Thursday, 14 April 2011
Miroslav Tichý, 1926 - 2011
If you want to be famous, you have to be worse at something than everyone else in the world. (Miroslav Tichý, quoted in Dyer, G. (2010) Working the Room, Edinburgh: Canongate, p74)
Miroslav Tichý died on 12th April at the age of 84. He was a 'primitivist' photographer who lived the life of a derelict and made his own cameras from scavenged junk. His voyeuristic pictures of women, taken in his home town in the Czech Republic were off-kilter, either over or under exposed, stained, bleached, scratched and... wonderful. See some examples, below.
I only 'discovered' Tichý last year, and almost all I know about him is gleaned from a wonderful essay by Geoff Dyer (Dyer, Geoff (2010) "Miroslav Tichy" in Working the Room: Essays and Reviews, 1999-2010, Edinburgh: Canongate, pp72-79). As Dyer records, Tichý only came to public attention in 2004 when Roman Buxbaum, who had begun collecting his work, wrote an article which led to an exhibition in Seville; in 2008 Tichý was given a show at the Pompidou Centre, Paris.
See also Roman Buxbaum on Miroslav Tichý, Miroslav Tichý: Tarzan Retired, by Roman Buxbaum, and Blog essay by Mark Power.