Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Miroslav Tichý

Czech photographer Miroslav Tichý is currently featured in a retrospective show at the Centre Pompidou in Paris. Tichý is an absolutely unique figure in modern photography - since the late 1950's he has lived in isolation in Kyjov, Moravia, using his hand-made cameras to take photographs almost exclusively of local women. The cameras are fashioned from cardboard tubing, string, and thread spools.
Tichý develops the photos and mounts them on frames of cardboard and scrap paper, adding finishing touches in pencil. Over more than 50 years he has developed a body of strikingly poetic, dreamlike images of feminine beauty in a small Czech town.

Of the unusual quality of his photography, Tichý says:

Photography is painting with light! The blurs, the spots, those are errors! But the errors are part of it, they give it poetry and turn it into painting. And for that you need as bad a camera as possible! If you want to be famous, you have to do whatever you're doing worse than anyone else in the whole world.

Amen to that. I should be a famous ukulele player any day now. The show runs through September 22.

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