Mythology is a fundamental topic for Vojtěch Kovařík. His painting never departs itself from the long history of figurative representation. On the contrary, it fully embraces it, to better subvert it.
More than a myth rewriting, Kovařík only went back to the source. There are always several versions of one myth, as truth is rarely unique for the Ancient Greek. Beings aren’t permanent, but are always trying to stick to themselves. Speaking of sexual archetypes, they are quite different from ours: manhood models such as Hercules or Achilles cannot be described as hetero or homosexuals, having partners from both sexes. By re-taling the story of well-known characters, by showing how much frame goes as far as altering one’s body form, the artist underlines the importance of context regarding gender definition. Yet, his masculine as his feminine figures are always depicted as robust: they remind us of Bourdelle’s patriotic allegories or of udarniks, those model workers shown in Socialist countries public art.
This is where Kovařík’s work shines: by marrying those different types of storytelling, the mythological one, the political propaganda one, the contemporary imagery one, but first and foremost, the modern painting one, Kovařík gives birth to a painting that bears the figurative tradition, yet opening a path for a open-ended future. His pictures help this world mutation, and those mutant identities invite us to invent our own, as his Tiresias who shows us his back. The famous Tiresias who was, alternatively, man and woman.
These big sized paintings, highly immersive, vividly colored, are the living proof that a young artist can know and love art history, and yet create a new chapter of it.
© Grégory Copitet