Exhibition of Anton Kratochvíl – David Bowie

From 14. 10. to 5. 12. 2022 you can visit new exhibition of Antonín Kratochvíl – David Bowie in our 400 ASA gallery, located in Praha Smíchov – Kováků 32.


“I’m trying to find the light. You wanna come?”
Bowie took a drag on his Marlboro. And they were gone.

It’s 1997, and one day an extraordinary photographic fusion takes place between Antonín Kratochvíl and David Bowie in the Meatpacking District of New York City, resulting in a series of famous, iconic portraits. Two equals in their fifties, each living his own ups and downs in life, met that day on the set, both in a period of their lives where they were both finding their personal and artistic balances of undeniable quality, originality and defying any categorization into genres. Antonín Kratochvíl and David Bowie share some characteristic qualities – both of them are unrestrained and vivacious, charismatic and neither lacks humility arising from the achievement of their highly creative and original careers. Their art serves them to build historical bridges from the past to the future. Their ancient flamboyance is transformed into a mature message, a statement of the relevance of these formidable artists. In one of his interviews, David Bowie says: “I have no idea where I’m coming from, but I promise not to be boring.” The same goes for Antonín Kratochvíl’s photographic credo of “knowing how to see and understand.”

text author
Pavlína Vogelová

Antonín Kratochvíl (b. 1947) comes from Lovosice, north Bohemia, where his father had a photography studio. Since 1972 he has been working in the United States. He lives in New York and Prague. He is a founding member of the VII Photo Agency. He mostly does portraits and documentary photographs. For the latter, he has received several international prizes. In 1999 American Photo magazine ranked him amongst the top hundred photographers in the world.
At the recommendation of the photographer Vojta Dukát,
he applied to, and was accepted, to attend the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in the Netherlands (graduating in 1971). He has worked for prestigious American newspapers and magazines, including Playboy, Penthouse, Vogue, Rolling Stone, Los Angeles Times Magazine, and Newsweek. In the mid-1970s he gradually began returning to Europe, to photograph life behind the Iron Curtain and, in the 1990s, the changes there after the collapse of the Communist regimes. Many of those photos were published in his Broken Dream: Twenty Years of War in Eastern Europe (1997). As a photojournalist, he has worked in war zones, documenting the genocide in Rwanda and its refugees fleeing to Zaire, as well as Bosnian and Afghani refugees, victims of the AIDS epidemic in Zimbabwe, and drug smugglers in Guatemala.

He has received many awards for his documentary photographs, including three prizes in the World Press Photo competition. He has published a number of books of his own and contributed to many others.

Antonín Kratochvíl is one of the founding members of 400 ASA.

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