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Artist talk with Martin Kacmarek

'Cigarette', 2021,
Acrylic, oil and airbrush on canvas


Tell us about yourself.

I am 24 yo and born in Spišská Nová Ves in eastern Slovakia. I graduated from a secondary woodworking school- the department of promotional art, where we designed exhibitions and various commercial spaces. I took a break for a year  after school and later I applied to the Academy of Arts in Banská Bystrica where I am currently finishing my last year. As the school is still closed due to pandemic measures, I work in a shared studio with my girlfriend and friends. My current interest is painting, agriculture and cycling. I am very close to agriculture, `I grew up in a farm, where we picked potatoes, sowed in the fields, mowed grain and ordinary farm works. During elementary school, as kids, my friend and I used to track down agricultural machinery and we wanted farmers to take us for a ride on their machines. I even remember one incident when my friend and I drove a truck during a pea harvest and our parents had no idea where we were all day long . We also wanted to call the police while we were driving a truck and eating peas for lunch.


Where did your passion for art begin?

I remember that when I was about six years old, my father taught me to draw a three-dimensional cube. I really enjoyed my father drawing various tractors, farms, still life behind the village and so on. That's when I started drawing, I imitated his drawings of tractors, until it was similar to his drawing. Later I drew various portraits, custom paintings, you know. In 2012, I started high school, where I started to devote myself more to art, we had figural drawing there, where I went to draw even after class ended. My classmate then introduced me to graffiti, and I really liked it and broadened my artistic horizons. I enjoyed painting and drawing the

'Mi o del tut arakhel belavo o bučaris', 2021,
Acrylic, oil and airbrush on canvas


landscape, views of the village and various scenery, so I began to devote myself fully to painting in the open air. I didn't know how to paint with oil paints, I often diluted oil paints with oil on my mother's hair, I didn't have a stand, so I often painted on my knees or I made the stand from wood. I liked it when I painted for dinner, the sky changed quickly and I had to paint quickly to capture it as it is, I painted and sometimes I didn't even know what I was actually painting, I only found out when I turned on the light at home. Of course, I also did graffiti, I took it as part of the plein air and interaction with nature and the environment.

How would you describe your work to someone?

I will describe it in one word "strange mix of hobbies“.


'Narek', 2021.

Acrylic, oil and airbrush on canvas 


What are you currently working on?

I am currently studying for the final exams, fighting against pointless school systems, working on exhibitions, also working on my music EP but most of all I am painting, currently working on smaller formats and starting a new series of portraits of farmers or agricultural workers who are sometimes harmless and sometimes angry.

When you start a new work or project, do you plan what you’re going to create or do you improvise?

I never say to myself, now is the right time to do a new series or, now I'm going for a new painting, sometimes I move around the studio around canvases with paint and brush and spontaneously paint shapes, rotate the painting and look for a shape that suits me for a portrait or figure . I don't like to plan things when I'm planning something, I'm so happy about it, but when I do, it's disappointing. Therefore, I prefer spontaneity and process. I like when a painting is created from "nothing" than when it is created from a sketch, I consider it a total sincerity of the moment. I work on several paintings simultaneously, I run from one to the other.

Can you highlight some of your influences and discuss how your influences have made an impact on you and your practice?

I have a lot of influences, my friends around me, computer simulators such as "Farming Simulator" I consume game aesthetics and filter it into my handwriting. I am also influenced by the instagram, various pages, agro magazines or local farmers and farm workers. I take influence as a fulfilment, without influence I probably wouldn't be able to work, I encounter questions like the internet and today's possibilities influence people to evil, or they deliberately avoid it from being influenced, but it should not be taken as a tragedy but look at it from positive page. Even if a person is not influenced by instagram, for example, he is influenced by something else, everyone perceives it differently, I perceive it as a source of inspiration, not only for artistic activity but also with bizarre agro photographs.


MiKuno, 2021,
Acrylic, oil and airbrush on canvas


What are your plans for the remainder of this year?

I am planning to complete my driver's license for a tractor and truck. But of course I am planning exhibitions and one residence, you will be able to see my work at exhibitions in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Germany, and something is going to LA, but I will not continue, you will find out more on my instagram.

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