Vladimír Morávek

Vladimír Morávek

Mária Zajíčková

Work of Vladimír Morávek (1949) is significant and unique phenomenon among carvers in Slovakia. Educated in fine arts, he has knowledge of the principles of sculpture making, historical styles, folk and contemporary art. He has adopted a unique and specific style by combining the Gothic and Baroque sculpture, folk carving, naïve art and modern sculpture art. He often uses symbols and condensed expression in his work.

He graduated from the photography department of the Secondary School of Applied Arts in Bratislava and from the cinematography department at the Film School of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague. Starting a family and with a career in cinematography which is full of experience and information, he develops a separate fantasy world. Among important moments in Morávek´s work are the first major nativity scenes presentation in Bratislava in 1990, an exhibition in 1995, participation in the International Nativity Scenes Fair in Arles, France in 1992 and the first presentation at the 20th 100 Nativity Scenes Exhibition for Rome in 1995. Comparing himself with artists from around the world, Morávek comes to a conclusion that direction he has taken really will take him to the unique Slovak and individualistic artistic expression.

Morávek´s creative endeavours focus on human being´s inner life from which he borrows his creative topics. He uses sacral, secular, fairy land, allegorical and mythical motifs to produce specific art pieces. Morávek´s woodworking work is divided into free-style minor plastic art including sculptures, sculptural groups, figural arrangements and nativity scenes and monumental art.

Among his initial works is a series of girls and women with very structured long hair, which emphasizes the meaning of a story. His inspiration is music which he depicts as violins or parts thereof linked to a female body. Among his often depicted female characters are many versions of Virgin Mary and the Child. Morávek makes angels with big, Baroque-style inspired wings. Tragic feelings embodies into the crucified Christ or his torsos. His sculptures of clowns are sad, helpless and tragicomic secular figures. In the early 1990s, Morávek started to make a series of sculptures combining a man and a horse located in a country.

Among his regular artistic topics from the 1980s is the birth of the Saviour. He depicts Bethlehem scene, the birthplace of Jesus without unnecessary figures, architecture and landscape and decorates wood with colours and gold coating. He perceives his work through a specific philosophical insight, employing an artist-specific poetic language and visual expression, and uses sacral, secular, fairy land, allegorical and mythical motifs to produce specific art pieces. His monumental artworks employ naïve and gloomy artistic expression.

Now, the artist makes only woodcarving pieces. Morávek´s contribution is that he builds links to the traditional Slovak carving and its history.