«Sometimes I also hate the finished work, but after it stays in the corner of my studio for a while and I look at it with fresh eyes, I´m like “Yeah, that’s interesting – I think I like it now.”»

Martin Lukáč
Prague, Czech Republic.


Tell us a little about yourself, where did your work in the art world begin?

I guess that it was a long time ago, probably when I was a child.  I first started to draw my favorite stuff – like Michael Jordan, Pokemon characters, Batman and Ronnie Coleman (my parents are both fans of bodybuilding). I remember saying to my mother: “Mom, I´m gonna draw cartoons in Hollywood.“ That was something I remember clearly and this was before I was going to school as I was a kid totally addicted to Cartoon Network. Since then, I have been interested in art, and I stuck with it even when I was having second thoughts during my high school years, or when I felt that I am not good enough to make it.

My family is not at all artistic, and both my parents have regular office jobs. They however always supported me, even if they didn‘t understand anything I was doing. They were constantly telling me “Oooh, this is too dark. You must paint in bright colors because people will like it more!“ This prompted me to gradually go deeper, borrowing books about contemporary art from my high school library, or visiting Mumok in Vienna where I admired the works of Paul Delvaux and Niki de Saint Phalle (especially the performances). I think those things formed me. Later, of course, it was the Academy of Fine Arts.

What do you want to convey with your work? Do the pieces carry any particular message?

Yes, they do. Mostly I work in series, and every finished series carries particular content. It is either more abstract or slightly more concrete. I also do a site-specific concept for every show, as it is very important for me to make the whole presentation consist of more elements. So I have many ingredients inside the show, but the exhibition itself is a form of medium which carries a specific message all of its own.

Usually, I try to catch the mood of every show in its title. I used to use titles like “MacGyver“ or “No Love all Hate,“ so both had pretty funny names, but inside you could see every piece of work as a separate item. Usually, the exhibition closes some period of my life and expresses the feelings I had, or a certain mood or knowledge base I was interested in at the time.

Do you plan your picture in advance, or is it all pure improvisation?

Painting has the great ability to combine both. I mean that sometimes I use a motif which I prepare in drawing or sketches but while painting I see more and more solutions and I have so many things on my mind which I am occupied with that I constantly need to do some more variations and improvisations. Of course, I want to have the work consistent, but it is very hard to resist the urge to try something new. The process itself is really interesting for me because I enjoy just painting and repainting lines and building a space in the painting. Improvisation gives you some freedom, and I feel like Flea and John Frusciante and Chad Smith when, like at the very end of the song “If You Have to Ask,“ they just go off! The improvised jam turns everything around and your mind is blown away. That´s why I think that you need to improvise, you need to do a massive jam with a fat fucking bassline.

How do you feel the moment that the painting is completed?

I totally lose contact with the painting. When I feel that nothing more can be added, that’s it. But sometimes it takes some time and sometimes it is just like that.  Sometimes I also hate the finished work, but after it stays in the corner of my studio for a while and I look at it with fresh eyes, I´m like “Yeah, that’s interesting – I think I like it now.”

Tell us about your studio. What does your usual working day look like?

After my morning routine, I go to the studio located in the centre of Prague. Usually, I am there from ten in the morning every day except on the weekends. I stay different times – sometimes until 3 pm, sometimes until 8 pm, but I never work during the night because I can’t focus for such a long time. I prefer to be fresh and work only a few hours when I am at my one hundred percent. Usually, days are full of meetings and also resolving emails and working on upcoming projects. So I try to focus and use my best time to paint. I have no chair in the studio, no couch, and I definitely never sleep in the studio. Sometimes, I don’t even take a break to have a drink of tea. I am also super obsessed with visual stuff, so I often check the news and scroll various apps on my phone, which gives me a fresh look at some of the things I do.

What are your plans for this year? How many exhibitions have you planned already?

For May I´ll be staying in the Penthouse art residency in Brussels. Also, there is a great group show coming up, curated by Brian Scott Campbell, at No Place Gallery in Columbus, Ohio with many good artists (Ted Gahl, Kristina Lee, Cody Tumblin…). Then I have a show with more great artists at Eduardo Secci Contemporary in July, but this one will be more of a solo presentation.
And September will be dedicated to The Court in Pescara with the great Maurizio Vicerè.

Any thoughts that you want to share with our readers?

Thank you Abstract Mag for all your support, and I send all my love and all my gratitude to both you and your readers!

Photos by Lena Luga

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