People frequently ask me where I get the ideas for my artwork. Where I start. Where these abstract masterpieces (yeah, I’m biased) come from. And although I can be inspired by pretty much anything, that is an article for another time. The places I actually seek out inspiration are. . . elsewhere. Out and about. Up to The City. And as often as I can, Europe. In fact, I work my ass off 5 days a week just for these opportunities.
Say what you want about Facebook, but on occasion it can actually be a surprising source of wonderful information. Shocking, huh? Last August I was scanning my feed when I noticed a post saying The Slav Epic, by Alfons Mucha, was now on display in Prague. For those of you unfamiliar with Mucha, it was his poster on your dorm room wall right in between The Kiss by Gustav Klimt and that overused picture of Che Guevara. He is the father of the Art Nouveau movement, and when you see his art you’ll undoubtedly say, “Oh, that guy!” Yes, I should give him much greater props here, but this is a blog post and not a wikipedia entry. Google him.
As artists we all have a vision. And I think that we all hope, to a degree, to one day create that one piece, or series, that will be our legacy. Even though we have little to say about what will be considered our legacy, we hope. But sometimes an artist can find inspiration in a way that transcends previous art into a magnum opus that is something truly extraordinary. The Slav Epic is just such a creation. Detailing the history of the Slav people, each of the 20 paintings approximately 20ft tall and most at least that wide, this was a personal project that few of us would hope to create, taking 18 years from start to completion, and putting a cap on an already exceptional career.
I had known about The Slav Epic for many years and had hoped to see it knowing Mucha considered it his life’s masterwork, but it was housed in a chateau in a not easily accessed town in the Czech Republic. And so, it remained an item on my bucket list. What I was unaware of was the wonderful news that the collection had been moved to Prague in 2012. The bad news was it was going on a tour of Japan in early 2017. If I wanted to see it, I had to act quickly.
27 minutes later, give or take, I had my flight, reservations in a very cool Art Deco hotel, and instructions on how to cross town to the museum where I could see the collection. Thank you, Expedia.
My flight was on a Saturday, I arrived on a Sunday, I had to wait since the museum was closed on Monday, but Tuesday I was up and out as soon as I could be. And here is where I lose all words. Awestruck comes to mind. Stupefied. Astounded. This could get lame really quickly, so I’ll leave it to your imagination. I’m sorry, but the pictures included here simply do not do the collection justice. I could wax poetic about the works easily for hours, but. . . blog post. Suffice it to say that seeing these paintings was one of the greatest art experiences in my life. Inspiration indeed.
Now, the topper to this story is the fact that these paintings were on display in one of my favorite cities, and one of my other major sources of inspiration just happens to be architecture. Prague is a beautiful showcase of architectural styles just waiting to be explored. Art Nouveau, Art Deco, and Gothic are the styles that interested me most, and just being able to wander the streets of Prague and see examples of these pretty much wherever I looked was fantastic. The spires of the Tyn Church are a gothic masterpiece, the Municipal House is an Art Nouveau beauty, and standing in front of the Astronomical Clock is an experience difficult to match. What was that I said about waxing poetic?
Prague was just my latest adventure in a never ending search for Eye Candy wherever I can find it. In future posts I will describe some of the other places and things that have provided me with invaluable inspiration. Some you may be aware of, but others hopefully you aren’t. And if I can help you maybe find inspiration someplace you wouldn’t have looked, I’ll consider this a job well done. Happy Searching.
Steve Borelli has been drawing since he was a fetus. The inside of his mother’s womb is tattooed with the renderings of his twisted imagination. Upon birth he continued his assault on the senses by concocting his own comic strips and illustrations inspired by the lunacy transpiring about him. He balances the chaos he calls a life by visualizing on board, film and canvas the various hallucinations dancing like sugarplums through the depths of his eternally deranged id, and using his creativity as ammunition in the never-ending battle with mediocrity. Occasionally he writes a blog post, too.