SLOVAK-BORN photographer Robert Vano, who found fame abroad, has returned to Slovakia after an absence of 44 years. He emigrated during communism and never really returned except for a few hours in passing. Now he said he intends to open a gallery in Bratislava that will open its doors to young, promising photographers to meet, exhibit and exchange experiences while building their photographic skills and portfolios.
During a recent visit to Bratislava, Vano not only recalled his youth and commented on all the changes the city has undergone, but also gave the first glimpses into the photographers’ café and gallery that will open.
“Earlier, [Slovak] photographers were limited by politics; currently they are limited by money and knowing business criteria,” he told the SITA newswire. “I would like to make a vibrant, living space for young people where they could meet and sit for long hours without being bothered by the staff to pay or being treated as a nuisance. I also would like to teach those interested how to make and sell their pictures.”
He thinks talented Slovaks now have very little chance of becoming well-known unless they go abroad, and added that local photographers are not taught how to finish their photographs or, most of all, how to evaluate their work and sell it.
“They do not know how much a photo costs, they do not have their own identity, nobody tells them to take a picture of just one thing, and they do not know how to frame pictures,” Vano said. He added that poor finishing work can destroy all the previous artistic effort and that it is not enough to produce a photo on a home printer.
In addition to workshops, discussions and meetings focused on turning local photography in a better direction, he said his future gallery will also focus on films and filmmaking. It will be located downtown . “I would like it to be open late, as in the evenings galleries are already closed and potential artists have nowhere to go to have a chat,” Vano said.
25. Apr 2011 at 0:00 | Compiled by Spectator staff