Storm over Studenec

Anything we wish for in life can happen. The story of the painter Jiri Straka (born 1967 in Prague) whose exhibition called "Storm over Studenec" took place in the premises of the Trutnov City Gallery could be conceived like that. The peaceful, romantic and picturesque natural nooks and crannies of the Krkonose Mountains scenery rather refer to the tradition of the motifs which made this region famous, but these are presented in large formats using ways of the traditional Chinese ink painting. Jiri Straka has two homes. Besides Prague, he also lives in Beijing where he has his studio, Chinese wife, he speaks Chinese and loves Chinese art from his youth. Right after his sinology study at Charles University he studied ink painting in China. He creates a modern form of ink painting, a kind of a synthesis of the Chinese style with the eye and mind of a western artist. His work mostly refers to the Chinese reality - he got fascinated by various details from construction sites on the outskirts of large mega-cities with twisting nets of wires, but also local prostitutes or stray dogs. Neither he avoids the poetic motifs where he once made a series of large-format paintings of bird feathers.

The tension between the western and the eastern also takes place in the Krkonose Mountains´ sceneries where the artist returns to visit his parents living near Jilemnice. He knows the region well and he reveals its beautiful nature using means and ways from a slightly different world, that takes the breath away and thanks to which we see our reality differently and magnificently. The familiar quarters meet pictures of thistles and grasses - the Chinese poetics and brilliant ink equilibrium soaks in Czech realities. The reality of the world also permeates in the preserves of poetry - a plastic bag or a large dead wasp in this exhibition are rather crueler motives by which the painter warns the viewer that the world is not just a walk through a pensive scenery. Especially when a storm is coming. But the one over Studenec is still beautiful.

Exhibition curator Martin Dostál