We managed to catch up with David Böhm and Jiri Franta who have produced for KCAW Public Art Trail an outdoor large-scale photo series of imaginary city models reflecting on the meaning of borders, neighbourhood, and how indivisible the current world is. Inspired by the exquisitely staged narrative paintings by artists such as Pieter Brueghel, the artists’ tableaux are displayed in an outdoor exhibition on the fence of the Czech Embassy in London and on Bayswater Road.
Can you tell us a bit about your art practice –
We have been an artistic couple since 2006. An important part of our work, which begins and ends with drawing media, is the procedural, time-lapse principle, game and experiment. Our work is a kind of transcription of conversations about the world in our studio. We enter each other’s drawings or installations in the form of a drawing ping pong and thus create a random collage where we are the catalyst of the themes in the drawings and the installations. We like stepping out of the safe zone of drawing media into experimental forms of performance or happenings. They are always based on everyday drawing in the studio.
Is sculpture your main medium or do you use multiple media?
We use multiple media and like to combine them according to what we want to convey to the audience.
However, if we want to mark a medium as default, then it is the drawing medium.
This is what we use most often and most like. It is great for our work in a pair because we can react very quickly and complete each other. Drawing is a suitable means of expression for us, which we like to push across the limits
What work are you showing as part of the KCAW Public Art Trail and where is it located?
Our work has two parts and both are situated in or near the Czech Centre in London. The first part is located on the fence of the Czech Centre. Here are several large-format photos of models of cities, the second part is located inside the gallery of the Czech Centre and is made of a large real model. Both the photos and the real model reflect the world of media. The photos and the model may remind the work of Hieronymus Bosch, but with topical questions. Chaos with many questions that may remain unanswered. The gallery also includes banners that the viewer can rent for one pound per hour. The banners have inscriptions
Nothing for everyone
A similar way of assessing reality
I am going home to self-reflect
You aren’t doing wrong if no one knows what you are doing
I am not sure
Be naughty and you will never be alone
How do people find out more about your work and keep updated on your projects?
The easiest way is to have a look at our website, which we continuously update with new realizations and exhibitions or people can follow us on facebook.
What plans have you for the rest of 2022?
We are going to carry on the work on the large-format drawings in the studio.
We are also looking forward to cooperation with the National Theatre, for which we are preparing visuals for the 2022 season. Each of us also has individual work on book illustrations. We are looking forward to all of this.
Awarded the Illustrator of the Year Prize at the Czech Grand Designs 2022 for their work on Osamu Okamura’s book City for Everyone; A Manual of Urbanism for Beginners.
Organised by the Czech Centre London and LUSTR, Festival of Illustration Prague. The exhibition is part of Street Meets (mural) Art global project created to mark the Czech Republic’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union.