Are we inside or outside right now? It´s not perfectly clear. In architecture, distorting of what we see with paint or light effects is a type of visual magic or optical play. Facades are typically adorned with various optical illusions, displaying 3D objects in 2D form and creating new hybrid shapes. In their current exhibition project, Mantichora (Manticore), the authors Martin Herold (*1986) and Pavel Příkaský (*1985) frequently invert these illusory elements. The facade, which we expect to be outside, is situated inside. The painting, which we expect to be inside the frame, is interwoven directly into the walls and used for “holding” the paintings-paintings, which are then, according to the inverting motif, tautologically “framed” by the architectural illusion. Apart from the references to the hybrid mechanism of trompe l'oeil (also known as technique of illusive painting), the authors use here motif of a mythological creature with the combined features of different animals.
With the head of a human, body of a lion and a tail of venomous spines or wings of a bat, Manticores produce sounds resembling soft music of a flute. Pavel Příkaský captures them in more variations on a wall painting, a painting or a space installation as simplified zoomorphic motifs typically known from the reliefs, architectural details or sculptures. On the other hand, Martin Herold´s painting visually changes the space of gallery (window, cornice, decoration in lunettes, etc.). Together with this central inversion, the installation also includes other paintings from both authors related to zoomorphic representations of architectural elements: animal representations of brackets or capitals of columns and so on. The exhibition is thus poetic, slightly dangerous, formal, narratival. It is left to us to decide, how much we want to believe the ambivalent illusion of new materiality and old myth presented to us by the authors.
Martin Herold (*1986) studied at The Academy of Fine Arts (2008 – 2014) and The Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp (2013). In his paintings, he depicts illusory situations, which he then combines with present site-specific architecture.
Pavel Příkaský (*1985) studied at The Academy of Fine Arts in Prague (2005 – 2012). He explores the potential of hybrid painting, which he interconnects with the architecture and video and videoinstallation.