Karel currently focuses on painting still lifes.
Suspending time, remembering a morning color or an evening scent and placing it on the wood I paint on. With things ranging from basic human needs to cultural customs, a fresh glass of water with some juicy purple grapes or the leftovers of an old drink and ashes dying in an ashtray.
Liking to think that Karels’ paintings capture a moment that is still going on. Beyond the edges of the painting, outside the frame, live the people drinking from those glasses and sucking smoke from those cigarettes. Like a magnifying glass, the painting zooms in on a special part of an everyday situation.
Karel presents tables accompanied by a collection of man-made objects. Vases, mirrors, wine glasses, cigarettes and of course ashtrays. Everyday items we can’t imagine living without. And conversely, without us using them, these “tools” would amount to pointless materials. That ashtray would be strangely out of place if it were forgotten in a field of grass, only to be crushed by herds of wild bison or eroded by rivers, utterly useless, surrounded by the weeds that grow intertwined. That ashtray, lying on this rotating moving machine we called earth.
Our existence is intertwined with stories and beliefs. A good dinner is only complete when it is served on porcelain plates, eaten with fine cutlery. A candle must burn. Tulips should be in a vase. They’re not necessarily necessary, but those accessories tell a story, just like the couple sitting at that table. What Karel likes to paint is the story told at that table and the dance between the objects and the people who use them. The objects move within the painting, a rhythm engraved by the different layers of paint, different colors on top of each other and lines woven from the first to the last.