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Saudek [Hardcover]

By Jan Saudek (Photographer) & Daniela Mrazkova
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Item description for Saudek by Jan Saudek & Daniela Mrazkova...

The theater of sensual dreams The Czech Republic has long been a land of mystery and magic, home to alchemists, artists, and the original bohemians, all of them weavers of spells, creators of fantastic worlds of the imagination. Internationally famous Czech photographer Jan Saudek is no exception, and equally as uncompromising in pursuit of his own unique vision. For over four decades Saudek has created a parallel photographic universe, a two-dimensional home full of longing, peopled with the most extraordinary characters and colored by desire. The timeless strength of his hand-tinted photographs lies in their poetic compositions and their forceful?at times ribald?pictorial language, with its overtones of medieval genre pictures and Baroque mythology. Rejecting the traditional beauty in his famous nude photographs, Saudek shows the distinctively different: old women, fat women, children; real people in tableaux vivants that remind us of everything from surreal early movies to fin-de-siecle carnival nights. They exist outside time, a uniquely colored and almost mythical theater of dreams. Covering his debut in the 1950s through his lesser-known work to recent images, this dazzling collection offers us the true "velvet revolution," fertile and unsettling images from the dreams we might still have. The author: Daniela Mr?zkov?, critic and editor of the Czech magazines Revue fotografie and Fotografie-Magaz?n, is the author of sixteen books on photography published in the Czech Republic and abroad, and the curator of around fifty photography exhibitions. She has been a member of international juries, and has authored film and television documentaries on photography and photographers. She hasfollowed Jan Saudek's work since his early years and is the author of Saudek's first Czech monograph, The Theatre of Life.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   443
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 2" Width: 11.5" Height: 13.25"
Weight:   8.2 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Nov 1, 2006
Publisher   Taschen
ISBN  3822830208  
ISBN13  9783822830208  

Availability  0 units.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Arts & Photography > Photography > Equipment
2Books > Subjects > Arts & Photography > Photography > General
3Books > Subjects > Arts & Photography > Photography > Photographers, A-Z > General

Reviews - What do customers think about Saudek?

You need this book  Jun 18, 2008
I saw Jan Saudek's work at his gallery in Amsterdam (1970's) and then on a series of postcards. Finally, I saw his stuff on the walls of Good Vibrations in San Francisco and realized two things about him:
1. He hand paints his black and white images.
2. He produced his images during the worst days of communist repression.

He is a genius, His book will take your breath away. It is very representative of his work. You would have to see mounted pictures with the actual brush strokes to see what magic he truly weaves. You need this book.
The restrospective: a story in many chapters  May 20, 2008
This remarkable (and massive) collection traces at least forty years of Jan Saudek's career, from the late 1950s to the end of the 1990s, or maybe a bit beyond. Like any living, developing artist, Saudek's technique, subject matter, and style have developed too. As a result, broad generalizations apply poorly to this collection's full breadth.

The earliest work collected here tends strictly towards black and white, and the earliest chapter has a family oriention. With no clear break between phases of his career, Saudek's work in the early 1970s tended toward a more documentary style. Then, by the late 1970s, many features of his later work had emerged: studio nudes, often hand-colored, often set against a decrepit background, and with increasing sexual content. Paired photos, clothed and nude, appeared, as did time sequences. Saudek's quirky sense of humor came to the fore, also, expressed in terms of all the other features of his work. For example, the clothed/not and sexual themes came together in gender-bending sequences (like The Wedding, parts I and II) that elicit giggles along with confusion and careful attention. By the 1990s, Saudek's work added models well outside the usual range considered attractive, which added new facets to the sexuality and humor.

This huge, beautiful book makes it easy to trace Saudek's changing esthetic through his images. Readers (in English, French, and German) also see biographical information covering Saudek's life inside and outside the gallery world. A book this vast and a career so varied can't be summarized briefly except to say this: it's an outstanding presentation of a strange and wonderful collection.

-- wiredweird

PS: The cover picture is actually half of something - the other half changes its meaning completely!
Lovesick teen nightmare  Apr 4, 2008
Sometimes there are masterpieces hard to comment of.

Perhaps, works by Daniela Mrázková known as Jan Saudek belong to this category.

Live, deep, gay colours depicting controversially for even a modern viewer explicitly manifested homoeroticism and nudity, are surely shocking today as much as hundred years ago for then contemporaries.

A very special picturesque philosophy of Jan Saudek places these masterworks in a line with the best in this area of visual arts immortally.
Fantastic, large size book  Nov 30, 2007
If you like Jan Saudek and wanted to own one of his books, this item is perfect. It is huge! At 13.5 x 11.6 and almost 450 pages, it is a real eye opener on the coffee table. And pound for pound, I would have expected to pay double or triple the price for the size and paper stock alone.

The book contains a large amount of his work. For those not familiar with Saudek's work, please look at some of the other reviews that describe his style. But let's say the book quality is not the only thing that makes it an eye opener. It is a real conversation starter with images that are beautiful, artistic, odd and sometimes pleasantly offensive.

This book is not for those who dislike nudity or the exploration of sexuality. It contains explicit material, including real and simulated sex acts; obese, pregnant, little people, underage, mature, male and female full frontal nudity. For those looking for straight beauty/models/nude/sexuality, I would recommend Roy Stuart or Guy Bourdin first. However, if you enjoy an odder or wider range of sexuality in an artistic package and unique hand colored photographic style, Saudek does not disappoint. Leafing through the pages while writing this review, reminded me at how beautiful his odd view is.

wow! what a bargain! don't this this one!  Jun 5, 2007
this is an amazing collection of photographs by saudek who i accidently discovered on the internet one day. there really is no one else like him...way more poetic and ultimately way more creatively satisifying than joel-peter witkin...just beautiful stuff. and this is a huge book for a very good it now before you have to pay 10 times this much on ebay for a copy.

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