Wrote About Me

Jaroslav S V O B O D A (*1955 in Prague), a Master of Fine Art and successful stage designer, has long been an experienced and innovative visual artist and author of many artistic enterprises.

In the past, he primarily created watercolour landscapes, from which he gradually moved to a search for meaning in large-scale paintings of poetic abstract compositions that are the absolutely fundamental idea of his artistic expression. Although abstract art is not the bearer of an idea, but rather of a feeling and current mood, Jaroslav Svoboda merged these two incompatible values into one unique inseparable whole.

He also spends considerable creative energy on drawings and prints centred on the nude. Thanks to the purposeful search for a distinctive means of expression, in addition to the graphite drawing technique, he was able to find a completely unique way of expression using serigraphy. The result of his efforts was totally positive – the creation of the fine lines and delicate tones characteristic of painting with a brush.

Jaroslav Svoboda's drawings and prints hint at the artist's attempt to express a thought as quick as lightning – the immediately joyful experience of discovering the beauty of female nudity. The artist often uses energetic, almost gestural, strokes. Sometimes only a mere hint or the main silhouette of the exposed body is depicted.

When trying to read the girls' and women's fine faces (often hidden or turned away), the observer can also find a trace of anxiety, suppressed uneasiness and maybe even doubt. This only adds to the overall character of the testimony of individual works among the whole cycle – thus, there is no turn toward the salacious or superficial.

Human, particularly female, nudity is portrayed in various forms. When viewing the tenderly conceived nudes of Jaroslav Svoboda, we may even be challenged by ideas found in some of the poems from the fundamental and respected work of the Czech poetry "Splav", which was written in 1916 by Fráňa Šrámek. The poet conceives the intimate beauty and eroticism of a woman's body without vulgarity and popular clichés. Similar poetic works can be found closer to our time, however, Šrámek's selected and still current poems and Jaroslav Svoboda's nudes (although the genesis of each is separated by almost one hundred years) easily convince us they can seamlessly coexist even today.

It proves that the theme of the female nude has a timeless character, and, if it is tastefully approached (even with bold, undisguised details), it becomes a true artistic experience – as is the case in this artist's choice.

Mgr. Jan Kotalík


I got to know him as a stage designer - first from television and then in our theatre, Semafor. And as we were getting to know each other, I found out that the scope of his fine art is much bigger than the architecture of his theatre stage designs. And I also discovered his drawings, on which the main motive is a woman, a being that has been painted by painters of all time, each of them doing it their own way. And Jaroslav joined them.

He chose a special shortcut, when his brush strokes have perfectly mastered the art of capturing what is important and omitting the unimportant. That's what I realized when I once attended one of his exhibitions. And I immediately utilized this knowledge in several sentences I had to say at the opening of the exhibition. Yes, knowing which line or area to place on paper is just as important as knowing what to withhold. Thus the painting becomes not just descriptive and realistic, but it also has its own rhythm of living.

The very shapes of the body are an utterly fine-art matter and Jaroslav Svoboda has a gift to see them differently from us, who look at his paintings today; the gift to see them his own way. He has his own style, he is not an epigone, and therefore he presents us with unprecedented. His drawings and graphics as well as abstract aquarelle paintings reflect the fact that Jaroslav Svoboda is a sensitive artist and we have a lot to admire. That is what exhibitions are for. And the one of Jaroslav is valuable by allowing us to see a woman in her fragile and sensual beauty in his own, unusual way.

I'm sorry, Jaroslav, I can't say it better. I must only hope that your work will tell the rest for me.

Jiří Suchý

Jaroslav Svoboda - Watercolours 2019 - 2021

The exhibited collection of watercolours, representing the artist's work from recent years, clearly reflects his preference for bright, vibrant and even dazzling shades of a wide range of colours. By looking at the paintings in a space primarily intended for contemplation, our exhausted consciousness can enjoy a purifying experience without being disturbed by the noisy surrounding world.

The shapes are light, seemingly random, and captivating in their indefinability. When you observe the whole carefully, the respect for compositional balance and, above all, the necessary contrast while preserving the white surfaces becomes clear. A sense of healthy playfulness and uniqueness can be perceived as an added value to the clarity of colours and a certain degree of unpredictability or even mysticism...

Jaroslav Svoboda's world is undoubtedly filled with friendly colourful abstractions, offering the opportunity to experience peace, joy and a subtle resonance of positive energy.

Mgr. Jan Kotalík