A Walk Through Praha – Part 2

More shots from Praha: street photography, night shots, portraits… Random generic stuff.

Did you miss part one? That’s because it’s in my other blog (the one that you probably don’t know about):
https://artishorseshit.wordpress.com/2016/09/08/a-walk-through-praha-part-1/

After you’ve checked out my other blog, you can have a look at Jo’s blog:
https://restlessjo.me/2016/09/12/jos-monday-walk-rosedale-sheep-and-heather/

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Dali | Saudek | Saudek | Warhol

Masturdating Going out alone. I.e. seeing a movie by yourself, going to a restaurant alone. - urbandictionary.com

Jan Saudek

Jan Saudek

In Prague I went to an exhibition with Salvador Dalì, Jan & Kája Saudek and Andy Warhol. Prior to this exhibition I wasn’t familiar with the Saudek brothers and I’ve always thought Warhol to be overrated (soup cans and Madonna, is that all he’s got?), but I’ve always liked Dalí’s work and that’s why it was Dalí that caught my attention and made me go masturdating. Being slightly hung-over, masturdating seemed like a good way to spend a few hours.

If you, like me, have no knowledge about Saudek, let me give you a small introduction with info I found on Wikipedia when I wrote this article (about nine months after seeing the exhibition):

Jan Saudek (born 13 May 1935 in Prague, Czechoslovakia) is a Czech art photographer and painter. Saudek’s father was a Jew and this, coupled with his Slavic (Czech) heritage, caused his family to become a target of the Nazis.

Kája Saudek (born Karel Saudek, 13 May 1935 – 26 June 2015) was a Czech comics illustrator. He was one of the most important exponents of the Czech comics since the late 1960s. Kája’s father was also a Jew (perhaps not a big surprise there since Kája and Jan were twin brothers).

Many of their family members died in Theresienstadt concentration camp during World War II. Jan and his brother Karel, or Kája, were held in a children’s concentration camp for Mischlinge, located near the present Polish-Czech border (Luža in Poland). Their father, Gustav, was deported to Theresienstadt concentration camp in February 1945. Both brothers and their father survived the imprisonment and came back to Prague.

So, short summary of the highlights: Jan is the photographer, Kája the illustrator.

Kája died in 2015 at the age of 80. He had been in a coma for nine years following an accident in 2006 (so the way I see it, he died at an age of 71)

If you want to know more about the Saudek brothers, there’s plenty of material to read about them on Wikipedia. Jan Saudek’s work is not only artistic, staged nudes in black and white, he also used a hand-tint technique. Unfortunately I have no photos of the latter, but you’ll find some excellent examples in the link section.

Kája Saudek’s work is surrealistic, bizarre and erotic. Really brilliant.


Kája and Jan Saudek gallery: 

Salvador Dalí and Andy Warhol gallery:

When I exited the exhibition I was positively surprised that I’d discovered a couple of new artists. My favorites were the two Saudek brothers, (Kája, then Jan), followed by Warhol’s album covers and the works of Dalí were my least favorites. Dalí has a lot of cool paintings, but I didn’t fancy his works at this exhibition since it had this mass-produced feeling to it.

Trivia: I had that black Dalí perfume bottle once, but it disappeared somehow…
Trivia 2: I also vaguely remember now that I’ve seen some of Kája’s work as a teenager – probably in some obscure porn publications.

Some links to Saudek (check out Jan’s photos in the first link):

Vltava River in Praha

I decided to make two HDR versions of 3 bracketed shots of The Vltava River in Praha (Prague).

One version is with my tweakings using Photoshop, plus further editing in Lightroom. The other version is basically the automated HDR version I got using Lightroom, with only minor adjustments.

The Vltava river in Praha.

The Vltava river in Praha.

The Vltava river in Praha.

The Vltava river in Praha.

From Wikipedia:
The Vltava (IPA: /vəlˈtɑvə/; Czech pronunciation: [ˈvl̩tava]; German: Moldau, IPA: [ˈmɔldaʊ]) is the longest river within the Czech Republic, running southeast along the Bohemian Forest and then north across Bohemia, through Český Krumlov, České Budějovice and Prague, and finally merging with the Elbe at Mělník. It is commonly referred to as the Czech national river.

Absinthe 1020598

Enjoying a glass of Absinthe in Prague.

Enjoying a glass of Absinthe in Prague.

Some Absinthe info from Wikipedia:

Absinthe is historically described as a distilled, highly alcoholic (45–74% ABV) beverage. It is an anise-flavoured spirit derived from botanicals, including the flowers and leaves of Artemisia absinthium (“grand wormwood”), together with green anise, sweet fennel, and other medicinal and culinary herbs. Absinthe traditionally has a natural green colour but may also be colourless. It is commonly referred to in historical literature as “la fée verte” (the green fairy). Although it is sometimes mistakenly referred to as a liqueur, absinthe is not traditionally bottled with added sugar; it is therefore classified as a spirit. Absinthe is traditionally bottled at a high level of alcohol by volume, but it is normally diluted with water prior to being consumed.

