Katastrofé, by her own name Markéta Maříková (*1990), is a Czech artist, tattoo artist, prose writer and mainly visual artist. She wrote a chapter inspired by her story for Bohemian Taboo Stories, which she supplemented with her illustrations. Her illustrations were also exhibited at the Bohemian Taboo joint exhibition in St. Albans, UK.
As a little girl, she longed to be a witch. "Later, around the age of eight, I decided I wanted to be a stripper, a singer or an actress. I longed for artistic expression associated with pure, feminine attractiveness, hence sexuality," she said of her journey. Although she studied social pedagogy, she didn't stick with it. "I realised during my studies that I didn't have a strong enough personality for that... You have to stand with your feet firmly on the ground while I'm still levitating," she laughs. Thus, in 2016, Catastrophe was born, a woman artist who creates mysterious scenes of her mind. "One fine afternoon, I tore up all my previous paintings convinced they were as horrible as I was," she recalls. That's when she realized that it didn't matter how many more times she fell, but that what mattered was that she got up again. "And so I adopted the name Katastrophe, which in ancient Greek means change or reversal. I think it's important to be able to take risks and to take all potential blows as an experience necessary for growth," explaining that the name has nothing at all associated with a negative connotation.
She doesn't regret her decision to start making a living with her art. On the contrary. "All our lives we are forced to worship pseudo-authorities, follow them and knock our eyes out, instead of tapping our own potential at a pace that suits us and becoming effective," she confided. Creating has enabled her to finally realise herself and she is no longer as pessimistic and depressed as before. "Suddenly, I am not dependent on anyone... Oh well, if it wasn't for my husband, I would probably starve to death because I forget to eat or jump out of the window while filling out invoices. But being your own boss doesn't mean being on your own. On the contrary, you'll find you have more time for the things you've always wanted to try."
On working with Bohemian Taboo, he adds: "I was born in Kladno. In the dust of the faded glory of Poldovka, I played witch, ran with a wooden stick through the woods and learned fencing. I lived for artistic expression. I never thought I would go to art school, but I did after my first tentative attempt, and for four years I immersed myself in exploring perspective, graphics programs, bookbinding, and the history of type. More than printmaking, I gravitated directly to more traditional illustration. My dream was to illustrate books. Towards the end of my studies, I sobered up enough to realize that my future was more likely to be in an advertising agency as a graphic designer. But the media world disgusted me so much that I decided to focus in a completely different direction. I started studying social pedagogy and it consumed me completely. A world of glitz, polished refined words and manipulation of the target group buying products they don't need, I suddenly had before me a world of prostitutes, homeless people, drug addicts, mentally handicapped children, prisoners... I found myself studying psychology and child education. The vision that I could help took me through the day of society. But I also came to the conclusion that there was no future for me there either. I returned to graphic design for a short time to take a break from the mental strain of social work. I've never been the type of person to give in easily to authority. I enjoy submission and obedience only on an erotic level, but at work I am unable to withstand the pressure of external motivation for long, to follow rules other than my own. That I eventually became a freelance artist who combines emotion with visual expression is therefore the result of a long journey. I try to address the hidden thoughts of the viewer through the image and guide them to some even taboo questions. Bohemian Taboo attempts to raise awareness about the taboo of eroticism, so we have the same goals, but we use different means. So our collaboration is kind of natural."
Check out Facebook, Instagram or the website Katastrofé, where he presents his work. It features not only sexual scenes, but many other beautiful drawings.
2021, Bohemian Taboo, Collective Gallery & Art Project Space, St. Albans, UK
2020, Opium No. 2
2019, Bohemian Taboo Stories, illustrations and text for the Disasters chapter
Order the book Bohemian Taboo Stories, which includes illustrations and an autobigraph chapter inspired by the story of Catastrophe, in our e-shop.