Miroslav Tichý: "Photography is painting with light!.."


Miroslav Tichý: "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 last master of the 20th century photography was only discovered some 6 years ago and left a radical and unorthodox body of photography focussed on the female figure. After studying at the Academy of Arts in Prague, Miroslav Tichý withdrew to a life in isolation in his hometown of Kyjov, Moravia, Czech Republic. In the late 1950s he quitted painting and became a distinctive Diogenes-like figure. From the end of the 1960s he began to take photographs mainly of local women, in part with cameras he made by hand. He later mounted them on hand-made frames, added finishing touches with pencil, and thus moved them from photography in the direction of drawing. The result are works of strikingly unusual formal qualities, which disregard the rules of conventional photography. They constitute a large oeuvre of poetic, dreamlike views of feminine beauty in a small town under the Czechoslovak Communist régime.