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An interview with Viktor Bilčík

  • When did you start painting and what brought you to it?

I have been painting since early youth. It was a gift I was given at birth. It has not left me since. Actually, as a schoolboy I always knew how to paint nicely. This influenced my whole life.

  • When did you decide to become a painter?

It was a bit more complicated because I was also devoted to music. I played the violin and took music lessons. I made the decision to become a painter after graduation. At that time, I was deciding among becoming a veterinarian, a priest or a painter. We had a family friend, who was an administrator at the perish in Nové Mesto nad Váhom. He told me that I could play on the violin anytime, I can also love animals anytime but I should go study painting. My parents agreed and so I went to study painting.

  • Did your parents support you in your painting?

Yes, they definitely supported me. My father painted as well and my mother was employed in the city theater. I had a kind of cultural background at home. They were glad that I decided to become a painter.

  • You have a strong ties to nature and you love animals, do you have a pet?

Of course. We always had a dog at home. The dog we have right now is called Sisi. It’s a family darling.

  • How many paintings have you painted so far?

It’s impossible to count. My first professor at the University, Peter Matejka, had a rule that you are supposed to create one painting or drawing every day. Through the years I tried to follow this rule.

  • Do you sell your paintings?

Yes, if somebody is interested in buying. I have sold many paintings so far but to tell the truth, if I see someone who likes the painting very much, but he definitely can’t afford it, I give the painting. I have given many paintings as a gift as well.

  • What are your hobbies when you are not painting?

It has always been the love for nature and hunting. Hunting isn’t just about taking a gun and shooting an animal. It means regular visits to the forest and observation of nature. The hunting itself is just the tip of the iceberg. There are strict rules about hunting. Hunters monitor and by their hunting activity control the size and health status of the wild animal population.

  • I’m surprised that you, as a person who loves being in nature, live in Bratislava which in my opinion has a very limited access to true nature and wildlife. Did you ever want to move someplace else?

To tell the truth, I longed for that my whole life. After I finished my University studies, I started to work for the Slovak National Gallery as a professional restorer. At that time, they were opening a branch of the National Gallery in Zvolen. I was offered to become the head of the studio there. However, my wife did not want to move from Bratislava, so we stayed. On the other hand, 30 years ago we bought a village house in Pukanec, which is in the foothills of the Štiavnické vrchy. There is plenty of nature there.

  • Do you visit your village house often?

We used to go there often, when gas was cheap and we had our old Trabant. Now we aren’t there as often as before. However we are there during the whole summer so I can enjoy the nature during that time. While in Bratislava, I am trying to get into the forest as much as possible.



©Ondrej Bilčík 2009