Miroslav Tichý (1926-2011. Kyjov, Czech Republic) spent his childhood in Kyjov until he began to study at the Fine Arts School of Prague after World War II. In 1948, with the establishment of the Communist regime, he left the Fine Arts School out of disagreement with the new principles that the institution had adopted.
He lived as an indigent for decades and was regarded by the Czech police as mentally ill; he was shuttled through numerous psychiatric wards and prisons. Tichý was a romantic spirit: a free, passionate, sceptical soul, and as a result he preferred to live a marginal, fugitive life rather than become an accomplice of the system in which he was fated to live.
After working in painting for a few years, in the 1960s he crafted his first camera using cast-off materials. From then until his death, he primarily worked on taking sur- reptitious photographs of the women of Kyjov.
Tichý’s work is directly related to the study of the photographic medium. He himself used found materials to build the cameras and lenses he used to take his photos. He later developed his pictures and manipulated them by retouching them and often decorating the matting. In a visionary fashion, he favoured the intervention of external elements and time on the medium of his photographs. Superimposed, blurry, deteriorated, constant works in progress in a kind of celebration of the process and flaws of analogical photography and painting.
Painting would always remain present in his photography. Tichý used drawing and light to enhance and highlight the details that interested him the most. He was a painter who made portraits in a painterly fashion through his camera lens.
From Kyjov and through his work, Tichý documented the social changes occurring in the then-Communist Czechoslovakia. We see women who are trying to be advanced in their behaviour and appearance despite the political and social situation. The artist confers a sensual, ethereal, almost magical aura on them. By depicting them, it is as if Tichý wanted to help them evade their everyday lives.
From 2004 until his death in 2011, Tichý’s works were exhibited in the most prestigious institutions around the world. However, even when his work achieved international visibility at the end of his life, the creator showed an utter lack of interest in this recognition. His life thus ended with this last coherent act of rebellion: free, romantic Tichý once again and until the end.
- Vanity Fair: http://m.revistavanityfair.es/actualidad/articulos/miroslav-tichy-fotografo-vagabundo-exposicion-photoespana/22466
- Ahora. Diario Semanal: http://www.ahorasemanal.es/miroslav-tichy-el-esceptico-que-atrapo-la-alegria
- EL Cultural. Diario El Mundo: http://www.elcultural.com/revista/arte/Tichy-tarzan-jubilado/38287
- EL Cultural. Diario El Mundo: http://www.elcultural.com/noticias/arte/Europa-en-doce-exposiciones/9373
- Architectural Digest AD: http://www.revistaad.es/arte/articulos/photoespana-2016-vieja-europa/18079