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Interview with Master Vlastimil Beranek 2

Updated: Jun 21, 2020

Stone part

How about stone - you have worked with it in the past, are you coming back to it?

My relationship with stone is intimate, similar as it to glass. Glass and stone are pretty close in many regards. They are friends. Stone is fragile, with varying degrees of hardness; it is defiant and headstrong like glass. Glass art is actually re-melted silica that does not want to be glass, it wants to remain silica. It is forced to be glass. It is an artificial condition and has a whole range of unique characteristics. Stone, on the other hand, possesses a strong inner- energy. Consider, for example, a pebble on the palm of your hand; how much the ocean has toiled on it and now it contains that energy inside it forever. It is similar for every stone. There was always an energy preceding it, regardless of whether the stone is commonplace or precious. Its energy-packed story is hidden somewhere inside and bringing it out to light amounts to a miracle.

Recently you and the Marmor Hotavlje stonemasons created a statue in Carrara white marble, weighing more than 100 kg. What does it look like?

The Carrara marble is a noble, dream material with great cultural and historical connotations. It possesses character and is mysterious. I do not know any creator who would resist having his or her work created in such a material and I am no exception. The statue mentioned is named The Breaking Point, it is a marvelous piece of marble that is simply mesmerizing.

And what will your other sculptures of pink marble and ivory onyx be like?

Such a material diversity is very welcome. Different materials bring varied inspiration tastes, new possibilities which are inspired by the color, texture or the semi-translucence properties. I hope that these characteristics will enrich future sculptures with new qualities.

Boulle Luxury has covered your statue Venus in 50 million tiny diamonds. What do you have to say about that?

With Jean Boulle Luxury we share unique creative visions. Our cooperation resulted in covering the Venus in diamonds; it is awesome and symbolic. Venus – a woman in diamond apparel! That sounds great doesn’t it? Is she the shy beauty from the picture by Sandro Botticelli, a mysterious planet of our Solar system or a woman of your heart? The choice is yours.

What is your philosophy as a creator? Where do you look for inspiration and are you currently working on any new statues?

I’m currently mainly working on larger concepts rather than on smaller individual pieces. They are mostly everyday subjects but also environmental and social ones. In terms of form, it is important to reach the elementary substance of a given phenomenon, whether it is a thought, process or movement. Existential subjects are very close to my heart. I keep searching for the essence. Refined or minimalistic expression communicates with the power of a definitive statement; that is what is important to me. Unshakeable constants of human being invariably persist even though they are at times overshadowed by momentary fluctuations and foolishness. We form a part of a complex, unfathomable whole. Coming to terms with that is challenging. Statues help me to find the answers. Yet, at the same time, I do not mind if I fail to find them sometimes. New questions keep appearing, ceaselessly, so I am continuously on my way making discoveries.

What inspires you?

Diversity, the fundamental questions, processes in nature and natural phenomena, man, enthusiasm for the little everyday things. Everything that lies behind the horizon of imagination is extremely interesting to me.

How would you best characterize yourself using your own words?

An optimist, yet permanently believing that something will go wrong!

What do you think makes your art unique?

I am positively convinced that having the opportunity to interpret one’s own thoughts is one of the highest manifestations of personal freedom. So I do enjoy the luxury of communicating my thoughts. The very fact it is possible is unique in itself. Lately I have been increasingly inclined to use a larger, bulky format and more generalized shapes. This aspect is what my sculptures have in common. And as I work with glass, it inevitably leads me to push the limits.

What charges you with energy in life, what motivates you?

My wife Jana, she is the person closest to me.

Where do you see the future of glass sculpture?

It lies in forming crystal-clear thoughts, strong views and grand visions. The term sculpture is too broad for anyone to be able to forecast its exact future course. Personally, I wish for a return to communicating honest messages, void of servitude and popularity courting. Diverse, original, timeless and disciplined sculpture is good enough.

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