Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Miroslav Tichý

Czech photographer Miroslav Tichý is currently featured in a retrospective show at the International Center of Photography in New York. 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.

This is the first American museum exhibition devoted to the work of the reclusive and mysterious photographer. The show, which includes a number of Tichý's homemade cameras as well as approximately 100 of his photographs, runs through May 9.

(It's like Déjà vu all over again. This post may remind you of a similar post from a few years back.)

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