Pixelated Reality with Marek Dutka
Marek Dutka graduated in 2004 at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague.
During his studies, he spent time at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in The Hague. Dutka's work has been exhibited in both national & international venues including The Royal Academy of Arts in London, and more recently at The Searcys Club Gallery.
His paintings are in numerous private collections, including the private collection of HM Queen Elizabeth II. In 2012 his painting was among finalists for the VUB Foundation Award for Painting for Young Artists exhibited at the Ministry of Culture of the Slovak Republic. Marek now lives in London.
Marek now has a full collection of original works and limited edition prints with Hatch. See the full collection here.
"In my paintings, I reflect on the nature of reality as perceived through the filter of omnipresent displays and screens in our lives. TVs, cameras, smartphones, both aid and blur our vision at the same time. These instruments expand on and limit our visual experience. They do so by revealing otherwise unnoticed detail, or by screening out the context of observed objects. We are almost constantly exposed to representations of reality, the pixelated 'reality' which substitutes the immediate reality of the here and now by an overload of informational strata of augmented reality. The depth is only skin -deep if we start to think of it in terms of patterns of colours used to cheat our eyes and brains into thinking that we have captured the full picture of reality."
Below: Detail from Ball2. Made up from thousands of individually painted fish.
H: Where does your interest in art come from?
MD: It was always there since I remember, a big part of my life, I love art itself, but also everything around it, artistic people, art spaces.
H: Your first ever experience of ‘art’?
MD: I have been creating, painting and drawing since I was 6 years old, but my first
experience of art, as such, was, when I went on a school trip to a local artist studio, it was so exciting, I can still remember the smells and all those canvases, paints,
Below: Ball2 Acrylic on canvas.
H: What inspires you?
MD: My main inspiration is the current way of communication of people, how we see each other and the world around us, through the screens of our phones, TV and computers.
H: What does your work aim to say?
MD: The aim of my work is, whether is it still a real reality or is it only the illusion of reality, something which we see as real, but in fact, it is pixels what we see.
H: Which current art world trends are you following?
MD: Mostly trends in contemporary painting, I think Maximalism will be big this year as will Metallic Tones.
H: Tell us about your process.
MD: It is quite a traditional painting process, I use acrylic paint on stretched canvas or linen, starting with a black and white underpainting of my subject and then I am adding layer by layer different colours, not by copying a prepared image, but freely, as I feel it, the colours are the colours of the light spectre, red, green and blue in different shades and tones, and lately I started adding yellow as well.
H: What would be your dream commission?
MD: It would be to paint a portrait of some famous artist or gallerist.
Below: Digital Ghost2
H: How do you deal with creative block?
MD: I just keep painting, no matter what, even if it means that destroying a piece of work, which often happens.
H: If you could make a list of your favourite contemporary artists, who would you
MD: I have to start with Chuck Close, his massive-scale photorealist portraits are incredible. Also the wonderful Yayoi Kusama she has continuously innovated and re-invented her style. Robert Longo, Antony Gormley (Angel of the North) or young Polish artist Konrad Wyrebek you should see his ‘Data Error’ series.
H: What are you working on next?
MD: At the moment I am working on a series of portraits of famous artists’ models, so far I have finished English writer and poet Beatrice Hastings and Jeanne Hébuterne both of whom were romantically connected to artist Amedeo Modigliani. Alongside these, I have Emilie Flöge the longtime muse of Gustav Klimt
H: Outside of art what makes you the happiest?
MD: My daughter.
H: Do you have a creative hero? & who are your biggest influences?
MD: I have few, some of them are my teachers from art schools, they are not famous, but they were great, otherwise my big influence must be Amadeo Modigliani, Chuck Close or the glamorous Tamara De Lempicka.
H: How would your friends describe you?
MD: Probably hyperactive, I heard that few times.
H: We are bombarded every day by bad news, what one thing would you change in
the world if you could?
MD: People’s brains.
H: If you were to tag yourself on HATCH, what 3 words would you use?
Below: Cube1 available as a limited edition.
"Though the subject might invite further theoretical reflection, the fine art, itself a form of communication, a way of capturing reality in a new creative way isn't for me a medium of criticism, or of a slavish reproduction and embrace of all things virtual. As a painter, I approach the subject purely or mainly from an aesthetic perspective. Nowadays we can see many instances of technology progressing towards art, in a creative, sometimes playful, sometimes destructive way. In my work, I try to capture the interplay between art and technology from the position of traditional painting rather than from the position of technology. I see it as a mirror of traditional technique turned against the mirror of the technology itself reflecting traditional technique in the first place. My paintings take a place in this "hall of mirrors" by utilizing only the RGB colour spectrum which in fact forms the base of all computerized images of reality. My images are not static. I do not dictate the way people should look at my paintings, I do not expect one particular response from or an effect on a viewer. It's all in hands - in eyes and mind - of each and every viewer, his or her chosen distance, the angle, the time spent looking at a painting. I provide an outline in terms of colours used and in terms of their arrangement, but I positively invite all viewers' perspectives to mingle with that of mine. Even with a single painting, there are as many images as there are pairs of eyes."