The Creative Process
By Lori Hope Baumel
Artists and their creative methods have always fascinated me. Recently, I spoke with Erik Kučera, an artist who came to this country to pursue his dreams. His imaginative philosophy is intriguing. I thought it would be a breath of fresh air to pass his thoughts along to our Around Wellington readers.
“I am an artist because to be anything else would be untrue. Through my art I hope to bring awareness to situations in the world which are not always so easy to talk about or even read about.” – Erik Kučera
Erik Kučera is an award-winning artist born in Slovakia and is now currently living in Palm Beach. Erik has been working in the art industry for over 20 years, working successfully as a goldsmith and jeweler in Europe until finding his passion in the visual arts in drawing, painting and sculpting. Since then, Kučera has exhibited in over 200 solo and group shows around the world.
– Erik Kučera (a segment from the artist’s statement)
LHB: Why do you do what you do?
EK: No matter what I have done, I have always had the desire to do something creative. There is something in me, which pushes me to never stop, to always keep experimenting, testing and constantly bringing in new materials and techniques into my work. I can’t imagine ever doing anything else.
It is a wonderful feeling for me to be able to see the fruits of my labor. I love to see how people react… and I share in their joy and surprise as they look at my work. For me, the highlight is to see how kids react. It gives me great pleasure to see that I can create something that makes them so happy.
I love to dream and then show my dreams to others. There are times when my work can be stressful, when there are the pressures of deadlines or when materials don’t behave the way you wish they would… still, I would not change my job for any other.
LHB: What inspires you?
EK: Everything around me can suddenly become an inspiration. More often than not, it will often be something from a machine or technology that inspires me, which one can easily see from the majority of work that I create. There is often a very strong influence of Gematria [Hebrew numerology], astronomy and history combined together. The ideas come quickly. First, I think of what I want to create. Thereafter, I think about how I want it to look and how I will go about creating it. As I work, I must always listen to music. It keeps my spirits high and takes me to the place I need to be to create what is in my soul.
LHB: What materials do you prefer to use?
EK: In the beginning, I only created works on paper with marker. It was simple and it was good, but soon the paper was not big enough for me. I had to move to canvas or wood just to try to satiate my ever-growing appetite for size. I also love to recycle items and use them in new and challenging ways. Attempting to combine materials that don’t normally fit together is a wonderful way to do so. The amazing thing is that when you pull it off, you can create a symbiotic effect between the materials – which is more expressive than with just one material alone.
LHB: Do you have a common theme?
EK: All of my pieces center on carefully planned details of my interpretation of themes… and thoughts that I want to express. In nearly every work I have done you will find two signature aspects: my checkered pattern and technical elements.
The design is where I start. It is the seed that I have sown and has flourished into everything that comes thereafter. The checkered pattern bends and moves and changes colors. It creates depth and movement and gives the onlooker the feeling as if they are always moving deeper into my images. I have coined a term for my designs: Surreallations. In addition, I almost always combine a technical element to my works. It can be parts of a machine, plumbing, a battery, etc. It gives my piece a feeling of completion.
LHB: Please explain your term “Surreallations” in more detail.
EK: Surreallations is the illusion of movement and depth in design. I created this concept many years ago and have continued to expand upon it with each new piece. Surreallations is an intense checkered pattern that changes color, depth, speed and shape. It is my intention that, with a subtle peripheral look, the average person will be able to spot “a Kučera” through its familiar Surreallation design.
LHB: What is special and/or different about your works of art?
EK: One of the motivating factors in my design is to express themes and stories in new and imaginative ways. When I take ideas – such as those from Kabbalah or Ayurveic* healing – I don’t just try to make an old idea better. Rather, I try to create a new story with my own technique and combine images from the world of my own imagination. I always try to create something positive in my own way; images that will make people stop and think… to evoke feelings of joy and pleasure – never to cause sadness or depression. I don’t know anyone who would want to look at gloomy images. I don’t.
* Ayurveic: a 5,000-year-old system of natural healing.
Erik Kučera’s works are on display and for sale through various galleries and exhibitions all over the world. The artist offers originals or limited edition artist embellished Giclée prints via his website. For more information go to:
Live… Go… Do!
Top 5 For March 2014
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2) The Norton Museum Presents:
Exhibition Features Mid-Century Designs,
Including Bejeweled Animals and Pieces Owned by Jacqueline Kennedy
David Webb: Society’s Jeweler will bring together 80 extraordinary examples of Webb’s jewelry from necklaces and rings to pieces made in hammered gold, jade, coral, enamel, and precious stones. The exhibition will also feature preparatory drawings and special displays that offer behind-the-scenes insights into the making of Webb’s jewelry, as well as photographs, magazine spreads, and advertisements that demonstrate the taste-making position Webb held in American high society. The exhibition is on view through April 13, 2014. – Norton Press Release.
3) Celebrate Spring at The Morikami’s largest event:
The 35th annual Hatsume Fair promises to be a spectacular event for the entire family! Celebrating the first bud of spring, Hatsume, the Morikami’s largest annual event, transforms the normally tranquil Morikami Park into a unique Japanese spring festival. The event will feature multiple stages of continuous entertainment where guests can experience taiko drumming performances, martial art and bonsai demonstrations, a costume contest, fashion show, and much more! Avenues of artisan booths, anime dealers, plant sales, Asian and American food vendors, the Kirin Beer Garden, children’s activities and a bonsai exploration area will also be featured and are sure to delight festival-goers. – Morikami Website
11 am to 6 pm
4000 Morikami Park Road, Delray Beach, FL
Admission: $15 for adults, $10 for children ages 10 and under;
FREE for museum members ages 3 and under.
4) Experience World Class Dressage in Wellington:
The Adequan Global Dressage Festival offers a wide range of competitions to suit both the amateur and professional rider. The circuit offers eleven weeks of National USDF-sanctioned competitions, with conveniently scheduled training, young horse, young rider, amateur, open and a full range of Small and Large Tour and Para events. Each CDI Weekend features the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle on a Friday evening, under the lights, offering a unique international and festive atmosphere for riders, owners and spectators alike. In 2014, competition prize money over the entire circuit will offer more than $300,000.00, making the Adequan Global Dressage Festival one of the richest dressage circuits on the globe.
For the calendar of events and more information see:
Curated by Lisa Rockford, Outside The Box is the second biennial exhibition of outdoor, site-specific art in Palm Beach County, FL. This unique and alternative format, situated at the uniquely prestigious Whitespace – The Mordes Collection, features innovative contemporary artists that will interact with the unique landscape & outdoor environment. Artists in South Florida working in installation art, mixed media, sculpture, video art, new media, sound, and performance will be included in this exhibition. A piece by our featured artist, Erik Kučera, will be included in this collection. For more information go to:
Lori Hope Baumel and her husband Eric live in Wellington and have three children.
Their eldest, Sam, 27, is a media producer and conceptual artist who currently resides in (extremely hipster) Brooklyn, NY. Her younger children, Evan and Rachel, wrote the Around Wellington “Teen Talk” column in previous years. Rachel, 24, lives and works in Boston, MA and Evan, 21, is a senior at American University in Washington DC. Eric has practiced radiology in Wellington since 1991. His many talents include artist, cook, photographer and, recently, medical app developer. You can learn more about Lori at www.loribaumel.com or read her blog: www.grownupcamp.tumblr.com