Trafo Gallery has prepared solo exhibition of the photographer Tono Stano, who in the current project also deals with the technique of painting. However, unusually on an indirect plane. He painted a cycle of abstract calligraphic paintings through his model and the results of their action, including photo and video documentation of the entire project, you can now see with your own eyes.

I skate, you skate, we skate. The credit for the fact that we call ice skates just „brusle“ in Czech and not ice boots or skates goes to the Belgian city of Brussels. It was precisely there where King George of Poděbrady's expedition in the 15th century first saw townspeople sliding on frozen ponds and canals on boots equipped with knives. It was the ice skates that played an important role in the painting performance.

„…The initial inspiration for this event is located to the city of Guiping in southern China, on October 20, 2015. I was sitting by the wall of a large courtyard and watching the interest the work of about twenty top class calligraphers. Everything was amazing, but I couldn’t help being bothered that they were all standing on their feet. I felt it would have been appropriate if they had all simply levitated upside down over the paper, touching the underlay with only a brush…“

The exhibition opens with a cycle of colorful portrait photographs, where the central figure is a woman. A woman as a model and at the same time a mediator or medium, which enabled the creation of a series of large-format abstract paintings in an unusual way. Photos and video capture of the story that took place in the film studio in 2016.

In the words of Tereza Matějčková from the accompanying text for the exhibition publication: „What burns in the spirit does not burn out. Let’s say that inner heat is the unity of thought, speech and action. Not everyone can burn out and possibly no one can burn out right away. It is about continuing …. To create is to transcend, to lighten the load, to be free… Beauty does not exist without us, does not emerge through us, but thanks to us – when we discover the essence of what we see.“

Tono Stano (*1960) is currently known for his black-and-white portraits and compositions mainly of the female body. He created a series of large-scale photographic cycles, such as large-format "Polaroids", "Fascination" images from the natural world, capturing the drawing of light and dark contours on the human body called "Inside Out", the "Konvex" cycle in which he worked with the optical effects of decomposition reality and many more. He often returns to conceptual photography, for example in the form of negative-positive portraits, and he is always looking for new photographic processes and overlaps. He is interested in all forms of artistic expression.

He has been cooperating for a long time with the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, for which he created an extensive series of world-class film personalities and also designed the main award, the Crystal Globe (2001). His work is part of the collections of the Art Institute Chicago, the Bibliothèque National in Paris, the Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris, the Museum Ludwig in Cologne, the National Museum of Photography, Film and Television in Bradford, the Moravian Gallery in Brno, the Slovak National Gallery in Bratislava or Museum of Arts and Crafts in Prague.

A book by graphic designer Robert V. Novák was created for the exhibition, summarizing the individual phases of the project in a photographic story, supplemented by three essays by the philosopher Tereza Matějčková.

We would like to thank the exhibition partner: Milk & Honey Productions

Trafo Gallery partners: the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic, Prague City Hall, Canadian Medical, Skupina ČEZ, LEX Auto, Art District 7, Dopravní podnik hlavního města Prahy, TORST, Jatka78, Radio Color, Radio 1, and Wine4You


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