Marie Boková: “It’s special for me to be medium for them”

We know the names of many great artists, but most of them we know from history. Many of them were not recognized during their lifetime, someone shone on the world stage of art, but was lonely, others hid their talent.

But what is significant for artists now? How can we know about them? How can people feel and accept their talents? What are modern creators talking about? An artist from Prague Marie Boková shared her thoughts. She is only 18 years old, but this spring she already had an exhibition and she already learned to express herself. She knows how to speak in a way that will make you hear – she is a painter.

Marie Boková on the interview
  • Where are you from?

I was born and live in Prague for 18 years.

  • How did you choose a theme for your work at exhibition?

We had a group project and we had one theme. Each of us should choose just one way work to the theme. The theme was borders.  So I was thinking about what it means for me. Where is the border between life and death? I found a guy who was born a one hundred years before me, exactly, even on the same day.

He was born in Prague and there were working as a doctor. In the Second World War he was killed by the Nazis.  I went to Poland in Auschwitz because he was killed there and I brought home some of the ground so I could make a painting with the ground in pigment colors. How did I know his look? Well, I found his photo. And I did it for him because I felt some connection with him – it was like a bridge to the past. As people have photos on their grief, I made one for him, because he had no chance to have one.

But this year I worked on psychological theme. I painted one picture and then I made two graphics. I had my second exhibition with these works. This experience is really important for me.

Marie Boková’s work
Marie Boková’s work
  • How was your second exhibition?

It was in May this year at clinic for mental sickness, like eating disorders or addictions. I went through anorexia and bulimia, so I know that people can win battle with this, they can become healthy. I’d like to be motivation for those people because I know, what they felt. There were invited some public people as famous sport-girls and doctors were also there. I was talking about my experience and as well answering questions about my works.



  • So, after school do you plan to study art at the university?

Yes. I’m planning to attend two schools which are AVU (University of Arts) and then FAMU (it’s a film school). I’d like to do a scenography which connected with history. I’m interested in being part of something bigger. I want to work on this field.

  • Can you talk about some of your works?

This is a girl who is lost in nature. She is scared and lost in this world. Near her there is a small child and you don’t know if it’s she or he, it’s a kind of, it. They are similar because it is her, as a child – and it’s bringing back to life.

Marie Boková’s work which she talks about
  • What materials do you use in your works?

This is oil painting. And I have graphics. For example, it’s a girl who think that everyone is caring just about themselves but, at the same time, they are judging her. So she doesn’t want to look at the world, she just want to stay alone. And she’s afraid and feels lonely.

Marie Boková’s work about lonely girl

And the second graphic. It’s a girl and she’s drowning herself. This’s water and this’s air. And it isn’t logical to drown in air because you aren’t under water, so you’re doing it to yourself. It’s in your mind. Anyone can’t do anything about it but only drowning people themselves. I made this and a few girls said me that this is exactly how they felt this world. But they couldn’t express it.

Marie Boková’s graphic
  • What’s the main idea of your works? What are you doing your works for?

I want to express my feelings about deep things in the world. It isn’t common to talk about eating disorders or dead people. When I draw it, I can feel that many people think about it too but they didn’t express it loudly because they are afraid. It’s special for me to be medium for them.

  • How can young artists support themselves today?

I plan to share my works on the social media. And then I’d like to join to film or theatre because in this area I could be useful – I can help to understand people that they are not alone. Also I’d like to have more exhibition maybe even on the streets. I don’t care about money, really. I do everything from the bottom of my heart. And I believe that only this way bring money – work is not for money, but for the idea.

  • It’s rather unusual for a girl of your age to have experience of her own exhibition, big plans in the field of art. What do your classmates and friends think about your work?

We all support each other and I like their works and they like mine. On social media we share each other. They are amazing people.

  • Have you been convicted of your age? Your gender?

«You are a girl who is drawing, it’s nothing special. Every girl can do it» It was when I was younger. Sometimes people say that I’m too young for my themes because I don’t have so much experience to talk about it. But in most times, they are support. I have not met someone who would be really offensive.

  • Is Czech Republic a good platform for young talents?

Yes, I think so. Because here is a lot of open-minded young people. And they support each other and you can develop. Unfortunately, we don’t have so much young teachers in art in Prague. But if you are ambitious you have a chance.

  • What do you think about tourists? Do they affect Czech art?

They bring other energy. Tourists are just relaxed. People who live here are always stressed by something. When you look at tourists, you remember that life isn’t only about stress. But sometimes crowds can be rude.

  • What are you most proud of?

Expressing my feelings to my parents. I am proud of my ability to express my feelings because it’s much easier for me now to live my life.

  • What makes you worry about your work?

That one day I wouldn’t want to express my feelings. Sometimes it happens but for a short time – you always come back. I was so angry when I couldn’t draw anything. I think it’s kind part of life.

Marie Boková on the interview
  • We hear the names of great creators every day. For example, about Kafka, walking along Prague street 200 meters, you will hear about him least 3 times. But what about the fact that young artists cannot be heard?

History is a strong part. Today young people think that art comes only from heart and love. No, it also comes from pain and drama. And Kafka’s life story, for example, reminds us about the source of art. As for young artists, if you have a desire, you will become famous. But the goal isn’t to become famous. We want to be heard and understood, we want to help people, but not just have money.

  • Do you have someone who inspires you?

Frida. Her life and her paintings where she expressed pain, feelings, politician situation in her country are unbelievable.

  • Your advice to young talents.

Be brave, have ambitious and always do what you want.

Marie Boková’s work painted in oil
Marie Boková’s work painted in oil

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