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Czech Center New York exhibition "You. Never Too Close" presents the work of Czech photographers
Ondrej Zizka, from the Monika series, (2012).

NEW YORK, NY.- More than forty works by four Czech photographers: Roman Franc, Gabriela Kolcavova, Vojtech V. Slama, and Ondrej Zizka will be presented in the exhibition You. Never Too Close. on view at the Czech Center New York March 19 through April 27, 2014. The photographers, who are all friends with each other, create works that explore their personal histories.

Through images that balance on the edge of formal aestheticism, the photographers share a world of beauty in which occasionally-alarming visual stories take the viewer to magical places where their loved ones exist--creating a pictorial universe exploring these relationships in various forms.

"The subjects of these photographs are people to whom the photographer says: YOU. The photographer who is not capable of keeping a sufficient distance from the world in which he or she is immersed, and yet they are never too close. For that matter, you can't get any closer with a camera," states curator Jan Fiser.

Born in 1983 in Brno, Czech Republic, Roman Franc studied social science and physical education at the Pedagogical Faculty of Masaryk University, Brno, and photography at the Institute of Art Photography of Silesian University, Opava. He enjoys working with a Flexaret 6x6 medium-format camera and prefers taking portraits of people. He organizes and teaches photography courses and workshops for both private and public institutions with an emphasis on inspirational environments and experiences. He has taken part in a number of group and solo exhibitions in the Czech Republic and abroad including the United States, Great Britain and Slovakia, and his photographs are represented in Czech and international private collections. The subjects of his portraits include Czech President Vaclav and other international figures.

Gabriela Kolcavova was born in 1977 in the Czech Republic where she resides and works as a freelance lecturer and artist. She is a graduate of the Pedagogical Faculty of Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic, with an M.A. in English and Fine Arts in 2000 and the University of North Texas with an M.F.A. in Fine Art Photography in 2004. Kolcavova enjoys working with large format cameras, experimenting with negative-free options and historical photographic processes. She teaches and organizes photography lectures and workshops for a variety public and private institutions. Her photographs have been exhibited in numerous international group and solo exhibitions in the United States, France, Poland and the CzechRepublic and work is represented in such photography collections as the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and the George Eastman House in Rochester, New York.

Born in 1974 in Brno, Czech Republic, Vojtech V. Slama holds a master's degree from Silesian University in Opava, Czech Republic. He works primarily with a double-lens reflex camera and a 35-mm reflex camera. His collection of works titled Wolf's Honey was the subject of an exhibition and book in 2004 (Brno Gallery). His latest collection of photographs, titled Colorjoy, was exhibited in the Brno House of the Arts in 2013, accompanied by a book of the same title (Artishock/Helbich). Slama's work can be found in a number of museums and collections worldwide, including the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and Museu de Arte Moderna in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. His photographs have been included in more than thirty exhibitions around the world and have earned a number of awards: Fotofest Discoveries (Houston, 2006), Frame 007 (Brno, CZ, 2007) and Kaunas Photo (Humour in Photography, Lithuania, 2008).

Ondrej Zizka was born in 1969 in the Czech Republic and graduated from the University of Technology, Brno, Czech Republic. He is currently pursuing a Master's degree at the Institute of Art Photography at Silesian University, Opava, Czech Republic. He lives in Brno where he also works in his studio specializing in digital printing of photographs. His photographs havebeen exhibited in several group shows in the Czech Republic, Poland and France and he is one of the founders and organizers of the FRAME international photo competition.

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March 19, 2014

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