Saturday, June 29, 2013

Miroslav Tichy: Outsider Photographer

 Photo by Miroslav Tichy.

Almost from the beginning of photography, at least after the advent of Kodak cameras that put photography into to hands of the common person, photography has had something of an unsavory reputation. Photographers would lurk around the swimming holes of yesteryear hoping to spy upon and capture the images of naked or nearly naked young women. It actually became something of a public nuisance for a while. Currently, our distrust of photographers working in the public spaces is more related to issues of terrorism, but that is another story.

Miroslav Tichy and one of his cameras.

Anyway, the folks at Messy Nessy Chic have done an excellent story on a photographer that captures that quaint, old-fashioned air of "perv-i-ness" and also manages to serve as an example of the outsider (or folk or naive) artist that happens to use a "camera." Outsider photographers are kind of rare. His name was Miroslav Tichy and he lived and worked in the small town of Kyjov in the Czech Republic. One of the things that set him apart was that he built his own cameras out of spare parts and trash, including grinding and building his own lenses. His photographs are an interesting combination of crudeness and elegance and the article is worth checking out here. Thanks to Wayne Kraft for pointing this story out to me.