WORLD ON FIRE
The Burning Man Collection by Marek Musil
1. 2. — 8. 4. 2018
Leading Czech fashion and commercial photographer Marek Musil focused on the phenomenon of the American art festival Burning Man, which takes place since the second half of the eighties in the middle of Nevada desert, in Black Rock City. Marek Musil also visited the best-known offshoots of the festival – Midburn in Israel and AfrikaBurn in the South African Republic. Now we can take in the free-minded atmosphere of these festivals with the help of an extensive photographic triptych.
Gallery WORLD ON FIRE
Photographs from the exhibition opening
The project gives a comprehensive view of the festival based on the principles of freedom, individual self-expression, personal responsibility and basic rules of ecology. With this extensive photography project the author is symbolically going back to the United States that played an important role in his career. Even though he started with photography earlier and he bought his first camera in Tel Aviv, Israel, he learned the craft while being an assistant to photographers in Prague. He then gained confidence during his stays in New York and Miami where he started working as a fashion photographer. After coming back to the Czech Republic in 2007 he started working for most of the fashion and lifestyle magazines and shot many photo stories for them.
Even though he had enough work, his desire to create his own projects was growing stronger. After more than ten years in the commercial area the photographer with the soul of a rocker felt that the time was right to realize his own ideas. Most photographers start with their own projects and work up to commercial jobs that the public asks for. Musil’s way was completely different. The flashy world of fashion and commercial photography exhausted him so much he started looking for a way in the form of his own projects that allowed him to get away from the clean studios and go all the way to Burning Man festival held in Nevada desert. And right there, in the relaxed “burner” environment, in dust and sand, he made use of his rich experience. Musil’s photographs are precise, perfect in terms of colour and always visually attractive so that they effortlessly elevate themselves to become artworks worthy of galleries.
Musil gives us a full-fledged subjective documentary of a place where freedom breathes freely and the society is based on the idea of togetherness and respect to people and to the nature. In some of the photographs we can see the professional eye of the author but you can also find spontaneous reportage photographs showing the backstage of the festival and portraits as well. All this served in a balanced and attractive mix, which combines the grains of sand with the positive atmosphere of freedom and tolerance.
Curator of the exhibition
Marek Musil was born in Kroměříž in 1974. He studied at the Secondary School of Dairy Industry and Higher Vocational School of Food Industry and after finishing compulsory military service he worked as a lathe man in a factory.
At the beginning of the nineties after the Velvet Revolution he started forming various bands in which he actively played drums. At the end of the nineties he went to Israel where je started to work on his visual idea through the camera lens. He felt a strong need to improve his photography skills.
After coming back to the Czech Republic he settled in Prague and started to work as an assistant to commercial photographers. In their studios he gained priceless experience and had the opportunity to take a closer look at technical photography and the craft itself. After coming back home he used the experience gained abroad to start working and soon he succeeded as a photographer in Prague.
During the fifteen years of commercial photography in Prague he often visited the USA and worked on his collections. It is worth mentioning his travels to Florida Keys where he created a collection of underwater photographs called “Underwater Emotion.” He created a seven-year cycle capturing the black and white world of the backstage of Prague fashion shows, showing the hidden side of the fashion business.
The Burning Man Collection was created two years ago and its aim is to capture the unique human subculture as shown in the extreme conditions of three different deserts on three different continents. He is Nikon Ambassador and member of Assosiation of professional photographers Czech republic APF. Currently Marek Musil lives and works in Prague.
2012 - Prague Airport – solo exhibition Touch of Fashion
2014 - Brno Galerie Pekařská – solo exhibition Pod vodou
2014 - Košice Kunsthalle – solo exhibition Touch of Fashion
2015 - The Perfect Exposure Gallery Los Angeles – joint exhibition (Fashion Week)
2015 - 2015 MAXXI, Museo Nazionale delle Arti Rome, Italy - joint exhibition (Pod vodou)
2016 - Nikon Gallery Prague – solo exhibition Dust and Light - The Burning Man Collection
2017 - F! Festival Brno, joint exhibition Dust and Light - The Burning Man Collection
2017 - Leica Prague Gallery Coffee Shop, exhibition Backstage of Prague Fashion Week