Prague has become a major tourist destination, and the city has really come a long way in the last few decades. However, the quality of the items in a lot of the souvenir shops which are hard to miss spotted all around the historic areas of the city all push the same tired items. Shot glasses and key chains from China. And after all, there’s nothing wrong with buying something like this, but for those of you who would like to bring back something from the city which is hand crafted by people actually living in the city then you’ll have to venture just a bit outside of the center.
A handful of boutiques in Prague now offer an assortment of handmade items and gifts. Starting with one situated right near Old Town’s most viewed tourist location, the Old Town Square church and astronomical clock. Down a small pasage right on the walk to the Charle’s Bridge you’ll find Fashion Shop Parazit where a smattering of Czech Designers sell their goods ( Bliss Farm included! )
Fashion Shop Parazit
Another little shop can be found on Truhlářská 29 right past the large shopping center Paldium. Here you will find some hand made goodies as well as some well curated pop surreal items from around the world.
And of course no quest for handmade and unique gifts without stopping into our humble little store just a 5 minute tram ride from near Flamingo Park! Grab the 26, or the 9 tram to Lipanska, and walk up the hill behind the church ( Cajkovskeho 22 ) and stop in and say hi and peruse our assortment of strange pop surreal paintings and silk screened t-shirts. Everything in the store has been altered by either me or my wife Jana. From boxes to postcards, you’ll find something you absolutely need (yes, that includes a painting of chewbacca fighting a large cat) . :D
You’ve heard about the Lennon Wall, but there are a variety of other practice walls and legal walls throughout Prague. Perfect for those looking to hone their skills, as well as those who would like to take a tour of street art in Prague. The first thing you’re going to need is a 24 hour metro pass for the day, because you’re going to be travelling on public transportation a lot! You can pick these up at the main train station ( Hlavni Nadrazi ) and that’s where we’ll start our journey. And just to be clear, this will be a bit of a journey, most all of the big legal walls with some of the nicest pieces are pretty far from the center. Don’t worry, they’re safe areas of the city, but you’ll be utilizing buses, metros and trams to get around.
Disclaimer: There may be wrong or outdated information. I recommend to always verify the legality of walls with local authorities. I do not take responsibility in any illegal activities performed based on the information on this site. Basically. If you’re planning on spraying on a wall, and some cop doesn’t like you for whatever reason. Don’t blame me.
Your first stop will be at Smichov where you can check out the wall on the side of MeetFactory . Meet factory is a multifunctional space full of art studios, a gallery, a concert venue, and also a giant mural which changes every few months on it’s wall. You’ll ned to get the 197 bus from in from in front of the Smichov Metro station, and you’ll be stopping at Lihovar. Then walk to MeetFactory from here.
From there you will be heading further to West Prague, so hop on the 197 and your destination is now the Belarie Stop.
From Belarie you can now see you’re also at a tram stop. Take the 17 tram next to Modranska rokle.
Get back on the Tram 17 again (or just walk if you’ve got the map open in your smart phone) to the Barrandov Bridge. Tram stop you are going to is now Pristaviste . As you can see, it’s a bit of a walk, but there’s a place under the bridge which will be filled with street art and graffiti. (optional)If you cross the bridge you can see on the other side, to the left down a walking trail, what looks to be an abandoned swimming pool or something with a bunch of stairs climbing into the sky. It too, has been taken over with new color.
So, now you want to get back to either Pristaviste, or Smichov. If you’re not too good at navigating then just go back the way you came to Pristaviste. From here, take the number 1 tram back to Hlavni Nradrazi. From Hlavni Nadrazi take metro to Florenc. (alternately if you walk back to smichov, you can take the metro there directly to Florenc ) .
From Florenc you can take the tram number 8 just one stop to Bila Labut, from here you can take the 14 just one stop to Tesnov. ( Or alternatively just walk across the main street outside of Florenc in the direction of the McDonald’s under the bridge ) Here you will find a large legal wall (as far as I’m aware it’s only open to spraying on the weekends, but don’t believe me, check to make sure the info about the wall is current!) under the bridge.
From here you can walk back to the McDonald’s which is nestled under the bridge, and in front of the park area, beyond the random homeless person feeding the pigeons you’ll find bus number 135 Florenc. See that Tv Tower on the distant horizon, you’re headed in that direction. You’ll be taking the bus 3 stops to Namesti Miru. Once you’re there, you’re going to go back down into the metro station (longest escalator in Czech. Yay!), and take it one stop to Jiriho Z Podebrad . Once out of the metro station, look up in the sky and turn around in a circle until you see the TV Tower. You’re going to go up into that thing. Walk towards it.
Once here, you can go inside (you do have to pay to get in) and there is a place to view the whole city. You can go to the restaurant floor and get some overpriced ice cream too if you wish!
