Tichý is truly one of the great 'finds' of an unknown artist who worked on the outside edges of the art world. Following the communist takeover Tichý spent some eight years in prison camps and jails for no particular reason other than he was 'different' and was considered subversive. Upon his release in the early 70's, Tichý wandered his small town in rags, pursuing his obsession as an artist with the female form by photographing in the streets, shops and parks with cameras he made from tin cans, children's spectacle lenses and other junk he found on the street. He would return home each day to make prints on equally primitive equipment, making only one print from the negatives he selected.
"He stole intimate glimpses of his subjects through windows and the fences of swimming pools as well as in the streets, sometimes finding himself in trouble with the police..."
- Jarka Halkova
He stole intimate glimpses of his subjects through windows and the fences of swimming pools as well as in the streets, sometimes finding himself in trouble with the police. He would often draw intricately on each print in pencil embellishing the images with his lines or reworking them in other ways, Tichý would also sometimes include a card frame around the prints and decorate those too. The work that might to the casual viewer, simply appear to be intrusive voyeurism, takes on a melancholic and poetic quality. They are exquisitely produced small objects of obsession, which have no equal. He produced work - not for others, but solely for himself without any regard for exhibiting or selling the work to others.
Tichý's pictures were only known to a few until he won the 'New Discovery Award' at Arles. An exhibition of his work was also shown at the Kunsthaus Zürich in September 2005, and was one of the most curious and perhaps controversial photographic events of 2005. Tichý was born in 1926 in what is now the Czech Republic and studied painting at the Academy of Art in Prague until his arrest. We are delighted to be able to offer these unique works for sale in the UK and held a show of Tichý work in May 2006. This exhibition coincided with a show of works by Jacques Henri Lartigue of prints from his seminal 1962 MOMA show.