Monday, May 7, 2007

jan saudek

The tragic kingdom post started me thinking about my favorite artists, one of which is Jan Saudek, who I just discovered has a new website (finally!) and it seems a new permanent gallery. Jan Saudek is a Czech photographer, whose work I was first introduced to back in 1996 in Prague. I was spending a lot of time in Prague back then because the orchestra I was working for had started playing there. I really enjoyed the industrial grit of Prague and I felt that Saudek's photos really captured that grit as well as the weathered lack of innocence and the youthful innocence that lived in close proximity in the Czech Republic at that time. Most of his photographs date back to much earlier/darker times in Czechoslovakia, but you could still see the ghosts of that past in people's faces and in the cities themselves. I have never been to Moscow, but I always think of Prague when I hear the song "Moskau" from Rammstein (Sie schläft mit mir doch nur für Geld. Ist doch die schönste Stadt der Welt). I think like Saudek they really capture the grit of an ex-soviet city in the song.

Suadek's portrait subjects are both grotesque and sexy all at the same time. I enjoyed that fact that he was willing to explore different types of human bodies, bodies that are interesting and have a story to tell, not just the western fantastic ideal.

If you are ever in Prague, you must visit his new gallery!



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