gastro: the best french fries, dimsbier type
For the last couple of years, Michal has been presenting himself at his exhibitions with series of self portraits differing from one another in changes pertaining to the size, number of portrayed persons, surroundings in which they are portrayed, and the painterly expression. Just as Michal stays almost obsessively loyal to his topic (with short pauses in which he rather demonstratively dedicates himself to creating patches, painting his hifi tower, drawing ponies or bunnies), so too does the principle of changes through which his self-portraits go through stay the same. They occur in cycles and repeatedly, in various degrees, returning to some of the consequent works. The series Homeboi, presented at the Berlinskej Model, returns format-wise to Michal’s thesis work Indie Hero (2014) which was made up of four paintings, four meters tall. Unlike in his older work, wherein Michal stylized himself in the fashion creations of heroes of city indie subculture, this time he presents himself as a “grown-up”.

From the beginning, Michal has painted from photographs taken by his brother, friend Linda or using a self-timer. The photographs are usually taken in various everyday places, such as in a block apartment building neighborhood, the Academy of Art, Architecture and Design, the Creepy Teepee festival, on the way to a show and so on. Over the last year, Michal has been taking photographs not only as a practical practice, but also as a new medium for his work. From using fast snapshots as models for his consequent paintings, Michal is gradually beginning to move towards an interest in photography itself. Yet he keeps a certain distance from the medium, since for now it doesn’t matter to him whether the photograph was taken on a self-timer, another person or himself. What matters here is the “post production”, wherein the photograph is destroyed, for example, by a grid or drawing or adjusting the tape that holds it to a piece of cardboard. The photographs on display in the Berlin model document the development of these “models”, from images taken for the Start up End down cycle (2014-2015) to True Figures (2017-2018).

Monika Čejková