Absinthe originated in the canton of Neuchâtel in Switzerland in the late 18th century. It rose to great popularity as an alcoholic drink in late 19th- and early 20th-century France, particularly among Parisian artists and writers. Owing in part to its association with bohemian culture, the consumption of absinthe was opposed by social conservatives and prohibitionists. Ernest Hemingway, James Joyce, Charles Baudelaire, Paul Verlaine, Arthur Rimbaud, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Amedeo Modigliani, Pablo Picasso, Vincent van Gogh, Oscar Wilde, Marcel Proust, Aleister Crowley, Erik Satie, Edgar Allan Poe, Lord Byron and Alfred Jarry were all known absinthe drinkers.

Absinthe has often been portrayed as a dangerously addictive psychoactive drug and hallucinogen. The chemical compound thujone, although present in the spirit in only trace amounts, was blamed for its alleged harmful effects. By 1915, absinthe had been banned in the United States and in much of Europe, including France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland and Austria-Hungary. Although absinthe was vilified, it has not been demonstrated to be any more dangerous than ordinary spirits. Recent studies have shown that absinthe’s psychoactive properties (apart from that of the alcohol) have been exaggerated.

Etymology
The French word absinthe can refer either to the alcoholic beverage or, less commonly, to the actual wormwood plant, with grande absinthe being Artemisia absinthium, and petite absinthe being Artemisia pontica. The Latin name artemisia comes from Artemis, the ancient Greek goddess of the hunt. Absinthe is derived from the Latin absinthium, which in turn comes from the ancient Greek ἀψίνθιον apsínthion, “wormwood”. The use of Artemisia absinthium in a drink is attested in Lucretius’ De Rerum Natura (I 936–950), where Lucretius indicates that a drink containing wormwood is given as medicine to children in a cup with honey on the brim to make it drinkable.

Absinthe’s popularity grew steadily through the 1840s, when absinthe was given to French troops as a malaria preventive. When the troops returned home, they brought their taste for absinthe home with them. The custom of drinking absinthe gradually became so popular in bars, bistros, cafés, and cabarets that, by the 1860s, the hour of 5 p.m. was called l’heure verte (“the green hour”). Absinthe was favoured by all social classes, from the wealthy bourgeoisie, to poor artists and ordinary working-class people. By the 1880s, mass production had caused the price of absinthe to drop sharply. By 1910, the French were drinking 36 million litres of absinthe per year, as compared to their annual consumption of almost 5 billion litres of wine.

The drink was banned in France in 1914.

Absinthe has been consumed in the Czech countries (then part of Austria-Hungary) since at least 1888, notably by Czech artists, some of whom had an affinity for Paris, frequenting Prague’s famous Café Slavia. Its wider appeal in Bohemia itself is uncertain, though it was sold in and around Prague.

In 1905, it was reported that Jean Lanfray, a Swiss farmer, murdered his family and attempted to take his own life after drinking absinthe. The fact that Lanfray was an alcoholic who had consumed considerable quantities of wine and brandy prior to drinking two glasses of absinthe was overlooked or ignored, therefore placing the blame for the murders solely on absinthe.

In May 2011, the French Absinthe Ban of 1915 was repealed following petitions by the Fédération Française des Spiritueux, who represent French distillers.

A water carafe is the most basic and original way to add water. As with other items, many have been found with brand names on them. The carafe is held above the glass and water is delicately added in a thin stream.

Fountains appeared in bars and bistros in the late 1800s as absinthe gained greater popularity. Most often it was a large glass globe on a tall metal stand that held between two and six spigots. It allowed a small party of drinkers to accurately prepare their absinthe all at once with a slow, thin stream of cold water but did not require the steady hand required by a carafe.

You can read more about the interesting history of Absinthe on Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Absinthe. This is my entry for WordPress’ Weekly Photo Challenge: Face

Now you can follow me on my public and official Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cguzmanofficial/

At a bar in Praha

Prague, absinth, VanGogh.

Prague, absinth, Van Gogh.

This was shot in a bar in Prague. If you were having coffee, Mara and I would join with some absinth. We could have talked about Vincent Van Gogh’s landscape paintings, or the fact that he cut off the tip of his ear. Alternatively we could just get drunk and talk bullshit…

I participate in WordPress' Weekly Photo Challenge 2016

I participate in WordPress’ Weekly Photo Challenge 2016

A slightly surrealistic hungover Nazi surprise

I was walking around in Prague, on my way to check out a famous tattoo shop, slightly hung over from the drinks that I had with my hosts the night before. Then all of a sudden I stumbled upon this film set where some Chinese film crew were making a movie. The film was about some Chinese guys (I’m assuming they were the heroes of the story) and it had something to do with Nazis, so there was all these swastikas, men in Nazi-uniforms, old cars and other Nazi effects scattered all around.

Self-portrait with swastika and two actors

Self-portrait with swastika and two actors

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Random Photos From Prague

Here’s a few of the photos from earlier this year when I visited Prague. Random point & clicks. There’s more to come…

Want to see more from Prague? The Sex Toy Museum perhaps? You’ll find it here: https://cardinalguzman.wordpress.com/?s=Prague

Or, you can check out Lucile’s Photo Rehab posts: http://luciledegodoy.com/2015/12/04/its-the-first-anniversary-of-the-photo-rehab/