Antonín Tesar (prices: 1000 € - 3000 €), born 1963 in Kromeritz, Czech Republic.
Antonin Tesar, artists statement
I started with photography in 1990 as I was extremely bored and full of various ideas, scenes and inner images which I had an urge to communicate to somebody. So I picked photography because it seemed the most realistic. I began to use a 6x6 negative format camera and from the very beginning I used glaze colours to colour the positives. As I child, on some occasion I was given a book of pictures for colouring, with invisible colours already hidden in the pictures. When washed over with a water-moistened brush the colours were made visible. I was amazed by the experience which was kept inside me until I started subconsciously colouring my photographs. For me, nothing was more beautiful or uglier than human beings so from the first moment I was inviting more or less naked people, in vast majority women, to my studio. As far as I am concerned, women cannot be understood, the longer I photograph them the less I understand them. I always treat them with respect, not only because they never get paid from me for posing and they do it for me from unknown reasons. They are willing to be drawn into my world of small manipulations and unusual life situations. Some time later I found the 6x6 format to be insufficient so in 2003 I switched to a 9x12 negative format studio camera. It perfectly suits me despite the fact that using it is a bit more lengthy and complicated. I do not take movement shots but staged photographs. I carefully plan my photographs in advance as there is no time for any improvisation when taking them. I do not jump around the model frenetically making thousand of shots hoping that it will work and it is probable that one of them might be fine for further use. I make sketches not only for myself but also for consultations with models. The black and white negatives are then blown up on silver bromide black and white papers subsequently toned into yellow to brown-grey shades. Such modified positives are then coloured using special techniques (brushes only!) in several glazing layers. As the pre-mixed colours are once again mixed with each other on the positives I can get amazing mixtures of shades similar to those by former impressionists. When three different colour shades are put on the body the mix with each other into a very subtle scale of yellow, green, blue, pink and other colours although the final colour is only that of a body. This approach is very labour-consuming and it could take as many as several weeks to make a single photograph. I know that photographs are coloured from their beginning but I do not know anyone else using the same technique as I do. It took me several years to develop it. My photo products are pure hand work.
important single shows:
- Ostrava - Galerie FOMA / Czech rep.
- Praha - Galerie U jednorozce s harfou / Czech rep.
- Bratislava - Month of photography / Slovakia
- Praha - Galerie Vltavín / Czech rep.
Pelhrimov - Galerie K. / Czech rep.
- Olomouc - Galerie K.Dostalova / Czech rep.
- Trabic - Galerie Malovany dum / Czech rep.
- Bratislava - Month of photography / Slovakia
- Hodonin - Galerie art in Hodonin / Czech rep
- Praha - Galerie Vltavin / Czech rep.
- Olomouc - Galerie Mona Lisa / Czech rep.
- in focus Galerie, Köln (Germany)
important group shows:
- Leipzig, Foto- u. Kameramuseum Mölkau, „Ästhetik der Lüste" Germany über in focus Galerie, Köln
Jan Saudek writes about Antonín Tesar:
„From time to time, to be genuinely amazed, I read one of those erudite reviews in newspaper culture sections.
It makes me go all weak at the knees to read that some girl, just out of school, photographs fuzzy portraits and that this is the real, genuine art - and I am sure this clumsy oaf has aspirations for the Jindrich Chalupecky award!
Well blow me down! My simpleton mind is insinuating that the girl cannot focus sharply - but here I am reading that it is "The Art".
Well, first of all: "art" means to "know how to do it. Throughout my long, sweet life I have seen hundreds of thousands of photographs and I can easily recognize a good photograph - even without being a green four-eyed critic.
Yes - Antonín Tesar knows how to do it; above all - unlike those greenhorns - he has mastered his craft. And moreover: he knows what he wants to communicate.
No intellectual groping!
Heaven forbid that he is for a long time one of those Modiglianis, Vincents, Bellocqs! Forgotten in his own country!
But narrow-minded critics argue that it is a bit thick! In that case they should see some western exhibitions! In comparing with those, my colleague Tesar's pictures are pure, virgin poetry ...
His photographs are striking, inventive and technically brilliant. His models are to be envied. His work is excellent. His critics opinions are totally contemptuous.
I went through the same thing - now I am out of the woods. I wish one day Antonín Tesar meets a similar fate".