From here, it’s only a hop skip and a jump away from our little shop of paintings, sculptures, and silk screened tshirts :) Stop on in, and say hi, and let me know how your journey went. We’re located at Cajkovskeho 22, just a 3 minute walk from the tv tower!
A few days ago a man came out of his apartment with banana box after banana box full of old books which he was throwing away. I ventured out of the shop to the recycling bin, and began digging through the titles, separating out all of the classics from authors such as John Sinclair and Mark Twain. I looked up from my exponentially increasing pile only to see three other people were also making their own selections. A teenage kid took a box from near the recycling bin and filled it up with all the books about statistics and mathematics. In no time there were hundreds of books formed into nice stacks based upon genre (a natural side effect of everyone’s specific taste for sci-fi or Melville). One by one we hobbled away with our arms overflowing with the smell of old books. As the day went on I periodically glanced out the shop window at the corner, and I watched the pile shrink steadily, but then eventually, the shrinking stopped. What was left were a few piles of old hardcover books about the most boring subjects ( one was called statistics and tables). The smell of rain was in the air and as I painted my mind was trying to devise a way to save and upcycle the remaining few still sitting on the corner. Needless to say, as the first drops started coming down, I went and gathered them up.
I plopped them down by my desk and picked up one to inspect it. When I took off the dust cover off it immediately became clear. These old hardcovers have a nice fabric surface covering them, which is actually quite similar to small canvas boards. I didn’t have a pile of worthless books about accounting that I would never read, but instead I just stumbled upon 40 new canvases! My first attempt was to just hack off the cover with a utility knife, but that left a tattered and stringy edge that nobody would ever want to hang on their wall. I searched online for some tutorial on upcycling hardcover books but didn’t find much so I came up with this method.
First you need to separate the pages from the spine of the book. Generally this vaires depending on the strength of the book binding tape. Sometimes you can simply rip out all the pages at once, other times I’ve had to carefully cut the pages from the spine with a razor. The main thing is to be careful about not slicing the spine, but instead cutting away the papers from it.
Once it’s separated it should look like this.
Now you’re going to want to cut straight down the center of the spine, in order to leave a little space on each side which can be folded over. Once you’ve done that, plop some glue down on the inside of the cover which will allow the spine to be bent over and secured to the inside.
It’s going to want to pop back up, so place some heavy items on it to weigh it down until dry.
And now you’ve got a nice flat canvas board ready from some primer. As you can see they often have embossed letters and symbols on them, but I don’t mind, that will just have to become part of the composition!
I then used some clear acrylic medium to coat the “canvas” to prepare the surface for paint, and to ensure that the oils from the paint wouldn’t just completely destroy fibers in the fabric. And that’s it! Start painting!
A quick portrait to test out the surface. Works well!
Lately I’ve been working a lot on just refurbishing or altering old family photos, and transforming the characters in the photos into robots. I got into an interesting debate/discussion about the morality of using old photos as a medium on which to paint new characters and environments.
Kelly Hoben is an American painter who delves into the depths of Youtube to discover and re-contextualize video involving extra terrestrial encounters. Freeze framed into paint and exhibited within gorgeous hand crafted television frames, Kelly’s work reminds us to keep our eyes on the sky.
Opening begins at 6:00 and ends at 8:30
May 1st 2014
I thought our front window was in need of a bit of a makeover so I painted this mustached man on the wall. I think I’m going to need to keep working on it here and there and eventually fill up the whole space. I haven’t ever painted in this manner before, but basically I just blocked in the big shapes with solid color, and then came back and did the line work. Pretty simple really, and will be fun to see what comes out of painting some big abstract shapes and then finding the creatures living inside of them.
Jana Paleckova recently showed her work at Bohemian Retro Vintage Shop (located just a block away from us) . The event was a little get together for those involved in the Prague Vintage Fair. An event Jana hopes to showcase her work in at the end of M
Jamie Fisher is a Canadian painter living in Prague who specializes in portraiture in oils. Jamie’s paintings are of people familiar to her, using her friends, herself, and family as models. The subjects in her works sit politely against solid backgrounds and offer little in terms of emotion. Nonetheless Jamie’s aggressive brushwork and deft use of color brings her models to life and reveals the underlying character present. As they continue to stare at us, one can’t help but to gaze straight back into their eyes.
The Show Opens with a vernisaz on Wednesday, April 2nd at 6:00 and ends on Friday, April 25th.
Bliss Farm is pleased to be showing a new series of Drawings from Jorge Boehringer. The creation of these works relate to Jorge’s work as a musician and composer and draw (pun intended) upon a love affair with the interrelation of visual and auditory sensations. The free flowing scribbles undulate and intermingle to form compositions rich in density, and free in their execution. The visual equivalent of a feedback loop, Jorge’s drawings are exuberant, aggressive, and bold.
Vernissage : Friday, February 28th at 5:00
Show runs until March 21st