Once I painted the interior of a restaurant, or more aptly, a pub - a dirty grey room, a couple of tables with various loners seated at them and talking to emptiness. There are two advertising posters on the front wall presenting a happy life. Recently I have noticed that picture again and while looking at my old painting, I realised I had exactly the same feeling as when I had painted it.I felt like trying it again. How would it turn out now, more than twenty years later? This is how my Cafés came into being.

I enjoy the atmosphere of half-empty cafés in the morning or shortly after midday. The quiet comfort amidst the town's hustle and bustle, an oasis with views to a busy street. Thinking about strangers with whom we suddenly share the same space. Fragments of conversations which reminds me of a short story by Virginia Woolf - Kew Gardens. That seemingly suspended time.

This time taking photographs was an intrinsic part of my work, because it had turned out that getting hold of a good subject wasn?t easy at all. What´s more, people often looked at me grumpily. I learnt not to forget to switch off the flash, to arm myself with patience, to withstand the feeling of being a voyeur, to pretend as if nothing was happening, and to wait. It is rather surprising how fast people come and go in cafés, and if you wait a while, you may be lucky to see someone interesting or something might happen. In the end I had heaps of photos, and some that I originally discarded turned out to be of interest later, while those that seemed amazing at first could not be used at all.

Apart from the Slávie Café, to which I took a special liking, in the end I also used the Vojtěšská, Savoy and Švandova cafés. As I worked on this subject, I ended up moving a bit away from my point of departure: loners. But loners still make up its original inspiration.

a meeting
my hometown
rainy day
švandova kafárna