The Language of Stillness from Martin Stranka
Some people just don’t accept conventional rules, limitations, and dogmas. Though, such people are rather creators than destructors. They may question every axiom around, but they do so not to destroy the rules, but to find the answer to the “why” question. Doubting the laws of physics and erasing the border between conciseness and dreaming, they shed light onto the alternative world – the world, where impossible becomes evident, and the perception of reality is shifted to its next level. Needless to say that it is art that allows enough space for such people to exist, create, and share their ideas. Martin Stranka is a young photographer, whose works are centered at the fragile moments of the human existence between a slumber and reality.
Martin has never studied photography. “Naturally gifted” is, perhaps, the best attribute to explain his ultimate skills in photography and unique way of creative perception of the surrounding world. After just a couple of years of practicing photography, Martin has gained reputation of a talented photographer with authentic vision and fresh approach to artistic photography. Since 2007, his works have been displayed in Czech Republic (his homeland), Belgium, Romania, UK, China, and the USA. Today Martin participates in multiple commercial projects, including the production of book and CD covers, promo materials, and luxury interior designs. However, his works still remain purely artistic, featuring ultimate creativity, imagination, and authenticity of the author.
Martin Stranka explores time existence, where “a person has a foot in both worlds – dreams and walking”. Every time waking up in the morning or falling asleep in the evening, you can catch a few seconds of such semi-consciousness, when your body still feels reality, but your mind has already started the trip into the sacred world of dreams. Martin uses a very specific color palette in his photography to illustrate those moments. Most of the works feature subdued colors, shades, which create the vision of some mystique mist, capable of transforming the reality and revealing the hidden world. On the other hand, you will always find a distinct source of light on the works of Martin Stranka. Like the first ray of the rising sun, which wins the world from the retreating night, Martin Stranka uses light to “draw” his pictures of solemnity and tranquility.
At the same time, Martin is far from melancholy. Have a look at his “Dorothy”, “Asymmetry”, “Into You”, or “Meet Me Half Way”, and you will see the burst of simple yet ultimately pure, distinct, rich, and irradiating color.
Emotions are of the primary interest to Martin Stranka. However, he wants to explore a very particular realm of emotions – those, which appear on the border of consciousness and unconsciousness, dream and reality, sleeping and walking. Melancholy, meditation, tranquility, calmness are brought to their most intense saturation level in the works of Martin Stranka. “Above”, “Close”, “And I Keep Falling”, “Breakable”, “Frozen” create the vision of instantaneity of the moment and the eternity of it at the same time. The power of Martin’s imagination breaks the laws of physics and tears his hero from the Earth surface in spite of the gravity force (“Don’t Bring Me Down”, “Between Light and Nowhere”, “They Taught Me How”). What is this? A desire to deny commonly accepted rules? No way, it is an effort to prove the power of human mind, to help people restore the faith in their own inner strength and natural potential, which can make even the most audacious dreams come true.
The works of Martin Stranka are very conceptual. They are filled with meaning, with some primeval wisdom, which people may have forgotten in the hustle and bustle of the fast-paced modern lifestyle.
Martin says his photographs are mirrors, reflecting our souls, dreams, reality. He finds his inspiration inside of his own soul and the images he creates seem to be universally familiar to other people. Trying to show people his own inner world and his own way of perceiving it, Martin surprisingly helps the others reveal their own internal world of emotions, feelings, and thoughts. He says we all live in the same physical world, but each of us has his unique inner world. Perhaps, photographs from Martin Stranka work as the keys, capable of opening the locks of social and cultural prejudices, melting the ice of imagination numbed by triviality, and letting us into a fabulous internal world of our own…
Visit Martin’s web site: www.martinstranka.com
Interview with Martin Stranka
Q: Martin, we know you’ve turned to photography after some dramatic events in your life. Do you believe in destiny?
A: Yeah, I believe in destiny. I was thinking many times if there is destiny or some kind of circumastances. I think we all have one life line and we can change it only in some little way. So it is important to take it how it comes.
Q: What inspires you? Where do you find inspiration for your photography works?
A: I got this question may times. And I know it sounds quite poor and like a empty phrase – but it is really my life. As you mentioned some event happened and it gave me really unique perspective. There is some more inspiration of course. I have been always under influence of nature and our humanity. This connection gives me a lot.
Q: Everything has its purpose in this world, including art. How do you see the purpose of photography in general?
A: People make the art due to their needs. So they have got needs to reflect their own inner world. I cant say it is some kind of purposes in general. I think the real artist doesnt make the art because he has to. It is all about inner feelings, needs, urge or impulse. And if it works for other as a mirror? This could be a general purpose.
Q: What is photography for you personally – a profession, a hobby, or, perhaps, something else?
A: Well, I am really glad it is still hobby that I can do for living at the same time. I started taking photos 5 years ago and it is still my hobby. I hope I wont have to take it as my duty. It would be bad. I would say, I could take it as a mission.
Q: What do you like to shoot the most: people, nature, or, some physical phenomena?
A: As I mentioned before I love the connection between humanity and nature. I have only one photo called “And I keep falling” where is nobody. But I have feel the presence of human element. it is still about our serenity and our inner loneliness. It is not fake sadness – it is how people think and feel. We are social creatures or we try to be socialized but at the same time we are still only ONE among all these billions people.
Q: What is the receipt of success in photography, if any?
A: It is really simple. Being open-minded and keep your mouth shut.
Q: If you have not become a photographer, what would you be?
A: I have been always fascinated by contemporary painters. I dont know. Really. I would suffer from some kind of office work probabbly. I am so greatful I could find myself in art.