Spiritual Expressionism or Dynamic Meditation?
Kamil Varga is a significant Czechoslovak photographer based in Prague, Czech Republic and one of the key figures of the photographic group Slovak New Wave. The author’s work has changed over the years. This portfolio attempts to show his key moments. He created his first works at FAMU in Prague, in the company of his generation called the Slovak New Wave. They are created in the spirit of figurative staged photography. However, from the very beginning of his studies he was fascinated by painting with light, which became his dominant creative approach for a long time. In the second half of the 1980s he began to work in large-scale photographic cycles exploring the mysterious magic of the artist’s specific perception of the world as a whole universe, in which the energy of his own subconscious, mysticism and the teachings of Eastern philosophies play an important role. He himself calls his work “spiritual expressionism”, when the contrast of these two words contains the tension that is a prerequisite for any creative work. For the most intense materialization of this intention, he uses the photographic method of luminography (drawing with light), which is best able to capture the tension of flowing physical and spiritual energy, concentrated in dynamic, rhythmic and sometimes almost ritualistic transformations. He thus creates his own, quite unique world of mysticism, mysterious patterns and symbols, concentrated in a liberating rhythm of ever new and new photographic fantasy images. Through black and white and colour magic rituals, mysterious symbols that intertwine with each other beyond space and time, he records the extrasensory flowing cosmic energies, but also the stories of man, mankind, civilisation and landscape anchored in darkness, through which he visualises the world of his own subconscious, consciousness, fantasy and faith into original photographic images.
His photographs are at one time the result of his own purifying spiritual psychoanalysis, resembling stirring ritual dances, at other times they become intangible archetypal symbols of eternally flowing life-giving energies. Throughout the work, the artist’s primary concern is the exploration of the universe, which takes many forms in the artist’s art world.
Archetypal. Body. Buddhism. Cosmos. Energy. Expressionism. Extrasensory. FAMU. Identity. Interpretation. Luminography. Meditation. Mysticism. Painting with Light. Philosophy. Photogram. Photography. Photo Manipulation. Psychoanalysis. Psychology. Religion. Ritual. Slovak New Wave. Spiritual. Staged Photography. Subconscious. Symbols.
VARGA, K.: Spiritual Expressionism or Dynamic Meditation? In European Journal of Media, Art and Photography, 2022, Vol. 10, No. 2, pp. 6-33, ISSN 1339-4940.