It is always great fun and an adventure to look at Vlachy’s work, old or new. For quite some years, as in his first series NUDES, he is pursuing the same conceptual path In his new DANGLING CONVERSATION series.
This new work looks very simple and straightforward but an experienced eye can dig much deeper. As the wisdom says: Simplicity is complexity solved-Brancusi.
The process is: He stops his female models on the street, asking them if they would be interested to come to his studio for a photo session. It is quite a project to find a model that shakes some vibrations through his mind: always looking for character, not a perfect beauty, maybe some imperfection like a big nose, interesting lips, expression full of energy. It may be a classical beauty -or- it may be a modern kind of a face in his images. They then begin to transform and become something else.
With his idiosyncratic taste, by looking for something peculiar, he tries to mold the model to his inner vision. So if the model is interested, the first step is to meet some day for a coffee downtown to exchange the ideas, to start some intellectual energy flowing- which may or may not happen.
It is a great inspiration if the model is enthusiastic, feeling the future experience. After that comes the photo session. It could take quite a lot of time from the first coffee to the realization of the shoot- people are busy and they might lose interest. This is a huge frustration: to find the perfect face and then nothing happens.With the model in front of the camera the improvisation starts. There is a big difference between the initial imaginative idea and the reality of the process. Sometimes there is panic, sometimes the wish is greater than the possibilities of the two people team. Usually he works alone with his model, almost never with a stylist. Looking for model’s inner peace and personal freedom, the whole thing is a very intuitive process.It is like an exam: you have two hours of being able to stay in focus. After that comes exhaustion for both the model and the photographer.
He tries to catch that pose, some small movement that we usually miss in real life, trying to see something that doesn’t belong. Interesting thing is that what he has in mind from his daydreaming, rarely works with the model. You can’t get prepared, you just hope the image will come if you try hard enough, if the idea sparks.
With his diptychs Vlachy tells us his witty short stories. There is humor, there is tranquility, silence and beauty. He is the Leonard Cohen of photography. With his unique inner vision and long term concept he is very sincere, very human and vulnerable -as are his models. I admire his clear mind and perseverance to stay true to his vision and concept. His strong and inspired work, I must say, has a message for us all. [Text: Gary Bukovnik] [Official Website]
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