I’ve long been enamoured by the beautiful photography of Jan Saudek; his voluptuous and debaucherous nudes; the sensitivity to sexuality and sensual play; the impressive use of colour, madness, theatre & passion. His style. However, there was something special about watching a movie about him, Fotograf (2015), starring Karel Roden and Marie Málková.
I had always entertained an idea that these photographs were more staged and contrived than they were portrayed in the movie. My mind’s eye imagined controlled studio sessions with employed actors/models under pre-conceived direction.
The reality was more spontaneous. Saudek photographed these people as a part of his ongoing hedonistic lifestyle. These were women who he lusted after and fucked. Participants behind and in front of the camera. A charismatic man, irresponsible, open to life in all the facets of pleasure – a lover, a drinker… an “imagineer” (if I can play with language) at the wheel of the camera.
The only contrivance or staged nature of the Saudek photographs were the convenience of participants to his vision. Their willingness to exist in his sphere. The lovers, the ladies; the whirlpool of personality that is Saudek. Artist. Maestro.
Fotograf also told me things about Saudek that I’d never realised. He fucked all his models and had experimented with bisexuality. Saudek grew up in a concentration camp. He shares a disdain that I have for social convention. His passion for life is more than just making photographs – they are an expression of who and what he experiences at the time. They are a glimpse directly into the mind of the artist. A beautiful mind, at that.
When Saudek was asked why he preferred stout women, he replied that men are not dogs – they eat meat not bones. And when students asked for his favourite type of movie, he replied that it would be porn – because porn always ends well.
I also really liked that this movie began and ended with Jan Saudek talking with Karel Roden. It was such a nice touch.
Yes, I’m a fan of Jan Saudek’s photographs and I have been for years. Images from that famous wall are sublime. But having watched Fotograf and seen a taste of the artist, Saudek’s life and tribulations (including the theft of his Intellecutal Property rights) these photographs have become even more powerful.
I’ve always loved that he makes pictures with real women. Lovely bottoms and full breasts. Cock and pussy. That’s the meaning of life, right there. Lust. And fucking. As much as people out there in society beg to ignore the fact, we nearly all arrived on this planet via fucking. Now, let’s drink and celebrate! Salut.