"Do you dream about your paintings?"
"Night and day. That's what makes an artist, isn't it?"
(From an interview with Alphonse Mucha for The Sun)
First of all, I have to admit why I might should not prepare a new exhibition about Alphonse Mucha in his hometown Ivancice. At the beginning, I knew almost nothing about this world famous painter - I knew him mainly from my grandmother's calendars, from the dusty boring reproductions and school textbooks as well. But these books, as we know, are full of dates and dry facts rather than inspirational stories. He was simply an old painter from the textbook.
However, when I started reading the book Cancan with the halo, I knew from the first pages that this would definitely not be boring. I immersed myself in Ivančice during the painter's childhood, fell asleep enthusiastically enchanted by the Belle Epoque in Paris and devoured the successes and failures of the young artist. For me, Alfons Mucha was a man, who must have been a real gift to know. Probably that's why the stories of his friends - Luděk Marold, Paul Gauguin, August Strindberg, Sarah Bernhardt, the Lumière brothers, August Rodina and many others - intertwine with Mucha's life.
His fascinating story engulfed me so much that I was sorry it was over. Maybe - if there was no interrogation by the Gestapo – the story could have been longer. Who knows? What is certain is that the story of Alfons Mucha's life can inspire each of us. I really wanted to tell this story and I'm grateful it worked out for me.
Preparing this exhibition is a wonderful, but sometimes hard work. How do we get the story of an artist, who has experienced so much in one year of his life than many of us have lived in all life, to several rooms? How to present a genius painter and a renaissance man with a such incredibly wide scope? Ivančice, Brno, Vienna, Mikulov, Munich, Paris, New York, Zbiroh… So many places where Alphonse Mucha lived. A famous, but modest artist.
I am fascinated by many things about Mucha - his humanistic ideals and his never ending quest to make the world a better place through art. The determination he always went his own way. Including the spiritual one.
So far, we only have the exhibition "on paper", but I am already grateful for this project. Not only for the inspiration of the life of Alphonse Mucha, who enriched me. But also for what team I can work in. When I hear my favorite contemporary singer sing about that he is sorry that he will never meet Pushkin, I feel that I understand him. I am also sorry that I will never meet the master Mucha, for example in the wine cellar of his beloved Ivancice. But even so, this "meeting" gave me a lot. I believe that we will meet you soon in Ivancice and you will find in the story of Alphonse Mucha the inspiration for you.
Association for the Interpretation of the Local Heritage of the Czech Republic - www.dobrainterpretace.cz