“Then, when I was in my puberty, Granddad would take me to the farmers, and I’d draw them. Granddad got me once, too. He called me, plucked an apple from a tree and said: ‘Olin, come here. Do you see this? This is beauty, try to make something like this.’ And he didn’t mean I should paint it, he meant - make something the way God created it. From that time on I realise that I’ll never manage that, it’s not possible, but I can at least try to create some kind of world of significance. From that time on what I find important is for the creator, my friend, classmate, or someone from the profession, to create their own world, because there are an awful lot of painters and sculptors, but if you can’t manage that, you won’t make your mark.”
“An awful multitude of tanks drove through our village, they came from Slovakia. Seeing that my parents had to work and it was the holidays, we ran outside and started counting the tanks. Mum was just about getting fits. Then people started drawing up posters. I kept drawing intensely in that period, and say the neighbours would bring me some cartoon by Jiránek that they’d cut out from Dikobraz [a satirical magazine - trans.] or somewhere, and I’d draw it out into large formats. The whole square would be plastered with it. I even kept a diary, where I wrote down the slogans that people came up with.”
“Because things were loosening up, I moved on from figure painting and other such compositions and delved into abstraction. They took that badly, that wasn’t okay. They came to tell me what Socialist Realism was and to ask me if I’m willing to make things like that for our people. If I’m not willing, it’ll have grave consequences. Fortunately, I finished my studies in eighty-six, and things were getting more and more relaxed. Then 1989 came and the game was up for them.”
The main thing is, do not demean yourself, do not be arrogant either, respect one another and fear nothing except for God
Oldřich Tichý was born on 15 September 1959 in Zlín. On his twelfth birthday he decided to become a painter. His father was a joiner, his mother worked as a shop assistant at a dairy. Despite lacking education, cultural understanding, or artistic tradition, the family supported their son in his artistic career right from the outset. Family, his native region of Moravian Wallachia, and Christian faith served as anchors and inspiration for his works. Oldřich Tichý graduated from the Secondary School of Applied Arts in Uherské Hradiště, where he was mainly influenced by academic painter Zdeněk Matyáš. He failed to pass the entrance exams to the Academy of Fine Arts (AFA) in Prague, and he performed art therapy at the psychiatric hospital in Kroměříž for two years. He was accepted to AFA on his third attempt, his goal was to successfully complete his degree - that was also a prerequisite to obtaining state permission as a freelance artist. He passed his state exams under Professor František Jiroudek. In the early 1980s Oldřich Tichý was not allowed to undertake a scholarship stay abroad, and he was only permitted to go on a short study trip. In the late 1980s he travelled abroad for the Scena Illustrata awards in Viterbo, Italy. In 1989 he co-founded the art group Most (Bridge), with which he exhibited both at home and abroad. In 1995 he was awarded a grant by the The Pollock-Krasner Foundation in New York. He is a member of the Mánes Association of Fine Artists. Since the late 1980s he lives and paints in Dojetřice near Sázava. Oldřich Tichý‘s paintings can be found in many government and private collections.