Happy Mushrooms

Galerie mladých 16 11 — 28 01
opening — 15 11 2022

Pavel Dvořák is a graduate of the Faculty of Fine Art and Music in Ostrava, his paintings are influenced by neo-expressionism and the motifs are based on various pop culture sources: computer games, animated series and B-horror films. In addition to his paintings, he also creates wooden figures that, like his figures on canvas, spare no biting humor. In his most recent paintings, one can trace the theme of the archetype of male power, the need to update it and to accept their new forms in a richer range and not only as an invincible source of dominance or aggression. The motifs of the paintings can also be read as a self-ironic questioning of masculinity, often in partnership constellations.

However, the installation in Galerie mladých is not primarily painterly and intimate; it consists mainly of objects through which the themes of power and domination are discussed in a broader context. Using wooden figures and watercolor depicting He-Man, a character from an 80s American cartoon, the author revisits familiar pop-culture sources. The muscular blond Prince Aadm aka He-Man wields his giant sword as he battles the evil wizard Skeletor, who seeks to seize the key to world domination. 

The series is based on the writers’ assumption that children are attracted to power because they have no power themselves and must obey adults.  Pavel Dvořák uses this childish simplification of the surrounding world as a metaphor for an ironic commentary on current events and the simplistic perception of adults. In the installation, the key to control or destroy the world that all ultimate villains across superhero stories want to possess takes the form of a red button activating nuclear weapons.