Eleven highly expressive, evocative photographs providing a cross section of Kratochvíls work liven up the outdoor premises of the Czech Embassy building in Notting Hill Gate, introducing the Czech-American photojournalists work to Londons general public. Whether you prefer his celebrity portraits or are drawn to his poignant images of war and human catastrophes, it is the in-depth understanding of Kratochvíls subjects that links his diverse work and suggests to us viewers that what he has captured is in fact the authentic, uncensored truth. Combined with a unique style of photography, sense of intimacy and a fair share of his own personal experience as a refugee and prisoner, Kratochvíls work is bound to cut raw into our emotions. His exceptional ability to provide testimonies to the problems of modern society while exposing the state of the human soul at the same time is what has earned Antonín Kratochníl many international awards and rightly makes him one of the leading representatives of social documentary photography.
Antonín Kratochvíls uncompromising eye and genuinely personal unconformity brings, through his large scale photographs, glimpses of humanity, courage and resilience to the Notting Hill outdoor space. Přemysl Pela, Director of Czech Centre London
Antonín Kratochvíl (b.1947) is a Czech photojournalist of international renown. After five years of exile in Europe (19671972), including life-changing experiences from his time in a refugee camp, in prison, and in the French Foreign Legion, he studied art and photography at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam and moved to the United States in 1972, where he became one of the top photojournalists and war photographers. A turning point in his career came with his self-published book Broken Dream: Twenty Years of War in Eastern Europe (1997).
He has worked for prestigious American newspapers and magazines including Rolling Stone, New York Times Magazine, Newsweek, Mother Jones, Smithsonian, Condé Nast Travel, Geo, Playboy, Penthouse and Vogue. He has received many international awards including the Dorothy Lange Prize, the Ernst Haas Award, the Golden Light Award, the Gold Medal for Photography from the Society of Publishing Designers in New York, the Gold ARC Award for the Best Annual Report, the Lucie Award and World Press Photo of the Year. In 2014 he was named the Czech Photography Personality of the Year.
You should never use the camera to make your pictures. You use yourself, your experience to make the picture with the camera. --Antonín Kratochvíl