19. 4. 2013 - 16. 6. 2013
The “My Colours” exhibition of works by Tono Stano, one of the most prominent figures of contemporary Czecho-Slovak photography has been assembled exclusively for Leica Gallery Prague. “My Colours” offers an opportunity to see Tono Stano’s most important works in colour in one exhibition, from the early conceptual pictures to photographs that fully reveal his signature style.
The two dozen photographs that Tono Stano has chosen from his work of the last thirty years are a unique colour testimony to an experiment in which the predominant features of his work – form and light – are complemented by research on the relations between colours.
At the same time, unique experiments with colour, which were hidden in the photographer’s archive for years, are now exhibited together with his latest photos for the first time.
It would not be Tono Stano if this world were not dominated by woman. Even the beauty from his famous photo Sense is back, now dressed by the artist in a coloured gown. And also that little spring leaf, heralding the abracadabra of Nature, still recalls most of all the alpha and omega of the animal universe, that bloody and slippery mouth of the engine room of birth.
A puzzle is redolent of stories, it is a game in which the spirit of the world of the unconscious (An Eye for an Eye) feels around for vent holes that will provide it with oxygen for the next flight. The model warms her face at the fire. Is she guarding the cult or about to destroy it with her breath? Quite possibly, however, the floor will catch fire and it will be the end of the model. Perhaps the photographer is also exploring something that will remain after people (Mentor). But there is not a speck of reproach in this; rather the artist is expressing amused astonishment.
Everything in the colour world is connected. The nymphs stirring up the water (Féerie, 1994) are symptoms of an obsession that did not manifest itself till the Forest Work series many years later. Back then, the photographer and his models played with the elements somewhere on the banks of the River Oder.
But My Homeland (2012) was made in the studio. A girl prepared for ravishing? But to suspect Stano of political propaganda would be a mistake of astronomical proportions. The tricolour of flesh is so full of tension that she will immediately spring out of the humiliating position.
The game, the instrument with which Stano most often examines the world, does not flinch even from sadness or loss. But the demiurge always keeps his distance and, of course, lots of tenderness: he does not intend to deliver us, the viewers, to utter darkness and depression.
His work, you see, is spurred on by Euphorios, the god of a state of mind called happiness, which is not usually attainable during human activities, and perceives vivifying hope not only in the bewitching flutter of colours, but also in each subsequent movement.
Tono Stano is well known for his black and white nudes and portraits, but he has not shied away from experiments or unique and atypical trends. Apart from black and white pictures, he has been exploring the world of colours as well. “My Colours” offers an opportunity to see Tono Stano’s most important works in colour in one exhibition set, from the early conceptual pictures to photographs exhibiting in full his unique signature style.
Tono Stano works as an independent art photographer. He lives in Prague.