PhDr. MgA. Miroslav Smolák
Businessman in the Field of Culture
Place of Birth: Starina, Snina District, Slovakia
PhDr. MgA. Miroslav Smolák is the director and owner of the limited partnership MIRO, which operates the MIRO Gallery of the St. Roch Cathedral in the Strahov Courtyard in Hradčany.
In 1971, he graduated from the Secondary School of Forestry and Timber in Zvolen, and from 1972–1977 he studied philosophy at J. A. Komensky University in Bratislava (for two and a half years he also attended Humboldt University in Berlin as a guest student).
In 1977, Miroslav Smolák moved permanently to Berlin (GDR), where he worked for 10 years as a representative for fine arts, literature, and film at the Czechoslovak Cultural and Information Center in Berlin.
In 1987, after completing his studies of documentary film directing at the Film Academy of Musical Arts FAMU in Prague, Miroslav established his own business in Berlin and began acting as a culture manager. He has made 14 documentary films, including Under the Gazdoran Mountain and Russian Stream – Or, a Lesson on Democracy in Czechoslovakia, which were presented at several international film festivals.
In 1991, Miroslav Smolák founded MIRO in Berlin; in 1994 he moved to Prague and founded MIRO, Llp. Since then, Prague MIRO Gallery has specialized in the presentation of such major modern classical artists such as Picasso, Chagall, Braque, Rouault, Rodin, Miró, Dali, Warhol, and top contemporary Czech and international art.
Since 1995, Miroslav Smolák has been a regular member of the T. G. Masaryk Academy of Arts in Prague. In 1995, the European Circle of Friends of Franz Kafka awarded him a medal, and in 1997 he and Petr Uhl were joint recipients of the Matěj Hrebenda Award for the promotion of solidarity between Czechs and Slovaks. Between 2001 and 2007, Smolák was the cultural vice president of the Club Diplomatique International Prague.
In 2000, the entrepreneur established a new event MIROTON: Running for Art Race, which he organizes in partnership with the Prague International Marathon. That year he also founded the Trebbia International Awards for supporting arts and creative activities, which the Trebbia Foundation is responsible for today. In 2000–2016, the Trebbia International Awards received 82 laureates from 22 countries (Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Russia, France, England, Japan, USA, Germany, Monaco, Mongolia, China, Venezuela, Kuwait, Poland, Cambodia, Ukraine, Spain, and Laos). In 2001, the American-based Gallup Organization selected the MIRO Gallery as the most popular commercial gallery in Prague.
In May 2004, Miroslav Smolák, in collaboration with American architect Daniel Libeskind (the designer of the Freedom Tower at the location of the former World Trade Center Twin Towers), presented a new project for the capital city of Prague: the Palace of Arts; in addition to the concert hall, “black theatre”, Kunsthalle, museum of art collectors, private galleries, art studios, restaurants, residential apartments, it also presents a permanent collection of Salvador Dalí’s works.
From 2003–2007, he was the chairman of the Czech-German Cultural Alliance and the vice president of the European Union of Arts, which is based in Prague. In 2006, the Czech-Azerbaijan association AZER-CZECH awarded him with the DELFIN CASPIK award for developing friendly cultural relations between Azerbaijan and the Czech Republic. In 2013, Galerista in Slovakia received the Tibor Bartfay Award for promoting fine arts internationally.
In 2016, Miroslav became the co-owner of a cocker spaniel Sofia; he had previously been afraid of dogs his entire life. Miroslav Smolák is married to Alena Medková, a soloist of the State Opera, and has two children: Iva and Mark. They speak Slovak, Czech, Russian, Ukrainian, Polish, English and German. So far he has not been a member of any political party.
In order to gain something, you must spend a lot of good energy that is proportional to your desire.
I am one of those people who does not cheat their business partners, who is not envious of successful people but who admires and follows them.
I don’t like it when a partner fails to keep his promises.
For everything in my life – except to my parents for my good upbringing – I am the most grateful to the then-KSČ, who paid me a monthly scholarship in the amount 500 korunas during my studies in Secondary Technical School in Zvolen, from 1966 to 1970, and who took me away from unimaginable misery.
Sometimes we all must use white lies to appear kind and positive.
To live means to hold true to the value of helping others.
I like to look at a beautiful woman and look into a faithful dog’s eyes.
When I die someday, I hope it will be easy to say goodbye to those closest to me.
It is important to remember that each time you hurt and humiliate others, it will return to you.
Always try to achieve such a compromise that encourages the other side.
One must have enough money to cover the necessary expenses of one’s standard of living, to donate to the needy, and to save some money for old age.
I like Prague because it is located in the most beautiful place on our planet and I live in it.
I want to change the political philosophy of our planet, but I need to be in contact with aliens for that.
The best expert is one who can explain how to solve a problem very clearly and briefly to the maximum number of individuals.
Now I am worried that humanity will slip into irreversible scourge thanks to democratically elected leaders.
The secret of my success is my belief in God, in paying taxes, in not cheating on business partners, in not defaming successful people, but in admiring them and following them.