April 06, 2014

Karel Forman, Collage decorated interior


 this picture and the next four by Milan Svacinka, 
courtesy of Pavel Forman, from his website

Above picture depicts Karel Forman¹ in his apartment in the community of Bruntál in the Czech Republic.

It's an ordinay flat in an ordinary three-storey residential block such as those built in the 1950's/60's
in so many european towns.


Not ordinary however, is the decoration of this apartment. All available space on walls, ceilings, but also on furniture and utensils has been decorated with collages.


Life and works

The author of this creation, Karel Forman (b. 1929), grew up in Ludkovice, where he trained to be a baker. In the fifties he moved to Bruntál, where he got a job as a truckdriver and ultimately became a busdriver.

Retired in 1990, Forman began his decorative project in 1995.


Karel Forman's grandson, Pavel Forman (b. 1977), who became a visual artist, has watched the work of his grandfather from the beginning, "one postcard in the bathroom, with a family photograph somehow worked into it".......

Although Karel Forman's wife was not amused and tried to stop the increase of collages on the walls, year by year the decorations grew untill after some decades of work, the whole apartment was decorated with collages and had become transformed into -as Pavel says- a "unique and unrepeatable masterpiece".


As so many outsider artists, Karel Forman worked quite intuitively, without any preconceived plan, using materials that were available around, such as clippings from magazines, chocolate and candy wrappers, beer mats and family photographs.

Pavel Forman and his grandfather

Karel Forman's grandson Pavel Forman, as said, has become a visual artist, who is well known in the Czech Republic and other countries. 

In 2009 Pavel introduced his grandfather at the opening of an exposition he had in the Caesar artgallery in Olomouc in the Czech republic. At the occasion he published a folder entitled No Return. 


Pavel has converted fragments of his grandfather's work through digital printing and painting into his own work.

As Pavel says: "The reality captured by cameras in other people's hands was turned into a new one seen on the walls of my grandfathers flat and I will consquently work it into a new level... What comes into being is a visual family saga (...)"

Documentation, more pictures
* Tomás Koudela, Karel FormanByt jako socha (A flat like a sculpture), Ostrava, 2012
* Pavel Forman's  introduction to No Return, the family saga, in OEE texts

note
¹ I would like to acknowledge that I learned about Karel Forman from Pavel Konečný

Karel Forman
Collage decorated interior
Bruntál, Czech Republic
no public visits

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