Wandered. Took the tram to a different area than usual. There was a cathedral nearby but that wasn’t why I came here. In the courtyard amongst elderly and young couples on benches were these 27” X 40” poster-size displays of photography. Each piece was lined perfectly center with the cathedral entrance. The work was inspiring. Gave unique, experimental perspectives on the city of Prague. Some provided exaggerated wides of architecture while others focused on the people. My favorite was a portraiture of a young woman in a beanie; She was standing beneath harsh available fluorescent lighting in a tunnel with her back to the wall. The words “RAW” were written in graffiti right above her head.
Photographers I’ll never meet were challenging me to think outside of conventions. Viewing this work forced me to contemplate new styles and ways of capturing moments. It made me think of Van Gogh after the museum I visited in Amsterdam. What made Van Gogh so special was not only his ability to translate his raw emotions on a canvas so clearly but his desire and willingness to keep changing his style. He would seek new artists and study their approach. Try to push himself out of his comfort zone. That was the purpose for so many of the portraits that Van Gogh did of himself. He practiced new techniques everyday and constantly sought different ways to communicate on the canvas by remaining a student of other wildly talented artists.
“Keep thinking. Don’t stop thinking. Don’t get comfortable. Keep pushing your boundaries.” That’s what this photography work communicated to me outside of how beautiful they were.
Visited the opera house. Teenagers lingering on the stairs, smoking and talking shit. Found a place called “Book Palace” eventually. Two-story building that probably ran 300 feet in length from back to front. Everything was in Czech obviously but I love the smell of books. If books ever vanish, and they likely will in favor of a purely digital format, it will be a sad day. There’s nothing quite like that smell when you're walking down a narrow aisle populated by shelves filled to the brim with books.
Managed to nab the pizza I wanted to judge Prague on. Chose carefully: “Pizza Coloseum”. Prague has been my favorite thus far when it comes to the greasy cheese pies. Not an eventful day but always enlightening.
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!