Photography and related media give endless opportunities to explore the world. Many artists consciously resign from describing reality in a passive way and focus on describing things which can only be accessed by means of photography. Pavel Mára, one of the most important contemporary photographers from the Chech Republic, creates his artistic space using geometry. Rarely does his work result from the use of a special lens. He creates series, presents people and objects in unnatural colours, juxtaposing them and highlighting their geometrization, thus discarding any elements that might interfere with the message hidden in his works. What complements his photographs is the use of unexpected and surprising colours, which are key characteristics of his art. Another relevant element of the photographer’s work is the space in which these large-format pieces of art are displayed, and where he has a chance to fully express his well-thought-out concepts.
The Exhibit Curator, Marek Grygiel
Pavel Mára was born in Prague in 1951. He has been a lecturer at the Institute of Creative Photography at the Silesian University in Opava in the Czech Republic. Mára is the precursor of using colour in photography in large-size photographs in the 70’s and 80’s, when colour photography was not widely used in advertising. His series “MECHANICAL STILL LIFE” from the 1976-84 period, gained high recognition in the artistic community. Later on, the artist focused his artistic work mainly on the human body. Using his simple technique, he created monumental triptychs of nude photographs and portraits from the 1990-93 period. He obtained stunning effects thanks to changing the position of the model and vertical shift of the camera. Another spectacular work “MECHANICAL BODIES” (1997) uses special coloured lighting and combines real objects with unreal colours. The photographer used a counterpoint by combining the colour and black and white photography in many of his following works, including the series “BLACK BODY: THE FAMILY” (2001) and “NEGATIVE HEADS” (2010) Antonín Dufek, famous critic and art historian, describes Mára’s artistic work as a highly aesthetic yet pioneering part of the postmodern culture, whose integral element involves exploring the potential of photography.
The Podlasie Opera and Philharmonic – European Art Centre, 1 Odeska Street, exhibition open until 18.10.21, Tue-Wed 8:30-16:00, Thu-Sun 11:30-17:00