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Locked in panel blocks | Michal Zahornacky

Regular blocks in pastel tones and strange, dense compositions: Slovakian photo artist Michal Zahornacky have placed the feeling of isolation into a new dimension.

Michal Zahornacky started to form an interest towards photography ten years ago, as a means of artistic self-expression: he sees it as a medium allowing him to create various imaginary worlds.

“I like photography very much. I am most drawn to the artistic side of photography and conceptual photography: to me, being different and original is important, which I also try to manifest in my works. I would like to show through my photos what it is like if we perceive the world from another angle” – Michal told us.

His photo series Close was made during the first wave of the epidemic, in the time of the quarantine, when he could only observe the outer world through the window of a panel apartment. “I observed the change of light, as the times of days went by. I was immensely influenced by its aesthetic. The sight of the countless panel blocks of flats urged me to start to alter and reshape them” – he explained.

In his pictures, the panel blocks appear in clean and simple compositions, almost feeling as graphics. Every photo has a different ambience: there are some that approach the character of the building from a humorous angle, while others create a rigid, cold atmosphere. 

Michal’s previous works focus on human figures and novel ways of their portrayal. This approach can also be observed in a figurative manner in the Close series. Physical isolation from each other urged us to become closer as a community and as a family: the pattern of the endless lines of buildings, houses and windows is also intended to symbolize this phenomenon.

“In addition to portraying the panel blocks in a clean and minimalist manner, it also becomes the symbol of men. If we stand too close to a building, we notice its small faults, but looking at them from afar, they show a very regular system. Similarly, if we look at our problems from a distance, they don’t seem so severe. I think this is very important in these times” – he highlighted.

The good news is that the Close series does not end here: Michal will continue experimenting and plans to create more pictures. Check out the photographer’s Instagram account for the entire series!

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