Czech Republic / USA
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.