Scroll to top

Artist’s Credo


While growing up in former Czechoslovakia, I studied form from nature.  The part of the country I lived in was remote and mountainous.  One of the benefits of living in a part of the country known as “the end of the republic” was the pristine quality of our surroundings.

One of my fondest childhood memories – the interior of my village’s church.  It was illuminated by the reflections of candlelight on the gold of the church icons, the decorations and the priests’ vestments.  Years later I saw that this was the same light that emanated from the paintings of Dutch artist Rembrandt Van Rijn.

After the student protests of 1968-1969, I was expelled from Bratislava University’s Faculty of Fine Arts.  I fled to Canada in search of a better future.  In my art, I reflect the two worlds I have come to know – the East and the West.

In Canada, I attended the Ontario College of Art and on my own studied the canons of Byzantine iconography.  While learning from the two divergent traditions of the orient and the occident, neither seemed on its own capable of satisfying my artistic aims.  Using those masters of juxtaposition – the surrealists – as a springboard, I began combining elements from the two traditions in my life.

My personal visual language constitutes a synthesis of the eastern (abstract, decorative) with the western (concrete, naturalistic) traditions in art.  This reflects the Aristotelean maxim — “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts in isolation”.

Just as a healthy marriage of spirit with matter, art exists as a concrete manifestation of the internal dynamic of human reason and imagination.  In my paintings I strive for balances, both on a conceptual level and in terms of composition.

You’ll often find depictions of hands.  This complex part of the human anatomy is capable of expressing a vast array of emotions, capable of realizing both destructive and creative intentions.

Through my art I try to convey a message of hope and beauty through balance that comes from the harmonious co-existence of spirit and matter.  I hope that my art provides a refuge to all that is anti-spiritual in the world.

Pavlo Lopata