BEASTS OF PREJT

Would the village animals love to partake in folklore festivities they've seen with their human counterparts? Mária Gloza's paintings have the answer.
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WORDS BY THE AUTHOR / Dogs in folk costumes, animal feasts in graveyards, pig-slaughter, grandmas with bunnies… Mária Gloza sources the inspiration for her work from South Moravian customs and traditions but also things that surround us in our day-to-day life. All this gets thrown into an absurd and bizarre mixture. For example, the series Little Dogs in Folk Costumes portrays different breeds dressed up in garbs of various ethnic origin – from the Vlčnov or Hanácko region, or Slovakia.

After all, if there are dog spas, dog grooming salons, and dog bakeries, why couldn’t there be canine folklore festivals? Dog feasts? Where, instead of humans, our four-legged darlings get dressed up in folk costumes by the owners? 

From here, it’s only a small step to animal feast on graves. This motif stems from an old tradition where people gathered in cemeteries on All Souls’ Day to not mourn but to celebrate, imbibe and feast with the spirits of the ancestors.

Pig-slaughters depicting the butchers and their helpers in meticulously ironed and pristine folk costumes without a single speck of blood are a reflection of today’s world where everything looks perfect but it’s only arranged for effect. 

(Editor’s note: “prejt” is a traditional Czech dish, made during pig-slaughter – black sausage meat.)

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ABOUT THE WORK AND THE AUTHOR / All works were made between 2014 and 2019, therefore, Mária takes inspiration from folklore, traditions, rituals (whether local or foreign, e.g. the cycle about Bulgarian Kukeri) the whole time she’s been actively painting, with occasional deviations. She graduated from Martin Mainer’s studio at Prague’s Academy of Fine Arts, her last year was spent under the lead of Marek Meduna. Mária lives and works in Uherské Hradiště.

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