Jan Saudek, born in Prague, then Czechoslovakia in 1935 is a Czech art photographer known for his dreamy landscapes featuring nudes with hand-tinted decorative elements. The majority of Jan Saudek’s family perished during WWII in the Theresienstadt Concentration Camp while he was kept with his brother Karel in a children’s camp near the border of Poland. Saudek’s inspiration to become an art photographer was introduced by The Family of Man photography exhibition by curator Edward Steichen, which started at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City but then traveled to 38 countries around the world. In an important trip to America in 1969, art curator Hugh Edwards encouraged Saudek’s work. After returning to Prague Saudek was forced to work secretly in a cellar in accordance with the imposing Communist Regime and their ideals. Saudek explored many themes including erotic freedom and corruption. In 1983 the first English language book was published containing his photographs, however Saudek was long considered one of the best photographers coming out of the Czech lands. Saudek’s work resembles that of 19th century nude tableaux vivants (living picture) art forms and also of Polish –French artist Balthus.
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