AAP Magazine #7 - Wild

Michal Cala

Polish Photographer | Born: 1948

Michal Cala was born in Toruń, Poland in 1948 and studied aircraft construction in Warsaw at the University of Technology in the early 1970's. From 1974 to 1983 he worked as an engineer in various companies in Silesia, and began photographing in the area. In 1977, he moved to Tychy in Upper Silesia, where he co-founded the photographers' association KRON and become a member of the ZPAF – the Union of Polish Art Photographers.

Relatively unknown outside of his native country, his work is in several museum collections in Poland; in the Silesian Museum of Katowice, the Silesian Library in Katowice, the Upper Silesian Museum in Bytom, the Coal Mining Museum in Zabrze as well as local government building in Duisburg in the Ruhr (Germany) and various private collections. His work has received much acclaim and won numerus awards; among which are the Grand Prix at the Polish Landscape Biennale in Kielce twice, 1979 and 1983 and won the first prise at the Pilsner International Photo Awards in the Industrial category in 2007. His work from Galicia series and the Paysages de Pologne exhibition was shown in France in 1980's. The Silesia exhibition was shown widely in Katowice (1984, 2002, 2008), Krakow (1986, 2006), Warsaw (1986, 2009), in Enschede, the Netherlands, (2012), at the Photo Biennale Mannheim – Ludwigshafen – Heidelberg (2007) and part of group project at the Noorderlicht Photo Festival in the Netherlands (2008). In 2007 he was classified as one of most important Polish photographers in last century and participated in the group exhibition Polish Photography in XX Century (Warsaw, Poland and Vilnius, Lithuania). In the same year, Cala's photography was featured in British Journal of Photography and Foto8 magazine.

Publications on his work include The Anthology of Polish Photography 1839 – 1989, The Masters of Polish Landscape and The Polish Photography in the 20th Century.

His past exhibition Metropolis on Silesian urban landscapes was held at the Silesian Museum in Katowice in 2013 and a solo show Silesia and Galicia in the Museum of History of Photography in 2016 in Krakow (Poland). His photo book based on the same series was recently selected in the Open Submission at Belfast and Athens Photo Festivals respectively (2017).

The latest solo exhibition at MMX Gallery; SILESIA 1975-1985, was the first time his work has been shown in UK.

MMX Gallery about the exhibition Silesia 1975-1985

Michal Cala is regarded as one of the most important Polish photographers of the last century. Cala started taking pictures in his youth and has been working professionally as a photographer for nearly 40 years. Silesia is an industrial district in Poland which at the time of 1970's and early 1980's was experiencing its peak of development and activity. Although providing massive employment for the area, the environmental issues were ignored.

Stepping off the train, Cala encountered the other-worldly landscape for the first time and decided this is what he wanted to make of photographic record of. Fascinated by the subject matter, he devoted himself to photographing the Silesian landscape between 1975 – 1992, which resulted in the series entitled Silesia (Śląsk in Polish). Cala's photography took on various influences ranging from surrealism, which inspired a movement in Poland called "fotografia kreacyjna" (creative photography), and the realism of British New Wave cinema of the late 1950's and early 1960's.

Poland's isolation during the Cold War made it very difficult for photographers to obtain artistic publications. However, some Czech and Polish magazines were publishing Western photographers work such as Edward Weston, Bill Brandt, Robert Frank and Diane Arbus who acted as a window for inspiration. Cala was influenced by landscape, reportage and social documentary photography, which he always portrayed in his personally stylised images. In Poland, political and material conditions were harsh under Soviet influence. Using a basic 35mm Exa 500 camera, he managed to produce images of such a lyrical beauty only to be emphasised again with a dark graphic printing style, to further enhance his vision of the sometimes-apocalyptic looking landscape before him. A single house surrounded by huge cooling towers, majestic slagheaps, lonely figures microscopic when compared to the massive scale of industrial surroundings are subtle metaphors of living in a communist reality. The majority of photographs in the exhibition are vintage silver gelatin prints, made by Cala at the time they were taken.

Source: MMX Gallery

Michal Cala
Michal Cala
Michal Cala
Michal Cala
Michal Cala
Michal Cala
Michal Cala
Michal Cala
Michal Cala
Michal Cala
Michal Cala
Michal Cala
Michal Cala
Michal Cala
Michal Cala
Michal Cala
Michal Cala
Michal Cala
Michal Cala
Michal Cala
Michal Cala
Michal Cala
Michal Cala
Michal Cala
Michal Cala
Michal Cala
Michal Cala
Michal Cala
Michal Cala
Michal Cala
David Bailey: SUMO
 
 

More Great Photographers To Discover

Arnaud Gaertner
Nationality: French
Born: 1966
Born in 1966 in Nancy, France.
Gaertner moved to Pennsylvania, US at the age of 3-6 (learned arnaud gaertnerto drink milk at school and sing the national anthem, never stopped!). He then spent 5 years in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil from age 10 to 16. Gaertner then travelled all over South America. He moved to Belgium for two years at the age of 16 and spent the next 12 years in in France. He took thousands of photos while traveling in North America, Asia Pacific, Europe, and (…)
Arnaud Gaertner
Arnaud Gaertner
Arnaud Gaertner
Arnaud Gaertner
Arnaud Gaertner
Arnaud Gaertner
Arnaud Gaertner
Arnaud Gaertner
 
Elena Paraskeva
Nationality: Cypriot
Born: 1973
Elena Paraskeva is an international Conceptual Photographer and Art Director. Having lived and worked in the U.S for a decade, she now resides in Cyprus, but often travels for assignments.
Elena loves to create surrealistic conceptual work bathed in color and is often inspired by everyday life and popular culture.

