Thursday, December 17, 2009

Foundtography


Courtesy of Foundation Tichy Ocean

The first North American museum exhibition of the photography of Miroslav Tichý will be held at the International Center of Photography (ICP) in NYC beginning January 29 and running through May 9.


Courtesy of Foundation Tichy Ocean

Tichý is a Czech photographer and artist with a fascinating history. Born in 1926, Tichý is often described as mysterious and eccentric and is known as much for his cameras as for his distorted photography.


Courtesy of Foundation Tichy Ocean

Tichý studied painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague but left the Academy following the adoption of communism in Czechoslovakia in 1948. After that, he led a reclusive and nonconformist lifestyle.

In the years between the 1960s and the 1980s, Tichý took thousands of photographs, primarily of women. Many of his photographs were taken without his subject's knowledge. Tichý images were often distorted, blurred, ripped, and scratched. Furthermore, he often hand altered the surface of his photographs with pen or pencil.

His style was quite unique but what has fascinated me the most about his story is the fact that his cameras were all hand constructed....


Courtesy of Foundation Tichy Ocean

...out of found objects such as tin cans, shoe boxes, toilet paper rolls, clothing elastic, and cigarette boxes! His lenses were Plexiglas and polished with toothpaste, ashes, sandpaper, and the like.


Courtesy of Foundation Tichy Ocean


Courtesy of Foundation Tichy Ocean


Courtesy of Foundation Tichy Ocean

The ICP exhibit will not only feature Tichý's photographs, but will also include several of his cameras as well. Definitely a must see for me!



Courtesy of Foundation Tichy Ocean

For examples of his work and more information, please visit Tichy Ocean.

40 comments:

Bill Evertson said...

The ICP will be on the must visit list this winter. Very intriguing.

Trudy Callan said...

This is such an interesting bit of history. Thank you so much for sharing.

MrCachet said...

Are you going to take photographs of the photographs or the cameras? I've made a pinhole camera, but this is a little different. My first thought was Steampunk.

noye studios said...

wow! what a cool story. thanks for turning me on to this interesting artist!

La Dolce Vita said...

where in the world do you find this stuff????
you are amazing!
and sorry, I won't be playing along...

layers said...

OMG-- what a fabulous story-- that camera is amazing- would love to get my hands on it just to feel all the textures--I like the idea that he scratched and tore and roughed up his photos too.

Lynn said...

facinating...cameras are works of art themselves aren't they?

Jeane said...

wow, Seth, thank you so much for the introduction to this amazing artist :)

Kris Henderson said...

Absolutely fascinating! Thanks for the knowledge :)

AscenderRisesAbove said...

That is amazing!

Lisa said...

Fascinating cameras and photographs...what an extraordinary artist. Thanks for sharing!

Julie said...

GGGGahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.............................................

sigh.

I have a book around here with another artist who also constructs working cameras a la Michael deMeng..will email you the name when I find it.

I need to move to NY. Stat. Well...maybe not STAT..but a nice summer home may be what the doctor ordered.

Coffee Messiah said...

Very cool and steam punk-ish, in a way.

Thanks for the info! Cheers!

rivergardenstudio said...

This man, his cameras and his art looks so amazing... I am enthralled... I inherited som Czech perfume bottles so have learned a little of the Czech history... fascinating stuff. Thanks for sharing this Seth! Roxanne

Poetic Artist said...

Thanks, This is so very interesting. The camera's. I am going to do research on this.
Katelen

donnaj said...

wow-hadn't heard of him before, but he sounds very interesting-esp the cameras he made.

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

I did a web search for Miroslav Tichý and his web site. I was struck by how haunting his photographs were. I can understand, after reading about his cameras, how the images with their soft, almost out of focus images, were achieved. Thank you for sharing such a great experience in Tichý, his web site, and your blog post.

Marit said...

THis is sooooo intriguing... those camera's! OH WOW! It's marvelous he made them that way, and it is even more spectacular that he could actually take photo's with those!!! Yes, definitely a "must see" - but I live too far away :(

Lucky Dip Lisa said...

Oh, please enjoy this on my behalf too! I think this man is my new photography hero...thanks for introducing me to his work and cameras! facinating!

Elizabeth Seaver said...

How cool. Thanks for sharing.

Leslie Avon Miller said...

The road less traveled. How utterly fascinating. Thanks very much Seth. I love that bottle cap on the top of the camera. Makes me look at toilet paper rolls in a new light....I can see an art challenge here - everyone make a working camera from found objects.

vivian said...

wow. amazing. thanks seth!

Stephanie said...

astounding...

amy said...

Wow that is amazing! Thanks for sharing him with us!

John M. Mora said...

I made my blackberry out of a wheaties box. The real one workds better.

This sounds like it will be worth a trip to the upper east side....went to MOMA today - everyone was in the Burton exhibit. Monet's waterlillies room was empty.

Regards - cold enough for ya?

Chris said...

This is really fascinating. To make an artist's tool out of reclaimed materials! I'm off to check the link.

neva gagliano said...

hi@@ i sent this on to two of my good friends, extraordinary photographers and teachers!! just to blow their minds and feel all smart about myself (grin)...thanks.

Leslie said...

Oh wow Seth! Thanks for another reason to visit NYC very soon. I'm definitely in for this.

azirca said...

Fascinating! I'm intrigued with this man's makeshift cameras. Just goes to show that you don't need an expensive piece of equipment to follow your passion.

martha brown said...

Wow -- very cool -- thanks for sharing this, Seth! I just ordered one of his books.....

ArtPropelled said...

Extraordinary! I can't believe that camera!

oneartistjournal said...

These cameras are fascinating...
My dad was born in that year...so much life...Very intruiging story...I bet you wouldn't mind holding one of these in you hands for a while.
Orly

Curio said...

What an interesting character! I can't believe the camera...It seems as absurd as me saying 'I have an empty roll of toilet paper, an empty can of sardines, a piece of sea glass and three elastic bands...I think I'll make a camera!'OMG.

Gwen Buchanan said...

Wow... This just blows me away!!! amazing.. This man is a true original.. his shirt looks as if it has been mended on the mending and on again, on the mending.. I find this worthy...

Terry Rafferty said...

Fascinating! Sigh. Wish I could be there.... Another friend told me about the paper show Slash at the Museum of Arts & Design - check it out! http://collections.madmuseum.org/html/exhibitions/485.html

Heather said...

These photographs are absolutely stunning, and what a face he has! So full of character. I've never heard of this photographer, but his story is so interesting and his photography is so intimate and voyeuristic, almost a peeping-tom if you will. Thank you so much for sharing!

Candace said...

Holy Mackerel! Thank you for widening my horizon, especially this time of year.
Candace in Athens.

Maj said...

Oh yes, isn't he wonderfull?!!! Makes me want to make my own camerea.
Seasons greetings from Denmark, Seth and a Happy New Year! Maj

Fran Meneley said...

Seth, this is so fascinating...and I agree the cameras are amazing. Like some found relics buried for centuries. The photos were haunting as well. Once again, you live in one amazingly cool city. Post more once you've got to see the exhibit. xo Fran

Little Brown Sparrow said...

Thank you so much for this amazing post! The Dickensian nature of his clothes, the mud-caked hand built cameras, the wonderful images...it's a stand out moment in my day.