When she's not getting off her snowboard to stand on the winners' podium, Eva Adamczyková likes to go to exhibitions. Which one did she see last, and what art hangs on her walls? We talked about this and also about her fascination with Francis Bacon or Stanislav Kolíbal in her apartment in Dejvice, which she shares with her husband Marek and their crossbreed pooch Artur.
Let's start on a light note: you won a lot of gold medals and everyone remembers the gold jacket from Sochi. Is gold your favorite color?
Not always, I have to say. When it comes to jewelry, I've always went for silver. I guess I prefer silver then. I only like gold when it comes to my engagement and wedding ring. It's an original jewel made of unpainted matte gold, which I like very much. But truth to be told, I do appreciate gold in a form of a medal.
I deliberately try not to talk about sports but about your relationship with art. I hear you're very keen on it, and you even buy some for yourself occasionally, right?
I'm interested in art, I enjoy it. I wouldn't call myself an expert, I’m more of an enthusiast. I enjoy going to galleries and watching those stuff. When it comes to art, I either like it or I don't. Which I think is the most important thing in this case. That it's subjective. I enjoy how it affects people and the emotions it brings up in them.
Could we then say that you're an active art collector?
I'm not that active, but I do have a few things at home. Sometimes I get a painting from friends, sometimes I even get it as a gift. Sometimes I get a piece of art that I like and is available to me. I'm sort of a semi-collector.
How do you choose your art? Do you consult art curators or follow J&T Banka's Art Index? Or do you follow purely your intuition and personal taste?
For sure it's mostly my own taste. I don't follow any artist ranking, but I'll check it out. I mainly consult my man, my husband, who also has to live with that art when I bring it home. Like the last time, when I showed him some paintings, he said he didn't like them and fourteen days later I still brought them home. But he tolerates them. Other than that, I also consult Jakub Flejšar and friends. I often come across something interesting on Instagram. This is how I discovered Bára Valášková, from whom I bought two paintings. I also have three watercolor pieces from Stanislav Kolíbal. I always visit his exhibitions and I'd never even hope to buy his work myself. That's probably my greatest joy so far.
What is it that you like about art? And what kind of art are you interested in?
I especially like that everybody can find something for themselves in it. It can remind you of something, other times it simply makes you feel good. Whether it's a gallery or a living room, I like how art can bring about such atmosphere or emotion. I also enjoy the way sculptures interact with public space, the creativity behind it and the way the artist sees their art work, how they think about it. I'm mostly interested in modern and contemporary art. Especially paintings and sculptures. I used to immerse in art when I was in Spain. I like contemporary art galleries in Madrid, or the Picasso Museum in Barcelona, too.
What's hanging on your walls or standing in your living room? What about design? Did you work with an architect to design your home interior?
I have an ever-changing variety of different paintings at home. These are, for example, two large canvases by Barbora Valášková; paintings by Jakub Flejšar, who's primarily a sculptor but sometimes paints something as well; I have a poster for the United Nations by Jakub's grandfather Josef Flejšar, a painting by Natalia Roučková. I also really like this painting by a blind artist whose name I unfortunately can't remember. I visited an art studio where one foundation provides the blind and visually impaired with an opportunity to artistically express themselves. I simply fell for this minimalist, in a good way infantile portrait. I just had to get it, and now it's hanging in my hallway. We also have a 3D printed miniature horse by Michal Gabriel.
I also enjoy design very much. For example, I got one beautiful vase from the Vobouch studio, which is owned by my friend and another friend of his. Design is important. When designing the interior of my apartment in Dejvice, I worked with the architecture studio Nácházel Architekti. I'm fascinated by how they were able to transplant their idea into the apartment so that the whole concept suddenly made sense. Some may find it vain to have their interior designed, but I wouldn't underestimate it. For example, my parents couldn't make any sense of why I would invest a fairly large amount of money in having someone to tell you where to place a fridge. But it's not just about that, it's about the concept of the whole apartment, where I feel good then.
If you had endless possibilities, what would you bring home? What artist would you like to meet (feel free to stray into the past)?
I wouldn't say no to a small Picasso. If I had unlimited possibilities, I would buy something by Alberto Giacometti or a painting by Francis Bacon. His work evokes a lot of strong emotions in me. I'm fascinated by his brutality.
Do you have time to visit exhibitions? What did you see last or what recently caught your eye?
I have more time for that off-season, that is from spring to autumn. My husband and I go to exhibitions quite often, he's also interested in fine art. Last time I saw Toyen, which was a beautiful exhibition. Then I went to a museum in Madrid where you can see Picasso's Guernica. I was impressed.
Can you draw? I know you have a great love for horses, do you ever draw them? I'm asking because I find their grandeur fascinating and they have inspired many an artist.
