Jiri Skorepa

Jiri Skorepa was born on December 22, 1954, the younger of two sons, to a math and physical education teacher. Not only was his father an admired teacher, he also played the violin, painted, and was a photographer. It was he who recognized and encouraged his son's talents. Jiri sang, learned to play the accordion and guitar, as well as tennis, which dominated his attention for many years. After passing his final exams to study at Prague's School of Graphic Arts, it was tennis that kept him distracted from his books, causing the first year of study to be the last one. Greatly disappointed and upset, his father brought Jiri back to his hometown to sign up for a four year graphic artist/lithographer course at Ceske Budejovice's Jihoceske Tiskarny. Skorepa spendt his free time intensely pursuing his interests, spending many hours a day with a brush in his hand. This effort proved good preparation for a future career in painting. During the fifteen years Jiri devoted to singing, he performed on countless stages and concert podiums both home and abroad, including a position as a baritone soloist in Prague's Chamber Opera. All the while, he never gave up his interest in painting, maintaining his own private studio. In fact, studio work and open air painting took up most of his free time. The resulting pictures were then exhibited in various cultural establishments and in the summer they were shown in schools at Vysocina. However, it was not until the communist regime fell to pieces, taking the Association of Graphic Artists along with all its useless committees and the monopoly "Dilo" gallery network, that a genuinely democratic order set in for the Czech Republic and its art. As private galleries began to spring up and business started to bloom, creative arts found new outlets and ways to be presented. It was also one of the reasons why Jiri Skorepa had another hard decision to make. When Prague's Chamber Opera ceased to exist in 1990, he had to decide which one of his talents to follow - whether to continue singing or switch over to painting. Jiri Skorepa's paintings are realistic and focused mainly on the landscape of Vysocina and Southern Bohemia, but also depicting Prague and themes from his travels abroad. His brand of realism is created by an energetic hand lead by emotions and humility. The objective is always to be faithful to the theme, rather than to please the critic's eye, and to pursue the traditions of landscape painting.