I few weeks ago I made a post on Miroslav Tichý - http://sarahwichlacz.com/?p=12 A little later I was lucky enough to get a comment on the post from Brian Tjepkema, Tichý’s own apprentice. I claimed that Tichý was a bona fide outsider artist, one that might not be fully aware of what he is doing artistry- Brian disagreed. He elaborates on his website-
Although Tichý was in large part rejected and even ridiculed by the authorities and by regular society, he did have friends and he was often seen amongst people in the pubs of Kyjov. Although Tichý is often presented as not only an outsider but also as a loner or hermit, Tichý spoke with many people on a daily basis. Needless to say, Tichý’s chosen friends were mostly outsiders themselves. According to Tichý, the writer Veselsky was a “nutter” as were the artists Petr Cmelik and, even, Tjepkema. Tichý was by no means a loner and many people from Kyjov have spoken with him over the years.
Okay, Brian I agree that Tichý is aware that he his creating art - and sees himself as part of an artistic community. But, I think that he is clearly on the outside of the “established” art world; making work (especially these girly photographs) for his own pleasure. This is what makes his work so damn appealing; it is not over thought and overwrought imagery made to please an academic gallery audience. Tichý’s techniques are interesting and unique; the subjects timeless and erotic. The academics have plenty to talk about - but what they see and what Tichý originally had in mind when creating the image may be vastly different. Then again this could be said about most art..