INTERVIEW • JAKUB HUBALEK
Tell us about yourself—when and why did you get into art and painting?
Hello, my name is Jakub Hubalek. I am from Prague, Czech Republic. I started painting and drawing as a young child. I decided to become a painter early in my life, however, I was no Picasso or Mozart.
The subject of your paintings often revolve around the human body; they are always distorted or caught in motion. Where does your fascination of distorting the human body come from?
I think figurative painting is a leading discipline in art. The human body is so interesting for me as an object, which I can transform exactly how I want and how I feel it at the moment. The faces are missing because the face is not so important for me sometimes. A friend of mine from Germany once said: “no face needed… art is not design” and I agree. This is the great thing about art, that you really can do anything without practical reason.
A lot of your paintings look like photographic references of people in action, especially a lot of athletes. Is this where you get your inspiration?
I love sports, especially old sports magazines. The action is what inspires me. You can see random compositions from the sport photos and take the inspiration.
Why have you decided to make all of your paintings in black and white?
As a child, I saw a book about old masters and the book was in complete black and white; Rubens, Rembrandt etc. All the reproductions were in black and white, we also had television in black and white; so I think this is the code in my brain. I am thinking about a big full colour painting, It will be a game changer for me but it has to come naturally.
Are you trying to send a message through your art? If so, what is it?
My message is: peace and freedom.
What kind of painting techniques are you most drawn to?
I like contemporary figure painting techniques. There are so many amazing painters that I love who use figure painting techniques. I love using a combination between abstract and detailed. I am still learning this – it is like a never ending story.
In one of your paintings there is a woman on all fours touching herself. Can you perhaps tell us a little more about this painting?
Yes. My very good friend, Prokop Bartonicek (also an artist), took the photo somewhere in Berlin. When I saw this photo at his gallery place, I asked him if I can paint it, he said yes, do it. So this painting has his story and the touch of my brush. It is a little bit provocative, I know.
What initially drew you to themes of the body and sexuality?
When you go to art school for drawing you are always taught to draw from a naked model, this is what we learn so I think in art it is very normal to paint naked people.
Who are some of the artists that have inspired or influenced you? Anything outside of art that influences your work?
Many many artists inspire me. Couple of them: Picasso, Da Vinci, Jiri Naceradský (Czech painter), Neue Wilde, Martin Kippenberger and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Do you have a goal in art?
To be 100% ready for an exhibition with 50% completely well done paintings.