13.10.2011 Q&A with Josef Mladějovský
Q: What was your ultimate professional breakthrough?
A: The moment when I stopped striving to be the greatest artist in the world. It freed me from my ambitions and since then, I have been finally able to enjoy art.
A: Definitely not! However, most artists like to suffer because it makes them feel like they can finally experience emotions and they derive inspiration from their depression. I used to have friends in secondary school who actually liked being depressed and attempted to make themselves depressed. I think that artists are afraid that good art can’t be done without feeling depressed. They also have a Saviour complex. It may even be some kind of martyrdom, but that’s something extra. Some of them then defend the purpose of their work by saying that it’s art therapy. What I’m interested in is finding out how many of these patients want to get better as I feel that they love to wallow in their depression.
A: In secondary school, there was a professor who told us about Sandro Botticelli who, at one point in his life, entered a monastery and suddenly it was as if the earth had swallowed him up. He stopped painting and from that moment on, nobody knew what happened to him. So I’d be interested to know what he went through in his life. I’d like to ask him why he’d entered the monastery and if it were better than his life before that.