it right.

   I assume prof. Vladimir Kopecky is one of those fighters. That was the first idea which popped in my mind when I was watching his works. Here is the artist who struggles for accurate expression, for perfect formulation and realization of his ideas. Don't get me wrong, he is not stressing every single detail neither is he extremely punctilious, nothing like that. It is just that he wants to get his message through and he surely does. But to achieve that, he had to try hard - his message is not the easy one. That is because the language of art is not an easy one to learn: his piece of art does not come with any manual, there are no passages to memorize or quick steps to apply. We just have to feel our way through. Maybe that's why it touches us so deeply and suddenly, we feel like we are a part of it.

   Of course the artist does not make it for us any easier either: there are no clichés, no indebtedness to foreign influences, no obvious or less obvious tricks. There is no question that's also the main reason why he is so famous around the world. His works appeared in many international exhibitions, for instance Expos 58, 67 and 92, and got many rewards. It is the artists like him who made Czech Republic a real superpower - at least in the art of glass.

   His materials are not exactly stereotypical: yes, there is glass, metal, wood, but also railway tiles, even bricks. Neither are the techniques: painting, forming, arranging, assembling and what not - I even suspect his atelier has many tools of everyday life, probably more than many of us ever had. And why not? After all, there is some art in everything, all we have to find it and to "turn it the right side up". Eskimo sculptors claim that their creatures, be it people or animals, were already inside the stone and they just chiseled off the excess material. Or - if you prefer - they liberated them. And the result of such "liberation process" of prof. Kopecky is striking: it is a kind of beauty you can't see anywhere else. It is not always apparent at first view, but believe me, it is there. Yes, a stroke of genius, but also many hours of hard work before it became what it is.

   The way professor Kopecky chose to "liberate" his peaces of art is not the easy one, it may be even disturbing for some people. Not everyone appreciates being reminded of the realities of our life. The life which as we all know, is not easy either: it has its ups and downs, moments of joy and sorrow. The moments of discoveries and moments of disappointments. One thing is for sure: our mankind reached this stage of development mostly because of its fighters: in science, in technology and in art.

   It past, it was not easy to live and it is not much easier in this time. It is good to have around the artist like Vladimir Kopecky, who can remind us that the life is not only worth living, but also worth fighting. As one Czech poet said: "He, who stopped for a while, soon stays aside." There is no accident that prof. Kopecky's work looks like some celebration of vertical lines - in many of his works - they represent his urge to aim higher and better. Nothing less would be worth living.

© Jan B. Hurych
Hurontaria - Czech/English magazine

© 1999 Vladimir Kopecky, ArtForum / ICZ a.s.
All rights reserved