Frantisek Strouhal was born in Czechoslovakia to a family of painters and artists. He currently lives in western Canada. He is internationally admired for his flawless use of traditional 19th-century techniques combined with his unique contemporary yet timeless artistic vision.
His work explores the harmony between the spiritual and the physical world. His surrealistic approach can only be described as psychologically engaging. In other words, his work forces one to ponder about the deeper meaning of life.
Strouhal's unusual technique and style, as a mixed media artist, is created from photography, digital collage, contact printing and lithography inks on watercolor papers. His subjects range from landscape, cityscapes and still life but mostly focus on the human form.
Frantisek’s artwork is included in numerous private collections in Canada, United States and through Europe. He has had many exhibitions in North America. The artist is a recipient of the Gold Medal at the Rotary Centre for the Arts in Kelowna, BC and was selected by the Manhattan Arts International curated art exhibition “The Healing Power of Art”, 2015. He also received Awards of Merit at both American Juried Art Salon’s International Fine Art Show and Decorative Art’s International Show.
Frantisek in his Mirage Studio
“Art Embracing Awareness” embodies the purpose of my work. An essential aspect of my art explores thoughts and inspirations of an existential nature and investigates the interaction and harmony between the spiritual and the physical world. My work exists to connect with others in contemplation, and peace. It is not static but invites interaction.
“Art Embracing Awareness” also reflects my love and struggle with solitude, as well as my ability to evoke emotions through the medium of portraiture. With the help of posture, personality, and composition of light, each image is designed to lay specific emphasis on the core thoughts, and moods that inspire and unravels our subconscious nature. Solitude, beyond being a physical circumstance is an internal disposition, and only in that state of mind can we truly contemplate. What we meditate upon is subject to our personality and experience. With such deliberation, we may find our own genius, confront our demons, or simply revel in sweet nostalgia.
To create my images I use photography, digital collage, contact printing and lithography inks on watercolor paper. The watercolor paper is soaked in a gelatin bath then dried. In the meantime a digital negative is made, contact printed under UV lights on the sensitized watercolor paper which then become the matrix for applying lithography inks, building up layers upon layers to create the desired image.
My artistic ideas shape themselves as a vision, an image which I sketch on a sheet of paper. To materialize this vision I capture the figure of live models with my 4x5 camera. These portraits are integrated with previously collected images of landscapes, architectural details, and still-life in a collage effect, situating the personage in an imaginary environment. I love to work with the human form. The human form is essential to my artwork. It is the most universal symbol of beauty that stirs and satisfies my mind and heart.
I believe that by creating and exhibiting this work of Art I contribute to the work of the universal awakening of humanity, and helping people to experience joy, and peace in themselves and also remove and transform the cause of prejudices and fear. A work of art can help people grasp the nature of their sorrow and give them the ability to understand how to transform the negative and develop the positive in themselves.