The work of Vendula Chalánková does not lack wit and humour. It is its basic element, the direct bearer of the meaning, as well as the meaning itself. It is often very dark and cynical humour, however, it’s not about being funny at any cost. The content is not changed for the self-contained point and the message remains the basic element out of which everything comes out. The subject of her work is what happens around her, the consumer society and primarily the artist herself. Chalánková’s personal life is directly interconnected with her work. The viewer is presented with individual scenes through various media. She presents ordinary situations full of embarrassment and moments that everyone knows from his/her life in comics strips, the humour of which comes out of the intimacy of the given situation. It is exactly embarrassment shifted all the way to the point of a laugh attack that appears also in her installations and performances.
The world of consumption is another constant source of inspiration. This visual artist takes the symbols, which we are constantly surrounded by, in her own hands and releases them back into the world in the form of artistic artefacts – for example, her hanging canvas consisting of a Series of Electrical Appliances or her Paintings of Clothes.
The most typical technique for Chalánková, however, is embroidery. In 2004 she produced a series of embroidered phone text messages. The images of now obsolete mobile phone displays present fleeting messages. Something that someone punched in his/her mobile phone is captured through a parallel (much more laborious) hand movement. Records of modern amenities that lose on topicality with increasing speed are archived by a traditional technique. She also has embroidered illustrations in her author’s books The Little Red Riding Hood and Hansel and Gretel. Photographed, as well as realistic scenes from various fabrics present classical children stories in an original way.
Vendula Chalánková also stands behind the brand called “Zvrhlý vkus“ (Perverse style) that she founded in 2003. This label represents design products, primarily sewn, on the subject of animals, people and beings from the world of fairytales. They are from the perspective of a grown-up child with experiences from the real world and with a specific sense of humour. The author herself introduces them like this:
“The appliqués of animals and little girls are the bearers of existential dramas. By using polka-dot fabric the little girls suffer from bad complexion or dandruff. The animals are cute poor things. Rabbits lose ears, teeth or their whole head. The panda is injured. The fox is stained with blood. The teddy bear has a pair of underwear on his head and a guilty look in his eyes. The teddy bear Mr. Vomit is vomiting.”
Commissioned orders are an inseparable part of this artist’s work. Computer graphics are an instrument, as well as a topic of her work, but she also works with architecture and its partial elements. For example the image of Dušan Jurkovič’s villa was the topic for the game Pexeso, which she created for this house. The pictures of pairs are based on the stylized elements of the vernacular art in the same basic colours used by the architect on his house. The box for the cards looks like the villa itself. In addition to digital and computer implementations Chalánková is also the author of projects reacting to specific spaces. One of her most recent ones includes a chair for Cafe Morgal, which was opened in June 2014 in the space of a former sacristy in Místodržitelský Palace in Brno.
Prior to the opening there was a reconstruction on the ground floor of one of the five buildings of the Moravian Gallery in Brno, during which a part of an original Baroque fresco was uncovered. In her creative finishes of several TON chairs, Chalánková used the colours and morphology of the uncovered ceiling painting. The conception of these is, compared to her other work, more restrained and corresponds to the intention. However, formal as well as visual diversity and variety, as well as using basic, unbroken colours remain to be the recognition sign of this artist’s work.
Participation in symposia:
Geocaching with Lukáš Hájek and Zdeněk Porcal
Lokalita na přání (comic strips)
Byro project, Prague
Participation in the Cargo project- Art in box in Budapest
Painting symposium at Uherský Ostroh
The Muženy (Menwomen) band performances:
Dny výtvarné kultury, Pedagogická fakulta, Brno
Kontejnery umění, Praha
Cafe Steiner, Brno, vernisáž Jany Tichotové
Benzínka u Slaného
Art + antiques, 06/ 2010, komiks
www.kocogel.info Rozhovor s Vendulou Chalánkovou
Program a plakát k představení Modelka XXL, HaDivadlo
Kulturní noviny, listopad/ prosinec
Ilustrace časopisu Veronica
Ilustrace novin Mnohosti
Vydání komiksu . Cukr a počasí - výběr komiksových prací vzniklých od ledna 2004 do září 2009. Publikace vyšla čtyřbarevně, nákladem 2000 kusů, má 64 stran a je s anglickým překladem.
Ilustrace knihy O Červené Karkulce
Časopis Dolce vita, 12/ 2008, cz umělci VIII
Ilustrace časopisu Alarm
Bublifuk, Antologie severočeského komiksu
Časopis Flash Art 5/ 2007
Ilustrace revue Bloody Mary
Současný Komiks, osm pohledů na současnou českou komikovou scénu
Ilustrace revue RozRazil
Kulturní příloha Ex časopisu Reflex
Deník Právo, Literární příloha Salon
Vydání autorského komiksu: Žít jako kaskadér
Časopis Umělec, Nové tváře