On the road / Sul­la Stra­da / Unter­wegs — Igor Kovac

His snapshots tell sto­ries that need no fur­ther com­ment; his por­traits often sug­gest com­plex bio­gra­phies behind the images. Situa­tio­nal pho­to­gra­phy deter­mi­nes most of his work, main­ly without the know­ledge of the actors invol­ved, but always with the gaze of the docu­men­ta­ry artist, who does not shy away from the depic­tion of the diver­si­ty of pover­ty, grief, fra­gi­li­ty, humour and joy. With his works, Igor Kovac con­scious­ly joins the tra­di­ti­on of black-and-white pho­to­gra­phy from the 1930s to the 1950s, fol­lowing in the foots­teps of Hen­ri Car­tier-Bres­son, his gre­at role model.

As with Car­tier-Bres­son, his pain­tings can be easi­ly and quick­ly deco­ded at first, working with a moment of sur­pri­se and yet also adhe­ring to strict para­me­ters wit­hin pro­duc­tion. With his com­po­si­ti­ons, Igor Kovac often lea­ves us in the dark about what he wants to tell us bey­ond the first glance about the selec­ted excerp­ts, por­traits, snapshots, and his situa­ti­on pho­to­gra­phy. Com­ing from a film back­ground, he knows how to deal with ang­le and the detail of his cho­sen sub­jects and also to play with using them in a sta­ged way; the “not visi­ble” often domi­na­te his image com­po­si­ti­ons and gene­ra­tes that moment of ten­si­on in which the immi­nent or at this moment emer­ging beco­mes the domi­nant feature.

Igor Kovac has been pho­to­gra­phing sin­ce he was 15 years old and is self-taught. In his youth, the wri­tings of F. M. Dos­t­oy­evs­ky and films by A. Tar­kow­ski influ­en­ced him and inspi­red his works. He finds the motifs for his pho­to­graphs during exten­ded trips to the south of Euro­pe, espe­cial­ly in Ita­ly. Igor Kovac was born in Bra­tis­la­va in 1964. He stu­di­ed jour­na­lism and film at Come­ni­us Uni­ver­si­ty and the Aca­de­my of Fine Arts in Bra­tis­la­va. After various assign­ments bet­ween 1995 and 2000 for Slo­vak and Czech tele­vi­si­on, he has sin­ce worked as a free­lan­ce pho­to­gra­pher and in the field of advertising.

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