Czech illustrator Michal Bačák conceived a cross-cultural, fantastical mythology in his new collection of majolica bowls for Prague’s Křehký gallery. Launching at the Křehký Mikulov design festival this year, the collection is another collaboration between the artist and the gallery, which is known for producing items with local (and international) designers.
Bačák graduated in product design at Prague Academy of Art and Design in 2010, but never had a strong interest in the subject. Instead he was fascinated by the sketches and illustrations he applied onto furniture and accessories. This fascination eventually led to his original style, combining realism with curiosity, a sense of humor and almost surrealist symbols.
In the new collection of majolica bowls (produced by traditional ceramic workshop Karel Hanák) the artist delved further into his imagination to create powerful portraits of gods and animalistic idols—inspired by traditional Moravian folk art and ceremonies. “These bowls depict both everyday and ceremonial life in specific regions, much like other objects of colonial folk culture,” Bačák tells CH. “By portraying these blends of cultures, religions and symbols within exotic nature, specific historical eras are documented—with just a hint of mystification.”
The collection comprises of three bowls decorated with different portraits—including the idols Single Young Woman from Moravian Samoa, Chief Miller from the Islands of Our Lady of Křtiny, and Widow from Papua Nové Milotice—dotted out in mix of milky pinks and blues and vibrant reds and greens. Bačák reimagines the Moravian folk culture with his own dreamlike wonder, blending traditional lace folk costumes with exotic fauna, prehistoric armor and even the skulls of cannibals—resulting in a striking set of ceramics.
The bowls are available online or at Qubus + Křehký gallery in the center of Prague.
Portrait image courtesy of Salim Issa, all other images courtesy of Kristína Hrabětová