Miroslav Tichy

Born in 1926, Miroslav Tichy was a painter until the late 1960s, when he started taking photos, mostly of local women sunbathing, using equipment that he built himself.

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Jul 2 2009, 12:00am

Miroslav Tichy is a reclusive artist who has resided in his hometown of Kyjov, Czech Republic, for most of his life. Born in 1926, he was a painter until the late 1960s, when he started taking photos, mostly of local women sunbathing, using equipment that he built himself. The cameras are made of cardboard, bottle caps, and rubber bands. Tichy mounts his photos in his own handmade frames and enhances them with pencil markings wherever he sees fit.

For a long time, Tichy was something between a charming oddity and a local bogeyman. He was frequently arrested for hanging around the local pool and snapping pictures of unsuspecting women. The fact that this was all occurring under an oppressive Communist regime added a certain air of rebellion to the proceedings, whether or not he intended it. With time, the locals grew accustomed to his presence and would often welcome having their photos taken.

These days, Tichy continues to live in Kyjov but is essentially unreachable. He suffers from dementia and has to be taken care of by his neighbor. He has most likely destroyed the majority of the work he produced over the course of his life in what can romantically be described as fits of artistic madness.

Here we have a small selection of his art, hitting all the major points mentioned above: voyeuristic shots, women in bathing suits, handmade cameras, and crafty cardboard frames.

For more of this work, check out Tichy Ocean, his official foundation, at www.tichyocean.ch.














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