Oldrich Jelen is a Czech artist who lives and creates in Prague. He was born in 1961 in the former Czechoslovakia in a small town, situated in the beautiful countryside of central Bohemia, in sight of the hill with significant medieval castle, which is part of Czech history. Romantic landscape with many forests and picturesque hills can also be seen in most of his pictures. Since childhood he had two passions, drawing and books. He apprenticed to a bookbinder. This handicraft could base his precision.
In his 23 he left the hometown and later was admitted to the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague. During his studies he began to illustrate to earn some extra money. So he started the cooperation with periodicals and publishing houses. At first, he was asked to create small thematic illustrations but after short period he gained creative freedom. Soon he became a sought-after illustrator and that was why he left the Academy after three years of study. In this period there were created drawings for many Czech newspapers and magazines, also Czech edition of Lettre International, Playboy, Penthouse, Quo and others.
After The Velvet Revolution there were many opportunities to apply his talent.
There were for example the magazine KMIT – journal of Centre of independent journalism that was developing completely in his illustrator direction or Transitions - international magazine about transformations in post communist societies also with many his illustrations.
In 1998 he started to work as an illustrator for prestigious Czech Publishing House Albatros. Then he won two prizes for two Jostein Gaarder's books he illustrated. Subsequently he created illustrations for dozens more books.
His illustrations were published also in abroad. The english edition of The Keeper of the Crock of Gold (Bairbre McCarthy, published in Ireland) was given to US President Barack Obama as a gift for his daughters by Irish prime minister in 2009. You can find all the books Here.
He combines free and apllied art in na uncommon way. Although essential part of his artworks originate on the base of literary impulse, his pictures overreach initial text and create also their own worlds and stories and have an individual and independent life.
For about 25 years, he has been dedicated to the graphic technique of printing from stone (lithography).In lithographic workroom, he found real „master of his craft“ in Petr Korbelar, the masterprinter. With his help he creates lithographic prints with exeptional precision.
The craftsmanship of these graphic sheets is exceptional even on a global scale.
In addition to free graphics, he mainly deals with the creation of ex libris for collectors from all over the world.
He is a member of the Hollar Association of Czech Graphic Artists and a member of the Association of Ex Libris Collectors and Friends.
1992 Bělá pod Bezdězem, Městské kulturní středisko
1995 Praha, Galerie Pallas
1996 Olomouc, Galerie Kateřiny Dostálové
1996 Mariánské Lázně, Galerie Pallas
1997 Praha, Činoherní klub
1998 Opočno, Galerie „U zámku“
1999 Praha, Galerie U Křižovníků
2000 Praha, Galerie Atrium
2001 Praha, Galerie „U zrzavého kocoura“
2001 Praha, Café galerie Černá labuť
2003 Praha, Prague City Center
2004 Kladno, Zámecká Galerie (Brány)
2006 Bělá pod Bezdězem, Galerie Česká brána
2009 Praha, Galerie PRE
2010 Litvínov, Městská Galerie Radniční sklípek
2010 Praha, Senát České republiky
2010 Rakovník, Muzeum T.G.M.
2013 Belgie, Antverpy, Galerie Epreuve d’Artiste
2013 Praha, AD Galerie
2014 Náchod, Městská knihovna
2014 Hořovice, Galerie Starý Zámek (Brány)
2015 Slaný, Vlastivědné Muzeum (Brány)
2015 Počernice, Divadlo Horní Počernice
2015 Nigérie, Abuja, ambasáda ČR
2016 Přerov, Výstavní síň Pasáž
2021 Šumperk, Eagle Gallery
2021 Hradec Králové, Galerie Barbara
2022 Náchod, Městská knihovna
2023 Červený Kostelec, Městská knihovna
2023 Dvůr Králové, Městská knihovna