Expat returns home

THE PHOTO-EXHIBITION Pohyblivý svet (Moving World) of Slovak expat and AFP photo-editor Joe Klamar, is on display at the Bratislava City Gallery (GMB). Klamar, a native from the Slovak region of Liptov who established himself in the international world of photo-journalism, has gone beyond the limits of traditional journalistic photography to become a pioneering personality in photo-essays.“Photography should be for [the photographer] a passion; he should surrender his whole world to it,” Klamar said.

Ukrainian Aquabelles, by Joe Klamar.Ukrainian Aquabelles, by Joe Klamar.(Source: Courtesy of GMB)

THE PHOTO-EXHIBITION Pohyblivý svet (Moving World) of Slovak expat and AFP photo-editor Joe Klamar, is on display at the Bratislava City Gallery (GMB). Klamar, a native from the Slovak region of Liptov who established himself in the international world of photo-journalism, has gone beyond the limits of traditional journalistic photography to become a pioneering personality in photo-essays.
“Photography should be for [the photographer] a passion; he should surrender his whole world to it,” Klamar said.

The exhibition – which the photographer himself told the TASR newswire is his first in Slovakia – is the 13th edition of the Henkel company’s project – in cooperation with the GMB – to introduce Slovak artists who have found international success. Running until February 24 (opening hours Tue-Sun 11:00-18:00) in the GMB’s Mirbach Palace in Františkánske Square and curated by Marián Pauer, the exhibition then goes to the P. M. Bohúň Gallery in Liptovský Mikuláš. The exhibition is accompanied by a 78-page catalogue, in Slovak and English, containing many photos.

Klamar (born Jozef Klamár) was an active skier and photo-enthusiast from a very young age. After making it to the national championship in skiing, he gave up this path and focused on photography, landing a job as a cameraman in television. Frustrated with the conditions under communism, he emigrated through Austria to Canada. He worked several manual-labour jobs before he started studying art and design at the Medicine Hat College in Canada and moonlighting as a photographer for a local newspaper. After taking a series of innovative photos of a grain silo, his road to journalistic photography began to open. He worked for the Canadian press, for TASR and Reuters (back in Slovakia), as well as the Agence France Presse (AFP). He currently lives in Los Angeles, California, and works as a photographer for the AFP (he left Slovakia at the beginning of 2012).

Klamar’s oeuvre ranges from sports photography through photo-features of political events and memorial celebrations, to – most recently – photos of celebrities and show business events. His photos have garnered many awards over the years, including the Global Photography of the Year awards in the US in 2006 and 2008, and the main award at the Czech Press Photo awards in 2009.

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