To celebrate our recently opened exhibition ‘Not all Contemporary Art is Rubbish! Ingram Collection’, we spoke to contemporary artist Miroslav Pomichal who features in the show with his striking work Mismatched Couple. He shared his inspiration, thoughts and process behind the creation of this work with us.
Your installation Mismatched Couple is a highlight in the show, what was the inspiration behind it?
The Mismatched Couple is a pivotal work for me, as it was the culmination of a process in which I was looking to create a new, enigmatic, and powerful figurative image, and one which builds on but is not enslaved by art historical tradition. For about a year before that I worked on quite small things: carvings, watercolours, and oil paintings, and actually a lot of landscapes. I see the Mismatched Couple, and the subsequent large figurative paintings, also as landscapes, in which the individual sections reminiscent of fields, forests or sharp cityscapes lock together to form this figure.
The year leading up to the Mismatched Couple was also one in which I explored ancient epics and heroic songs. One of these epic stories, the Saga of Sigurd, contributed to the basic form of the work. I was very moved by the story of Sigurd and Brunnhilde’s illicit love, and its violent consequences. In the painting, I wanted to express the oneness of the two lovers, simultaneously united and separated in their ordeal by the carved pole, which stands for the sword which split them apart.
Another very different strand which led to making Mismatched Couple was my ongoing fascination with the legacy of early Modernism. In fact, parts of one figure in the painting are drawn from a composition by Picasso.
It is hugely striking and colourful, what made you choose these bright colours?
I procrastinated over the colour of the background, endlessly reconsidering the options. This is really bright, while the figures themselves are built up of dark and mid-tones. In the end, the drastic colour combination was inevitable: they are the colours of sunsets in forested mountains, my most powerful experiences. The figures are a mixture of greens, ochres, and greys, like a pine wood, but also like the figures and still-lives painted by Braque and Picasso in the early stages of Cubism.
Can you tell us about the materials you chose to work in for this installation?
The materials are overall very simple: pure oil paint without mediums, canvas, and carved wood. The one exception to that is the paint covering the carved pole, which is from a pot of the upmarket Farrow & Ball brand. I liked how this shade of pale green, which is so evocative of mossy wilderness, is also now a fashionable trend for suburban front doors.
How do you feel about your work being shown in the context of this exhibition?
Well I have not seen the exhibition yet! I think Chris treads his own path when it comes to contemporary art, so I am very excited to see and discover what kind of work will be on show, and how the artworks fit together...
Thank you to Miroslav for chatting with us!
Find out more about Miroslav Pomichal and his artworks here
Find out more about ‘Not All Contemporary Art is Rubbish! Ingram Collection’
Image credit: All images © Miroslav Pomichal