Achievements: LensCulture Portrait Awards 2019 - Jurors' Pick, Digital Camera Photographer Of The Year 2018, Neutral Density Awards 2018 -(…)
Elena Paraskeva
Elena Paraskeva
Elena Paraskeva
Elena Paraskeva
Elena Paraskeva
Elena Paraskeva
Elena Paraskeva
Elena Paraskeva
 
Michael Wolf
Nationality: German/American
Born: 1954

Lives in Hong Kong, born Munich, Germany. The focus of the german photographer michael wolf’s work is life in mega cities. many of his projects document the architecture and the vernacular culture of metropolises. wolf grew up in canada, europe and the united states, studying at uc berkeley and at the folkwang school with otto steinert in essen, germany. he moved to hong kong in 1994 where he worked for 8 years as contract photographer for stern magazine. since 2001, (…)
Michael Wolf
Michael Wolf
Michael Wolf
Michael Wolf
Michael Wolf
Michael Wolf
Michael Wolf
Michael Wolf
 
Gavin Smart
Nationality: British
Gavin is an award winning freelance photographer and digital assistant based in Edinburgh, working throughout the UK and beyond.

He originally trained as a classical and jazz musician at London's Guildhall School of Music, before moving to Paris as an artisan baker, working with leading French boulangerie Eric Kayser. His photographic work is as diverse as his background, bringing together many creative elements in his work. He draws particular inspiration from (…)
Gavin Smart
Gavin Smart
Gavin Smart
Gavin Smart
Gavin Smart
Gavin Smart
Gavin Smart
Gavin Smart
 
Alan Henriksen
Nationality: American
Born: 1949
Alan Henriksen was born in 1949 in Richmond Hill, Queens, New York, and has lived his entire life on Long Island. He became interested in photography as a hobby in 1958, and began making contact prints in late 1959. His interest became serious following a chance discovery of the work of Edward Weston and Ansel Adams at the local library. Henriksen holds college degrees in Psychology and Computer Science and is now retired from a long career in software engineering. Beginning (…)
Alan Henriksen
Alan Henriksen
Alan Henriksen
Alan Henriksen
Alan Henriksen
Alan Henriksen
Alan Henriksen
Alan Henriksen
 
Caras Ionut
Nationality: Romanian

Born in February of the late 70s, I seemed to have taken passion in cooler weather as my inspirations for photography in my life as a romanian artist; so much of my work shows depictions of fall and winter and my mechanics entail several hues of blues and whites. Most people when considering dreams would think of good positive dreams, and I like to think I captured that in my work. I also seem to visit the darker side of what people may see of dreams, not necessarily (…)
Caras Ionut
Caras Ionut
Caras Ionut
Caras Ionut
Caras Ionut
Caras Ionut
Caras Ionut
Caras Ionut
 
Michael Philip Manheim
Nationality: American
Born: 1940
Michael Philip Manheim, born in the U.S. in 1940, is widely recognized both for his documentary and for his innovative multiple exposure photographs. Both categories encompass images that promote feelings. Most celebrate human emotion as a primal link that unifies all of humankind.

Michael Philip Manheim's photography has been exhibited throughout the United States and internationally, in over 20 solo exhibitions and 30 group shows. His work has been featured (…)
Michael Philip Manheim
Michael Philip Manheim
Michael Philip Manheim
Michael Philip Manheim
Michael Philip Manheim
Michael Philip Manheim
Michael Philip Manheim
Michael Philip Manheim
 
Pentti Sammallahti
Nationality: Finnish
Born: 1950

Pentti Sammallahti was born in 1950 in Helsinki, Finland. Growing up, he was surrounded by the works of his grandmother, Hildur Larsson (1882-1952), a Swedish-born photographer, who worked for the Helsinki newspaper Kaiku in the early 1900s. After visiting The Family of Man exhibition at Helsinki Art Hall (1961) Sammallahti made his first photographs at age eleven. Pentti joined the Helsinki Camera Club in 1964. His first solo exhibition was in 1971.

(…)
 
Jay Maisel
Nationality: American
Born: 1931
After studying painting and graphic design at Cooper Union and Yale, Jay Maisel began his career in photography in 1954. While his portfolio includes the likes of Marilyn Monroe and Miles Davis, he is perhaps best known for capturing the light, color, and gesture found in every day life. This unique vision kept him busy for over 40 years shooting annual reports, magazine covers, jazz albums, advertising and more for an array of clients worldwide. Some of his commercial (…)
Jay Maisel
Jay Maisel
Jay Maisel
Jay Maisel
Jay Maisel
Jay Maisel
Jay Maisel
Jay Maisel
 
David Bailey: SUMO
 
Join our newsletter
Be up-to-date with call for entries, deadlines and other news about exhibitions, galleries, publications, & special events
 
AAP Magazine#7 Wild
 
Discover the 5th Issue of AAP Magazine
All About Photo Magazine showcases the winners of AAP Magazine Competitions
 
 
 
The Jules Maeght Gallery is a contemporary art gallery who seeks to engage the San Francisco community by infusing European artists, young and established alike, into a diverse, multimedia dialogue.
 
TAKES U TO THE NEXT LEVEL
 
Since 2005, your guide through contemporary art from a French perspective to let you make exciting choices