Martin Janecký, the Czech glassblower, who started working with the material at 13, is best known for his virtuosic use and development of glass sculpting from the inside of a molten bubble. Today he is one of the most sought after glass makers and glassblowing teachers in the world today. He has taught and exhibited in Europe, America, Australia, Africa and Asia, demonstrating and teaching at the Corning Museum of Glass, Pilchuck Glass School, Chrysler Museum of Art, UrbanGlass, New York, NY; the Rietveld Academy in Holland, Bornholm Design School in Denmark, the Australian National University in Canberra, Australia and the Toyama City Institute of Glass Art in Toyama Japan, among many.
To date Janecký’s best known works have been sensitive, fine featured sculptures of human heads. But, following a 2013 visit to Mexico, Janecký started exploring the skull, which has been one of the most potent images through thousands of years of art and history. His tribute to the Dia de Muertos iconography is an outgrowth of his passion for the culture and people of Mexico. Janecký says: ‘Día de Muertos is a stunning celebration of life and death. The altars are resplendent with color: bright marigolds, traditional foods and symbolic objects. The willingness of Mexican people to share this occasion with an outsider like me, someone from a totally different environment, was a humbling experience that inspired me to want to create a body of work that honors and celebrates this amazing event. I feel I have much in common with the Mexican tradition of making and I wanted use my traditional craft to show the Dia de Muertos through my eyes and to share it with all people. My plan was to recreate iconic examples of this culture in glass, which has never been done in this scale. I do so with humility and a huge respect for Mexico’s history and culture.’