„I established universality and free movement via media as the basic premise of my work. I am not universally-based, not everything works out well, so sometimes I have to be happy with mere amateur experience …“
Michal Pěchouček’s work is fundamentally very traditional, even if it is taking on completely new and original forms. Pěchouček began as a graphic designer. Early on his coloured linocuts were technically brilliant and attained a painter’s quality. In 1996 however he embarked on an adventure that moved this technique into an entirely new dimension. In his graphic works he had already found inspiration in scenes from family slides taken in the 1960s and 1970s. Traditionally graphic techniques, however, did not allow him to „update“ these scenes in such a way that, when they took out the slide projector in a dark room during celebrations at home, they could be viewed on a screen. The special nearness, animation, and spatiality of the intangible image seemed to be unattainable. Pěchouček got close to this when he began to differentiate images into several layers with the help of common chain-link fence, onto which he painted synthetic colours.
The painting, Grandpa and Grandma on a Blanket – Děda s babičkou na dece (1996) came first and was followed by Train – Vlak (1996). The latter included a simple image of a grandmother sitting by the window in a train. He also tried to attain spaciousness by use of sewing (embroidering). Initially he embroidered the picture, Morning – Ráno (1996), in which his (Pěchouček’s) mother is brushing her teeth. The Monte Carlo (1996) followed together with a whole series of images on sololite, where only very small details (a piece of clothing, a raincoat, a mattress, or lamp) are sewn. In a number of his works he combines the spatial effects of both techniques. Pěchouček tries to gain more depth in a further series, where he dissects the image into several blocks (parts) of centimetre-thick glass. He draws his inspiration from photos of children from the 1940s, where he kept their original format and enlivened them only with spatial depth. At the end of the 1990s Pěchouček began to explore another graphic medium – photography. He was the first to assemble a number of photographs, again from his family albums, in the black-and-white story, New Year’s Eve – Silvestr (1998). Afterwards he created several colour photo-essays that he himself shot – Splendid Isolation (1998), Euforion (1999) or Long Christmas Eve – Dlouhý Štědrý večer (1999). In these works Pěchouček masters the usage of the narrator’s shortcut and the simple aesthetic of the (fleeting) moment. He works with the images sequentially and underscores the intimacy of the story being told with a private (modest) format. In 2001 he returned again to painting and created the story, Restaurant At the Hospital - Restaurace U Nemocnice. He further develops his photo-essay method, but this time in a painted format.
Pěchouček otherwise returns to painting on periodic basis. The synthesis of Pěchouček’s creations in recent years is without a doubt The Collector – Sběratel (2003). This is a series of 28 images that tell a story as if captured on a film reel. The series is accompanied, however, by video, in which Pěchouček in the role of artist gradually shows them to an invisible art collector. In this way he tells the paintings‘ stories. Meanwhile, as is his habit, he himself shows up in the tale. In recent years video has become his main expressive medium. He uses it to tell his own secret stories, and similar to the graphic techniques he used when he started out, he experiments with the various possibilities offered by the medium; for example, when he lets the story in the piece, Baby Carriage House – Kočárkárna (2004) unravel ceiling down.
GA2LERIE (Vaňous Petr ed. ), vydal Kulturní týdeník A2, s.r.o. jako přílohu v roce 2007