Fotograf Magazine

Obituary: Adam Holý

On 2 July, Adam Holý died suddenly at the age of 41. Adam was known primarily as an unconventional fashion and lifestyle photographer capable of drawing celebrities into his specifc way of seeing and working. Within the world of art, he frst gained attention with a series of erotically charged photographs that borrowed the aesthetic vocabulary of his commercial work. In so doing, Adam easily and with his typical sense of lightness managed to completely erase the boundary between these two worlds. Nevertheless, by working with “high” art as well as “low,” spontaneity as well as stylization, subtlety as well as forcefulness, he was not trying to fnd the limits of things, but their raw essence.

Adam obsessively explored, experimented, and speculated, and recorded the things that are central to our Western way of thinking – the essential things that persist despite the constant change and movement of the things we can perceive with our senses. He was constantly fascinated by this dichotomy, and tried to delve into the depths of the collective memory of humankind. This was one reason why he recently became interested in the landscape, mechanically photographing the scenery in a large volume of pictures that the computer arranged into one image. In this way, he used to camera to engage in a calligraphic motion along places that interested him, while refocusing and leaving out places that did not – thus occasionally leaving an empty black square in the middle of the fnal picture.

His fnal exhibition at the Polansky Gallery also emphasized the immateriality of the exhibited photographs. His large-format images of landscapes burdened by history dating back to the pagan era were printed on thin Plexiglas and simply leaned against the walls, thus accentuating the sense of heaviness hidden within the depicted scenes while also adding to their monumentality and incomprehensibility. The exhibition title was equally ambivalent in nature: Your God is Fear.

Adam’s great dream was to buy an old Praga V3S in which he could live and for which he would get a permit to travel to protected landscapes and photograph them.

Filip Polanský