With a current show at the ICP and appearances at the Armory, Miroslav Tichý is getting due recognition of his work in the US. All this may be against his consent, in the worst way possible.
As Tichý’s incredible hand-made cameras and photographs are filtering into the art world’s front lines, the artist himself remains in Kyjov.
I’ve been recently pointed to Miroslav Tichý’s “official” site, notifying that both Tichy Ocean Foundation in Liechtenstein and Roman Buxbaum (Tichý’s documentarian and discoverer) are violating the artist’s copyrights. The site makes heavy claims: Buxbaum has never been Tichý’s friend or neighbor, was never given oral or written consent for the propagation of Tichý’s work and had coaxed Tichý into participating in the documentary by taking advantage of his struggle with alcoholism. Some of Tichý’s works have been sold, but nothing else in the ever-growing, international hype has been consented to.
As mentioned in the notice and guest book sections of the translated site, Miroslav Tichý is not a senile hermit, but a lucid intellectual. He’s upset at Dr. Buxbaum for two decades of unauthorized representation and hasn’t spoken to him for a few years.
There are, as expected, conflicting facts coming from both sides — from Tichý’s caretaker and legal representative Jana Hebnarová and from Dr. Roman Buxbaum, who’s currently enjoying worldwide recognition for discovering the artist.
It’s always better to treat critically all claims spoken on behalf of muted artist, but even the possibility of this exploitation is heartbreaking.