The covid-19 epidemic is already causing major troubles for all of us. For the gallery, this means, among other things, a violent stop of our programmation. In April 2020, we were to host the exhibition “Simple Stories”, introducing the works of artists Jana Machatova and Peter Machata. Since we are unable to show their work in the context of the gallery, we are offering you the opportunity to discover their work through an online exhibition and interviews. Although Jana and Peter are partners in life, they work separately. For this reason, both interviews are published independly. Stay tuned and home!
LA Joaillerie : In Bratislava, you were a student of one of the most important Slovakian sculptors, professor Jozef Jankovič. Did it influence your practice and if yes, how ?
Peter Machata : I studied sculpture which taught me how to work with space and to connect my works with ideas. I think about jewelry in the same way and I base their creation on similar postulates. Jankovič never tried to insist on us to work with sculpture, he taught us to select the most suitable medium for what we wanted to say.
LA Joaillerie : What drove you to choose jewelry as a medium and not sculpture ?
Peter Machata : For me it’s a question of mood and closely related to the theme I want to work on. Jewelry is much more personal and private. People are its natural presentation space. I work much better with personal themes in this format.
LA Joaillerie : What makes your jewelry singular and different from others ?
Peter Machata : I don’t know for sure, but I suppose that they’re distinctive because I work with personal themes and formally because of my using digital technologies.
LA Joaillerie : What are your main sources of inspiration ?
Peter Machata : I’m neither a philosopher nor a thinker. So my work relies on personal themes which I’ve frequently experienced or encountered. My work is based on emotion and currently jewelry is the format I’m the most comfortable with.
LA Joaillerie : Can you describe your creative process ?
Peter Machata : For the past few years I’ve been working with 3D scans of statues’ body parts. I use the obtained 3D models as the basis for further software processing and the milling of the parts made of plastic. Then I put these semi-finished products together and connect them through traditional jewelry techniques. I like this balance between old and new technology, it maintains me in a kind of internal equilibrium.
LA Joaillerie : You’ve been creating art jewelry for more than 20 years. How has your practice evolved ?
Peter Machata : My experience as a jewelry sculptor relies on a gradual discovery of technology and the expressive possibilities of jewelry. I moved from the basic goldsmith technology up to its combination with the digital world. Revealing the possibilities of a small world like a jewel is a huge adventure for me and I think that I’ll continue to work on it as long as I enjoy it.
LA Joaillerie : How do you imagine the future of art jewelry ?
Peter Machata : I hope that it can exist in parallel with and as an acknowledged part of contemporary art.
LA Joaillerie : What does « making » mean to you ?
Peter Machata : I like a work which keeps my head and hands busy. It’s a kind of creative working meditation for me.
LA Joaillerie : Which are the topics you’d like to explore in the future ?
Peter Machata : I don’t know what life will bring. At the moment I’m working on the Stigma series, which deals with the impact of the environment — in which I grew up and still live — on my way of life and on my perception and assessment of the world. From historical up to personal traces with which the world marks us.
LA Joaillerie : Your work can be defined as figurative and narrative. A type of approach that is usually seen in Anglo-Saxon countries. What drove you to this genre and in which way is your work influenced by your cultural origins ?
Peter Machata : I don’t think that the cultural and historical development of Slovakia is much different than that of Anglo-Saxon countries. Slovakia reacted to these influences later, because it was not at the center, but the mobility of a nation is always implemented from a cultural centre to a local culture. Storytelling was characteristic of pagan and Christian cultures, which has an impact on me whether I like it or not. I don’t think that searching for a story is my priority, I’m more interested in the emotion connected with personal experience, my own or that of the people around me. In this way I try to replace predefined themes which were implanted in culture by society, religions and ideologies.
LA Joaillerie : How would you define « art jewelry » ?
Peter Machata : A visual format reduced to jewelry’s dimensions, whose presentation space is the human body, and which can use the themes and formal means of expression of contemporary art.
LA Joaillerie : If you were not a jeweler, what would you like to be ?
Peter Machata : An architect. I like working with space and I’ve already tried to work with small and medium-size formats.