The visual artist Jan Šerých (*1972, Prague) lives and works in Prague. From 1992 to 1999 he studied at the Prague Academy of Fine Arts (under Jiří Lindovský, Michael Bielický and Vladimír Skrepl). From 1996 to 2002 he was a member of the ‘Headless Rider’ (Bezhlavý jezdec) group, alongside Josef Bolf, Ján Mančuška and Tomáš Vaněk). In 2005 he received scholarships to fund a stay at PROGR in Bern, followed in 2008 by a scholarship to the ISCP Program in New York. He came to the attention of the artistic public in 2003 and 2005, when he was shortlisted for the Jindřich Chalupecký Prize. His work is displayed at the National Gallery in Prague, the Prague City Gallery, the Olomouc Museum of Art, the Wannieck Gallery in Brno, and the Klatovy-Klenová Gallery. He has exhibited individually since 1998 and participated in group exhibitions from 2000. Jan Šerých’s work focuses mainly on painting, video and digital images. He explores semiotics in the broader sense of the word, often working with text. He investigates the theme of contemporary reality as a structure consisting of signs and abbreviations, rooted in the paradigmatic assumption that all individual variants of contemporary culture are ultimately derived from the same basis – which is then elaborated and varied in multiple ways. Signs – as means of communication – convey information, evoke emotions, or define our attitudes. They are also, to an extent, vulnerable and open to abuse. Šerých lays bare this vulnerability by deliberately manipulating signs – jumbling up letters in words, presenting inverted mirror-images of words, and so on. His work also opens up a dialogue between the autonomy of the work produced by a human painter and the technical medium of software, as computer-constructed images are manually transferred to canvas. This dialogue can be viewed metaphorically as a general comment on the contemporary world, in which humans increasingly find themselves interacting with software technologies.