If one test of a staged photographer is how minimal his resources and how much he can say, Kamil Varga is the winner. About 70 % of his work is self portraiture with light drawings in what seems to be his kitchen. Sometimes he uses a table or a chair. This minimalism seems almost zen and the portraits likewise are metaphysical. He seems to be reminding us that the simple questions can be the most profound: Who am I? Why am I here? Maybe it is because he is painting with light, but he seems intensely concerned with life as energy-and he uses the body to externalize this life force. Each of his photographs is a painting or drawing--it takes hours to layer enough light to expose the film. He works equally well in black and white, but color seems closer to his topic of energy and radiance. There is very little description of space in his images, he seems to work in infinity, or inside his own mind. Recently he has been working on a larger scale outdoor series involving other people and flaming torches. It is almost as if he has moved from a discussion of the self to one of communities of people. It will be interesting to see what he does next.

Published in 1997, Hardcover, Essay by Vaclav Macek
Essay in English and Slovak
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