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Art Photo Collector

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"Any photographer who says he’s not a voyeur is either stupid or a liar."—Helmut Newton

The artist Miroslav Tichý, who passed away in May 2011, was born in 1926 in what is now the Czech Republic. Although trained as a painter at The Academy of Fine Arts in Prague, Tichy’s life took an altogether different direction after the Communist takeover in 1948. Tichy had a problem with authority and rather than acquiesce to the new demands of the State, chose a marginal lifestyle in his hometown of Kyjov.

With handmade cameras fashioned from bits and pieces of old cardboard tubes, cigarette boxes, plexiglas and other ephemera, Tichy would wander around his hometown taking surreptitious photos of individuals, generally young women, at the local pool, markets, or walking around town. Most of his subjects weren’t (in many cases) aware that his cameras were actually real, choosing to believe instead that the unkempt eccentric standing in front of them was harmless. He allowed himself three rolls of film a day. These recorded images would then be brought to his home where he processed, developed and printed them for himself.

Through the strange alchemy of his vision and the eroticized intensity of his photographs, Tichy’s work garnered attention late in life. He was internationally “discovered” in 2004 during the Seville Biennial. Since then he has gone on to have solo shows at such premier venues as the Georges Pompidou Center in Paris and his first American show at the International Center of Photography. Today, his work is widely collected, exhibited and for sale by dealers like myself.

Although his photography and artistry break all the rules in terms of focusing, exposure, poor printing, and careless handling, none of this mattered to Tichy who once told an interviewer, “A mistake. That’s what makes the poetry.” —Lane Nevares

"I’d say most of my inspiration was drawn from old-school American values mixed with a little punk-rock idealism."—Mike Brodie

Mike Brodie’s new monograph, A Period of Juvenile Prosperity has just been released in time for his two forthcoming solo shows: one in LA and one in NYC. For a diesel-engine mechanic who thinks of photography as a “hobby,” this is mighty impressive. 

Many will look at these images of young travelers living free and criss-crossing the USA as something raw and exciting, but like many things in life—“Riding the Rails” isn’t anything new. In fact, during the Great Depression more than 250,000+ homeless teenagers were doing the same. The excellent documentary, Riding the Rails, tells the story of these young people and the effect that experience had on the rest of their lives.

Brodie’s images, however, tell an American, 21st Century story that is about freedom, possibility, and opting-out from society’s dictates. These young people (who may be fleeing tough circumstances themselves) are choosing to live a different way of life. Brodie’s friends, lovers, and fellow travelers show us the rough, the real, and the nitty-gritty of life on the move.

Self-taught, Brodie is an innately talented photographer with a great sense of light and composition. This series is strong, sensitive, authentic, and will be one of the important photography shows to see in March. I am looking forward to seeing the exhibit and buying the book. (I am also including this show on my upcoming gallery tour.) Brodie’s photographs have made me eager to discover other artists, especially those outside of the States, who are living and documenting life on the road. —Lane Nevares 

"The road must eventually lead to the whole world."—Kerouac, On the Road

“I believe everyone in your dreams represents a psychological aspect of yourself. So the whole Guest group is offered as an extended self-portrait - females and all.”—Chris Bucklow

The Danziger Gallery in New York has recently opened its second solo show of Christopher Bucklow’s arresting photograms. While certainly not a departure, artistically speaking, from his past photographic work, these photograms are nevertheless beautiful to behold. 

Light on paper. Each print is a unique display: the sun’s rays poring through thousands of pinhole apertures in an aluminum foil sheet mapping a human silhouette, each photogram reflecting the length of exposure and intensity of the sun at a given moment. The final result is singular and ethereal, a Cibachrome print that is its own negative. 

Beauty is a worthy pursuit whatever the medium. Bucklow’s love of light and color, along with the psychological underpinnings of this work, give these photograms their staying power. Already part of many major museums and collections, Bucklow’s sun-fueled photographs remind us that it’s ok to believe in our dreams. —Lane Nevares