Someplace Nice

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Jiri Mayer

When did you start making art?

I had a need to create and be creative since childhood. I used to draw a lot as a child. As teenagers, my friends and I had a rap crew and we were one of the first in the Czech Republic to do UK grime. During that time, we experimented with graffiti, but I'm definitely not one of those who come from the graffiti scene. Art has always been a part of me.

Tell us a little bit about how you came to make art?

I got into the art I create now relatively late, around the age of 20, but I don't remember exactly. However, I recently realized two important moments in my life that made me decide to fully dedicate myself to art. The first was when a couple days before payday, I went shopping and had only about 4 euros left, and at the same time, I knew I ran out of papers and canvases. I bought corn snacks for a few cents and used the rest to buy papers. I ate only those corn snacks for a few days, but I was happy that I had something to draw on. The second moment was when I visited an exhibition by Czech multimedia artist Václav Stratil at the House of Art in Brno in 2015. It made a big impression on me.

What is your approach or process towards painting?

My paintings are created by sketching in Windows Paint, and then I transfer the sketch onto canvas using acrylic paint. It comes from an idea in 2021 when I wanted to create a painting "Mouse without a Mouse," so I sketched a mouse (the animal) without using a mouse (device) in Windows Paint. I liked this aesthetic, and since then, all my paintings have been created in this way.

Where do you find inspiration for your work?

It could be said that my inspiration comes from children's naive drawings, which I love, or cave paintings, for example. However, I don't actively seek inspiration, it just comes naturally. But my biggest inspiration is deadline. :D

What do you aim to communicate with your work?

I aim to create kind of a dialogue between childhood and adulthood / past and present. I try to bring the viewer back to childhood. The main motif of my works is animals because they are one of the first objects that almost everyone draws as a child. The use of Windows Paint enhances the effect, as it is one of the first programs we used as children. And nowadays, it's still on your computers. Check it out. :)

Who are your favourite artists?

All the ones I follow on Instagram.

Take us through a standard day in the studio for you.

I draw and sketch at home, and I go to the studio fully decided on what I will do that day. I usually come there early in the morning, around 7 o'clock, and paint for about 8-10 hours. So, most of the time, I'm at the canvas with a brush in my hand. During the moments when the paint is drying and I have to wait, I enjoy coffee and a cigarette.

Is there anything you'd like to explore in the future? New mediums or new themes?

I have had the idea of making a sculpture for some time. I imagine a classic bronze sculpture, which would be quite demanding. But who knows, maybe one day I will present myself as a painter and sculptor.

You can find more of Jiri's work @jiri.mayer