I only cooperate with people who are familiar with who I am
The guest of the fifth TechoCon morning meeting was Czech artist Pasta Oner, real name Zdeněk Řanda. And who is Pasta Oner? He replies very succinctly: "Use Google!"
The work of Pasta Oner presents an original, ironic commentary on contemporary popular culture. His traditional themes are obsession with money, sex, religion, luxury goods and the consumerist notions of beauty are translated into new contexts characterised by the technologisation of life, the increasing speed of information and the short attention-span aesthetics of today’s culture. It is into this world, of which Pasta – like all of us – is a part, that he brings his engaged art. His work shows both sides of hell and of ourselves. The interweaving of the concepts of good and bad and triviality and seriousness is the key to Pasta’s thought which surprises us with the blatant delicacy of an endlessly extending arch; a somewhat pathetic Divine Comedy.
* Source: art curator Pavel Kubesa
In the interview that he gave for TechoCon you will learn more about his life and approach to art.
TechoCon morning meeting
Is a series of informal breakfasts that are linked to the TechoCon conference. At this breakfast at DOX Pasta Oner focused primarily on art in public and commercial spaces and associated issues. We can all probably agree that the presence of art is necessary in such spaces.
How did you end up doing what you do? Was it a life-long mission or chance?
I’m a believer, but I don’t think in such a fatalistic way. I believe that everything in existence has a certain purpose. I wouldn’t call it a mission though – those are very strong words, but without doubt there is some meaning there. As a small child I loved artistic things, beautiful things. They were things that kept me awake at night. However, I actually came to art myself through graffiti.
So you started with graffiti?
Yes, it’s normal on Wikipedia.
Do you see any deeper or special meaning in your work? Do you consider what you do to be a job?
Yes, of course it’s a job. It is very demanding work because such work combines all the various abilities and skills of a good manager, salesman, PR specialist and artist.
Do you do everything yourself?
No. I have my team. I do the art and my team does the rest.
Does it ever get you down? Or do you only create when you are in the mood?
I do art nonstop. It is not the case that I say to myself suddenly – right, now I will do some art. I live and breathe art every minute of every day. However, some things do annoy me, such as bad communication or a poorly specified commission. That’s when I take on a commission because I mainly try to avoid them. I work only with people who are familiar with who I am, what route I have taken, what I’ve achieved and, above all, what it’s worth. The rest is a huge waste of time. So yes, I can get worked up when I work with someone who has no idea what they want, why they want it and they only have five crowns to pay for it. That gets me angry.
Let’s move away a bit from art. Do you ever get frustrated by life, or the whole world?
That’s not possible! Life is a huge gift. It’s impossible! Life and time and place, method by which we are born within the development of the universe to this picosecond… we are essentially the dirt under the nail, maybe even a mistake of evolution. It is simply absurd to question life as such. It is incredible luck that enables a person to be born at a moment in the evolution of civilisation that lasts hundredths of a second in comparison with the scale on which the universe is developing. What’s more we are at the top of the pyramid, among the world elite and that is totally unique. Every morning we shower in drinking water that some 30% of the population of this planet doesn’t have access to. To be angry at this life or things is absurd.
So you are a happy person?
What do you do when you are not working?
I don’t actually know that such moments actually exist. I work all the time because my work is also in its way my hobby. But if I seriously had to go and enjoy something then it would be getting out into the countryside. I really like it. You can take in shapes, surroundings and other impressions. It is all about concentration and the hardest thing is to be able to detach from reality and just let things flow. The countryside does this for me.