January 12, 2004

Josef Koudelka, Czech photographer. Take a look to his work, then take a look at his life.

Having just returned from an exposition of his works I was amazed by the crudity of the images but also because of their complex beauty. It's just like being there with those people in these places.

  • This is good. This photo especially, although I couldn't say why, exactly.
  • Dark chaos. I like it! Tell us more about the exposition that you went to see. Finding more of his work online was a difficult search but I found some words.
  • Clever, stirfry! His pictures are haunting.
  • stirfry, I also had a hard time finding good examples of his works (that aren't tiny images) to link here. More frustrating taking into account that I was there surrounded by more than 50 of his photographs at twice the size of a 16" monitor. I went with a long friend of mine. She is a photographer so she was the one that pulled me over there. While there I learned that Koudelka first worked as a theater photographer. That explains why most of his compositions have a theatrical outlook. The photos explain themselves very well what they were about (none had titles). He did some border cuts to some of them to emphasize specific elements and create panoramics. Getting that way some amazing symetries. Koudelka travelled all over Europe and, as he says in one interview, he didn't like to have a home because he didn't want to feel he needed to return somewhere. He considered himself at home wherever he was at the moment as long he had something to take photos at. When there was nothing interesting left he moved somewhere else. The art museum rarely divides expositions in two floors so we went only to the first floor part without realizing about the part on the second floor. That's an excellent excuse for me to go a see it again :D Jeez, I wish I could say more but it's difficult to explain what I saw in more detail. I hope someday you can visit an exposition of his works whenever you have an opportunity.
  • Thanks!
  • Photos in black and white are like music in a minor key to me - there's an instant sense of melancholy. I love these.
  • Really? I hear in polycolour.
  • Guess what, Wolof? I can smell what you can't hear... er, never mind.
  • I find it interesting how some photographers are better than others. I mean, logically, everyone must see a similar amount of incidents in their life which would make a good photograph; and yet, some photographers take bland and dull photos and others take photos like... Those. I mean, obviously some photographers stage their shots and stuff but... Damn. I'm sure I used to have a point... I'll just look at the pretty pictures and drool slightly.
  • What's more interesting about Koudelka work is that he never goes for the sentimetality and the sad clown pose. The people he photographs, especially the gypsies, act and pose in quite normal ways and in joyful situations (except for his shots of funerals, that are also quite beautiful). But he never masquerades their situation. You can feel their misery through their faces and observing their surroundings. Yet you can see they can cope with it and live life as fully as they can. There's beauty wherever he points his lens.
  • MonkeyFilter: Just look at the pretty pictures and drool slightly. (I like the photos btw)
  • I've always found crudités beautiful.