An exhibition with photographs by IGOR KOVAC
5 April – 3 May 2018
Opening: 4 April at 7 p.m.
Viewers are often surprised by the ruthlessness with which Igor Kovac’s photographs capture life on the road, on the go, on the move. His snapshots tell stories that need no further explanation; his portraits often suggest complex biographies behind the images. Situational photography defines the majority of his works: mostly taken unbeknownst to the protagonists they depict, they always betray the eye of a documentarian who never shies away from portraying the diverse aspects of poverty, sorrow, frailty, humor, and joy.
With his work, Igor Kovac deliberately aligns himself with the black-and-white photography tradition of the 1930s to 1950s, following as it were in the footsteps of Henri Cartier-Bresson, his role model.
As in the work of Cartier-Bresson, at first glance it is quick and easy to decode his pictures: they revolve around the element of surprise—and yet they also hint at rigorous staging. With his pictures’ compositions, Igor Kovac often leaves us in the dark about what he wants to tell us—beyond the initial impression—with his choice of snippets and situations, portraits and snapshots, with his situational photography. Coming from the world of film, he knows how to make use of angles and snippets of his chosen subjects as well as how to toy with them, to employ them theatrically; the “unseen” frequently overwhelms his compositions and generates that element of suspense in which the immediately imminent or the impending threath becomes dominant.
Igor Kovac is a self-taught photographer and has been capturing images on film since he was fifteen years old. The writings of F. M. Dostoyevsky and films of A. Tarkovsky left a lasting impression on him in his youth and went on to serve as a source of inspiration for his artistic work. He comes across the subjects for his photographs during lengthy travels in the south of Europe, Italy in particular. He studied journalism and film at Comenius University and the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava. After various commissions for Slovakian and Czech television between 1995 and 2000, he has since worked in the fields of freelance photography and advertising.
Exhibition design: Igor Kovac and Inge Scholz-Strasser
The exhibited photographs are unique copies. Pigment print on Hahnemühle-paper,
106 x 156 cm, framed with museum glass, signed by the photographer.
(Original photographs printed by: Thomas Gorisek – farbpraxis.at)