A gallery owner in New York chose to show this and call it art. They’re not the first – this show won awards in Europe.
A reviewer chose to review it.
… He was a stalker of pretty girls with a secret agenda.
Clearly Mr. Tichy admired legs, and backsides, often cropping the image to show just the lower body. …
He seems to have been tolerated as the town eccentric, alarming in habits (daily visits to photograph at the local pool) and appearance (an unkempt beard and ratty sweater) but harmless enough. In one memorable shot two seated girls confront the camera with disdain, as if to say, “There’s that creepy old guy again.”
… The cameras certainly don’t look functional; he fashioned them from shoeboxes, toilet-paper rolls and plexiglass, polishing the lenses with toothpaste and cigarette ash. …
The photographs’ condition can be troubling: it suggests not just carelessness, but mental decay and even the degradation and defilement of women. Mr. Tichy is known to have encouraged visitors to drop his prints on the floor and step on them.
… Sometimes he also drew directly on the prints, reinforcing the figure’s contours with faint pencil lines. …
The photographs are blurry, skewed, badly printed and in terrible condition: dog-eared, scratched, spotted and encrusted with who knows what.
The photos are from the private archive of the photographer, Miroslav Tichy. He’s an artiste:
You might call Mr. Tichy (pronounced TEE-kee) an outsider artist if it weren’t for the inconvenient fact that he studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague and was for a time a celebrated painter.
So that makes him an insider artist, affecting outsider status to engage in uncouth invasions of privacy?
And maybe … just maybe … his stalking is art:
… His photographs may look naïve, but they’re the product of a carefully orchestrated series of missteps that begins with crude, homemade cameras. …
Because … wait for it …
His photography is also much more subversive than Westerners might perceive. …
The reviewer kinda’ sorta’ gets the problem here:
In Mr. Wallis’s descriptions Mr. Tichy is a Baudelairean flâneur who thrives on chance encounters in the city, and an anti-modernist who reverses centuries of photographic progress. This portrayal sanitizes Mr. Tichy, who can come across initially as a lecherous old coot.
Face it: if this guy lived in your neighborhood, you’d be upset. But, put his stuff in a gallery, coin an eponym to describe him, an you’ve got yourself a show.
Full Disclosure: I’ll bet I like pictures of women more than the average guy. I just have this thing that their participation shouldn’t be involuntary – thus the title of the blog. They also shouldn’t be left unaware of the future stream of utility coming off their images.
Spiral Jetty is an environmental artwork on the remote northwest side of Great Salt Lake. From the air it looks like this.
Not many people see it from the air though, and I’ve never seen it in anything but photos. In fact, it was under water for most of the 80’s and 90’s.
This structure is 1500 feet long, and juts about 800 feet into the lake. The odd coloring is very shallow, mineral rich, water – and silt.
The New York Times covered the conservation aspects of this piece in a November 18 article entitled “How to Conserve Art that Lives In a Lake?” Do you clean up or leave the silt? How about the salt? What do you do about vandalism with something that’s supposed to be exposed?
One of these days I’ll get out there to see this. But … it’s 4 hours to Salt Lake, and then 2.5 hours further to Spiral Jetty, and the roads are not passable if there’s been precipitation within a week to 10 days.
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