I myself don't draw at all. I like art, so I'm a good consumer, but not an author. I was a child the last time I attempted to draw a horse. They're gorgeous and can be turned into beautiful art, you're right.
A lot of racers have artists design their snowboards, but yours is often purely white. Aren't you tempted by such cooperation? Don't you race?
I've never had anything designed for my boards as I have about twenty of them and I'm glad I can put at least partner logos on them. I think that especially the upper parts should remain clean, because then one can see those partners better, which is of course important. But I've always liked to name my boards. As for the designs, I drew them myself. But one of my boards had, for example, a flying sheep by Jakub Flejšar. But it was just a freestyle marker drawing for a giggle.
But your helmet is a different story, right?
Yes, it was designed by my friend Veronika Děrdová. In Sochi, I had her drawing with blue wolves on my helmet, which I really liked, and some shepherd's purses. In Korea it was kimchi and it was much more colorful. I had another design ready for China, but I got injured and it didn't happen in the end. But I would like to make it happen, it was supposed to have everything that is dear to me, including my parents.
Who do you talk to about art? I can imagine long conversations with Jakub Flejšar, your former coach, sculptor, and author of the famous moustache for many years. I read somewhere that it was he who sparked your interest in visual arts.
Jakub has influenced me a lot. I always thought of galleries as inaccessible space for people who don't understand art, but he showed me that that's not the case at all. He showed me that art is for everyone. Going to galleries is actually the easiest thing you can do. Jakub introduced me to that somewhat spontaneously. We were racing all over Europe and visiting cities with amazing galleries and he used to take me there with him. He would show me the works of various artists and educate me. I also talk a lot about art with my husband Marek or with his parents, who are educated and very knowledgeable in this field.
Let's circle back to Jakub for a bit, do you like his sculptures? Did he use any “artistic methods” in training? And the last one: do you think he is a better sculptor or snowboarder?
I like Jakub's sculptures. I've always wanted one from him, but we haven't gotten there yet. At least I've got that painting from him. And also dining table legs are welded together. I like these industrial things, when they have a soul and when they're a tad dirty, so to say. Jakub is not exactly a usual coach, which I liked and was comfortable with. Whether they were artistic methods, I don't know. Of course, Marek Jelínek played his part in it. But to compare a sculptor and a snowboarder... that's like chalk and cheese. I think that when he wanted to ride more, he didn't do sculpture as much, which was right. Now he's doing more sculpting and doesn't want to snowboard as much.
What about other forms of art? I've heard you play the saxophone. I wonder, do you listen to music on the slopes? What's your favorite song on Spotify?
I don't play the sax anymore. I still have it at home, but I haven't played in 14 years. I got it for my birthday or Christmas from my coach Marek Jelínek. It's beautiful, I plan to arrange private lessons, but I haven't had much time yet.
On the slope, I listen to music mostly during free riding or when I am bored and we’re just getting our feet wet. I usually listen to music when I'm riding alone. I don't have music in my ears at races.
My favorite song on Spotify always changes. Although recently I stumbled upon a video by Jamie Cullum on Instagram and it just confirmed that he's one of my favorite performers.
Speaking of music, I've just remembered a summer music video shot in Bali with Barbora Poláková and the song Poď si (English: C'mon) which you sang together. One would want to leave everything behind and go somewhere at once. Can we look forward to the sequel and more songs? Do you sing at home?
Mark and I sing at home all the time. And if not out loud, I constantly play songs in my head. The music video with Bára was awesome. I'm so glad we met and became friends. I'm very grateful for that. Not too long ago she released a new video Sousedův trávník (English: Neighbor's lawn), in which I got a part and not only me, but also Marek, Marek's parents, Bára's band, Markéta Děgelová, Lenka Krobotová, Martha Issová and the whole big bunch. The shooting was hilarious and we all had fun.
You also had a go at the acting life in the movie Poslední závod (English: The Last Race) where you acted alongside your husband Marek Adamczyk. Did you enjoy it?
I wouldn't call it acting, I was just an extra. But I enjoyed it a lot. It just so happens they needed someone to say two sentences to the camera, so they put me there. If anything it was clear to me that acting is no monkey business. That it's art and a profession for which you need to be talented while working hard at it. I would definitely not call myself an actress. If anything it proved to me how hard it is to be an actor. Let alone a good one.
I hear you enjoy theater, too. I suppose you go to your husband's plays as well. Could you recommend anything?
I do. It's a bit harder during the high season, but I'm trying. I've become more interested in theatre because of Marek. I'd definitely recommend the play titled Pan Kolpert (English: Mr. Kolpert) by the Theater Studio Ústí nad Labem.
Thanks a lot for the interview.