Friday, 19 September 2008

Czech Venus: by Jan Saudek

Czech photographer Jan Saudek (born 1935) hand tints his originally black and white pictures for a very painterly effect.

He uses a Rolleiflex and a FLEXARET 6x6 cameras.

For much of his early life he was persecuted, by the Germans for being Jewish and then by the Communist Czech government from whom he had to hide his work because of its erotic nature and the use of political themes. Even in the nineties he found some of his work banned, but this time in the west, for some of its religious motifs.

Some of his work harks back to nineteenth century erotic photography which was carefully posed in the studio (outdoor shots were almost impossible at this time) with formal props such as pillars or flower arrangements in order to give the impression of a classical, painterly tradition and hopefull avoid the attention of the authorities!

Many of Saudek's pictures of women also evoke the aesthetic of the Dolní Věstonice Venus, we feel.

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