Since 2010 Jiri Ptacek has been working on a new collection of paintings entitled Metamorphosis. This collection is different in both sensation and style from the previous Perfect World collection and seems to have been created almost as a reaction to it. One of the impulses which started Ptacek’s work on the collection was his feeling of a lack of depth of meaning and of spirituality emanating from the strikingly bright and colourful images of his Perfect World paintings. In the Perfect World the image of the world is distorted and over-glamorised – bearing a resemblance to the way the world is represented by advertisement images. The pictures in the Metamorphosis collection instil in the viewer an impression of a mysterious, strange, dreamy, even meditative world. They do not depict a virtual reality; they are based more on deep inner feelings and sensations.
There is also a striking contrast in Ptacek’s painting technique – acrylics are combined with dynamic ink drawings on canvas. The predominant colour spectrum is darker and more subtle. The pictures in this collection are absent of defining clear outline and shape, often created with stencils in the Perfect World paintings; hence these images are rendered vague and elusive. The artist works with subtlety and, arising from this, concrete shapes, forms and images become apparent in the paintings – towns, buildings, mysterious towers, features of the human body, animals, birds – all of these emerging from blots of colour and from the texture of the painting. The precise filigree-like ink drawings help to create a tangibility of the motive and enables the viewer to ‘see through’ the ordinarily experienced reality of external form to what is ‘inside’ – the delicateness of skeletal, vascular and nervous system structures, for example, are exposed. There is a reminder of the fragility and transience of life in Ptacek’s Metamorphosis collection. Fragile and vulnerable creatures float in the timeless space of imaginary landscapes, subordinate to transformation over time. Creatures fight ferociously to manifest their power or to ensure their own survival.