Tomáš Němec: I don’t really believe in inspiration

Tomáš Němec is a young and expressive artist, who has recently created quite a big buzz around himself. Besides regular cooperation with Stuttgart gallery, Thomas Fuchs, Tomáš also has his paintings featured in many well known galleries in Prague, (Chemistry Gallery or Pokoj s matrací and POP UP Gallery Art Salon S in Dancing House). Also very well known are his exhibitions, named „Stul jednoho kluka“ and „Slavnost“ that were organised right after the artist’s graduation from university.

Is there something interesting about Tomáš Němec? Well, he is a classical artist, who likes painting what is in front of him. In his own words, that is the only way to catch the right colors and patterns. For a long time he was obsessed with French singer Edith Piaf, because of the fusion of her professional and private life. After school, Tomáš left his obsession and adressed other themes. Besides his favorite waterlilies, he created a series of skies.

The interview with Tomáš Němec was short, but very interesting. Right now, he stays with his parents in a village near a small lake. He is painting outdoors near the lake, roughly 10 meters away from the house, together with Mr. Kvak – a little duck that keeps him company.

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What are you currently working on?
Right now? I think that I arrived here to the village about a month ago to paint the country near our lake. After winter, I needed the light and colors that the outdoors gave me. I had been looking forward to it. Also, I found a little duck here – Mr. Kvak, so I’m working on a few portraits of him.

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What is your inspiration? Is it a person, or just the world around you? In the past, it was mainly the singer Edith Piaf.
I’m not currently painting any people, even though they are still inspiring me. I want to use this good weather and get at least some light from the outside. Presently, I’m mostly painting nature – a series of waters and skies. I really enjoy the possibility of bringing some light into my paintings.

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I’ve read that: „If you don’t risk and you do only what others want you to do, you are not an artist.“ Do you agree?
I agree, that there has to be some risk, otherwise you will not learn anything. I’d rather not go into my definition of an artist right now.

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What’s your process? Do you immediately start painting, or is there some planning beforehand? Do you have any rituals?
I’m painting evey day. Recently, it is the countryside, so I look and think while painting. Sometimes, I make big plans but in the end, everything is different.

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Do you have a favorite painting?
I have many favorite paintings. About my own I don´t know now but I hope I'll paint it. One of my favourites is for sure 'The Procuress', by Vermeer van Delft. There are many others. Right now, I’m also thinking a lot about Baptism by Piere della Francesca.

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Do you have some other interests besides painting?
Well, I’m „mother“ to three ducks. But other than that, probably nothing.

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And what do you think about drugs? Have you ever used them for inspiration?
Never for these reasons. There are many theories around it. I don’t really believe in inspiration. She never came to me and never left me. Usually, I find the right themes while painting.

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Author: Samuel Slavkovský
Images source: archives of Tomáš Němec