Lost Family Photos Inspire Czech Artist Jana Paleckova’s Oil-Paint Interventions
“My work is about revitalizing forgotten memories, people, and places and giving them new life. These photos, once considered precious because of the memories, which they conjured, have become discarded, finding their way into flea markets and thrift stores. The people in them are unknown to the sellers, and the stories associated with them have lapsed. I am not in control of the photos which l find, and the people I meet in them. Hiding behind a pile of miscellaneous junk, a woman's portrait stares back at me. Her story becomes alive again even though I know nothing of her. The unexpected elements I add, much like the photographs that present themselves to me, are gifts. Flashes of inspiration are then executed quickly. With my alterations I pose the question: "Who are the keepers of our own stories, and memories, and how might they evolve after we are long gone?”
Jana Paleckova is a self-taught artist living in the Czech Republic.
Jana Paleckova has been picking bones with the past. After rummaging through boxes of discarded vintage photographs in antique shops and flea markets, the 34-year-old Czech artist was intrigued and frustrated by the absence of any immediate context attached to such neglected images. The photos appeared riddled with lacunae; they were ciphers of histories at once preserved and unknown. Paleckova engaged in a bit of tongue-in-cheek necromancy with the orphaned photographs, teasing playful new narratives into the unwitting images. She develops a tug-o-war between the past and the present in the resulting works, treating them like artifacts deserving of preservation and as found objects ripe for use as raw material.
Czech Republic, b. 1979, Prague, Czechia, based in Czech Republic