On the way from Vaclavske Namesti, in the heart of the Czech capital, to Prague 7, one of its trendy neighborhoods, there is an eye-catching tram stop called Vltavska. Beyond its importance on the commuting map, what makes Vltavska so striking is the colorful graffiti spread all over the walls near the tram stop.
And this is far from the only place in the Czech capital where graffiti is so visible – Prague has a surprising amount for a city with such a well-preserved historical heritage.
Jan Zajicek is one of the legendary pioneers of graffiti in Czechoslovakia, who started to explore this form of street art after the Velvet revolution, under the street name Skarf/Scarf. Born on 4 March 1977 in Prague, he studied film and directing at the prestigious Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague (FAMU). As a filmmaker, he has directed music videos, animated feature films, and TV commercials.
"..What I noticed after all these years is that there is some necessity to paint one’s trace, to write your name down. Someone wants to make a big company, or become a writer, or build a building, but the deepest motive is always to somehow leave a mark of one’s personality on the world. This need is also something fundamental to grafitti. This is something very old and very deep, and this necessity will always somehow be there. I don’t know if it’ll evolve into something virtual...I don’t know if it’ll stay in the form of spray paint but the idea will always be there.”
6th May 2020