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Where Angels Fear to Tread; Holly Spruck

"I wish I were half the man Holly is. " - Jesse Littell

 

Shadow by Holly Spruck
SHADOW, oil on prepared paper, 82 x 61 cm, 1999

If you ever get the chance to meet Holly Spruck, you will not be surprised to find that she is an elementary art school teacher at the International School of Prague.

Her love for scatology and the ridiculousness of reality are childish qualities she expends no effort hiding.

And when confronted with her work, you find yourself, sink or swim, in swirling pools of emotional ambiguity.

Her first show in Prague (Radost FX Gallery, June 1998) left patrons unsatisfied. Invariably, when they decided on the painting that must be had, it was already spoken for.

All but one painting were sold by the end of the opening.

A later show (Hairline Studios, November 1999) was more of the same. The paintings had nearly doubled in price, but nary a complaint was to be heard regarding cost. Instead, the grumbles ran to the tune of "but I had my heart set on that one..."

Her success is hardly questionable. Her colors are bold, her stroke is unambiguous, her line is alive, her figures are characters you know all too well; the result? Cages, plush with story.

An aesthetic fullness that is inescapable.

Emotional Blackmail by Holly Spruck
EMOTIONAL BLACKMAIL, oil on prepared paper, 71 x 54 cm, 1998

At the show, one of her colleagues from the school remarked, "I had no idea..." Hardly an uncommon reaction. It is difficult to resist the empathy that rises in you, to protect yourself from the undeniable poignancy so playfully depicted.

A selection of Holly's work will be on display for the month of May at the Mala Sarka Gallery. The Mala Sarka Gallery is a project very close to the heart of it's founder and curator, Jana Jezkova.

In fact, it is in her home. The Gallery is currently a not-for-profit organization, but Ms. Jezkova has plans to give a 5% commission of sales to a worthy charity.

For more information about Holly Spruck and her work, or to setup a private viewing, please send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ,

For more information about the Mala Sarka Gallery, please contact Ms. Jana Jezkova at (02) 20. 96. 04. 96 or 0602/780-579.

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