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.
“Photography is painting with light! The blurs, the spots, those are errors! But the errors are part of it, they give it poetry and turn it into painting. And for that you need as bad a camera as possible! If you want to be famous, you have to do whatever you’re doing worse than anyone else in the whole world.” (Miroslav Tichy)
All photographs by Miroslav Tichy, text from here.