Thursday, February 11, 2010


I picked up a book of the work of the controversial outsider artist photographer, Miroslav Tichy. He is the voyeuristic, peeping-tom, recluse photographer; a Czech who dressed in rags, lived a life of solitude, and secretly took thousands of pics of women in his village using cameras he made from toys and other junk (such as tin cans and toilet paper rolls). His work is fairly recently discovered and obviously very "low-fi".

Book: Miroslav Tichy (Fototorst) (Russian Edition)

Photo: Miroslav Tichy

The work is interesting, especially if viewed within the scope of 'outsider artists'. Most artists fitting the description have no formal training (Tichy did) and usually have a sort of mental illness or obsessive compulsive nature that results in a certain type of prolific repetitive creative outpouring. Some are considered savants, some are or have been institutionalized.

Run some searches on 'outsider artists', 'miroslav tichy, or check out wikipee for a list of notable outsider artists.

I assume the book is pretty much indicative of Tichy's work. The photos are not everyone's cup. They are at times beautiful, ugly, quaint, original, inspirational, creepy, cutting edge, and just plain weird.

If you're interested, the Fototorst book can be had fairly cheaply. It contains both english and russian text. But if you are interested, definitely read what you can about the man. There's plenty online and in the book.