Jaroslav Rössler

Jaroslav Rössler represents Czech avant-garde photography, being one of those who are long gone, but left an incredible legacy behind.

If you are interested in neo-constructivism and abstract photography, Rössler is your must-see (and study) artist.  While looking at his photographs, keep in mind they were made decades and decades ago. This is said not to diminish their quality, but to prepare you to be astonished. Properly.

I never had a mentor to guide me, to answer my questions, to help me to find my calling and stick to it. I had to help myself, slowly making my way through photobooks and webgalleries, bookmarking what I liked (and what I didn’t, I dismissed a lot of photography which wasn’t my cup of tea). After a while a short list of names representing variety of styles and artistic visions emerged. When I look at that list – it’s on my mind, not on paper – I see myself, and my own vision better, and my path – I see it better, where I want to go. Each one of those “mentors” taught me something in their turn. Some more than the others, and Rössler maybe most of them all.

I am sure art critics will tell you a whole lot about his style etc. and better than me. In my humble words let me put it like this: Rössler got me interested in shooting still life like portraits and portraits like still life and still life and portraits like abstracts – everything became possible, everything became a canvas, and I felt free to play with light, and reflections, and angles, and perspective and double exposure, optical illusion, flatness and depth, and what not. There were also things appealing to my “designer” side – image graphics, efficiency of line, strong composition, “purposefullness” of every element, elegance of  showing a man-made thing, artistic praise of material.

I also liked Rössler’s work because it gave me confidence. I could make what I liked to make – without a large studio, heavy equipment, ellaborate gear. Natural light, a few humble props, and – imagination. Rössler’s work is incredibly fresh, very imaginative, turning old concepts upside down inside out. I like that.

I like that a lot. In fact I turned a lot of stuff upside down myself.

Notes to myself : show a familiar object ( or a person) from an unusual, unexpected angle, in an unexpected situation, – everything has a hidden side.