Rudolf Dička — Destruction (Painting’s Tomb Stone)

Rudolf Dička was a peculiar self-taught artist whose work and life were both situated on the fringe of the traditional naive painting notion.

Inventory No.: O-2146
Artist: Rudolf Dička
Title: Destruction (Painting’s Tomb Stone)
Year: 2005
Technique: mixed media, acrylic, BW photography
Material: fibreboard, ash
Dimensions: 130 x 100 cm
Signature: none

Rudolf Dička was a peculiar self-taught artist whose work and life were both situated on the fringe of the traditional naive painting notion. He lived his whole life on the verge of poverty, humiliated deeply but silently by the purposefully suppressed social daemon of unemployment, pseudo-spirituality, tolerance of violence in the still mythically perceived region of Kysuce. He used to portray the overlooked and tolerated dark side of the region as he himself was struck by many of its shortcomings. “However, Dička first and foremost always referenced these issues through himself, he would go deep to the bone, through his split nature, failures, troubled conscience and doubts.” (J. Fuják)

He created frankly, honestly, openly – objects, oil paintings, assemblages, collages, all usually very emotionally expressive. His works included man – the post-human. He paid attention to the dark side of the country where he lived and yet he did not consider himself a part of it (e.g. his works titled the Madonna of Kysuce, Pseudo-Altar, Hoarder as the “Mythical Bird”, The Prophecy of Waste I-III). On one hand, he was a loner living on the fringe of society, on the other, he wanted his surroundings to accept both his work and himself.

Toward the end of his life, he would create tomb stones and urns for his artworks. He would bury his creations – he felt frustrated. He would paint his images all black while leaving only a photograph of them on the dark background (tomb stone) as their only reminder.

There has never been a clear diagnosis of Dička’s psychological state. He considered himself a heavy alcoholic who would drink in volumes at once and then he would abstain from it for periods of time. He underwent several psychiatric treatments. His psychiatrist has also never been able to fully complete her diagnosis of him, but she leans towards diagnosing him with bipolar affective disorder which means his life was a swirl of maniacal and depressive phases.” (K. Haľáková)

Rudolf Dička (October 11, 1958, Turzovka – June 24, 2014, ibid) studied at the Woodworking School in Liptovský Mikuláš. He did not take the final exams. He was an alcoholic. During the socialist regime, he was given a medical assessment that prohibited him from painting. He would not obey it. He was imprisoned as a work fluctuant, he underwent rehabilitation twice and psychotherapy several times. In 1993, he received the Main Prize NOC in Bratislava in the Art Spectrum competition. After the fall of the previous regime, he would work as a freelance artist, he painted for a living. He also exhibited at Nitra Gallery (in 2009).

Ľudmila Kasaj Poláčková
December 2020

Bibliography:
HAĽÁK, Miroslav – FUJAK, Július: Rudo Dička. Čadca: MAGMA, 2018, p. 10, p. 107.
Rudolf Dička – Artist Profile. Available at:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AeK3-_bo2IM&t=79s (Accessed on: November 20, 2020).