‘Elsewhere’ is here at Open Shutter

SHAUN STANLEY/Durango Herald

Open Shutter manager Brandon Donahue hangs composite photographs by Czech native Kamil Vojner for tonight’s opening of “Elsewhere” at the Main Avenue gallery.

By Ted Holteen Herald staff writer

It has been a long road that brought photo-artist Kamil Vajnar to Durango’s Open Shutter Gallery, but it is a road well-traveled for many photographers.

Vojnar is the latest world-renowned artist wrangled by Open Shutter owner Margy Dudley, who saw his work in a Santa Fe-area newsletter and invited Vojnar without a formal introduction.

“I was honored for the invitation, and I’m very happy to have it,” Vojnar said from the Los Angeles airport while traveling to Durango for tonight’s opening reception. It has been a whirlwind week: Vojnar drove from L.A. to Durango last weekend to hand-deliver his work then drove home Monday before flying back Thursday.

“Could’ve planned it better, but it was a nice trip,” Vojnar said.

The 50-year-old left what was then Czechoslovakia in 1986 and has since worked as a painter and photographer around the world. “Elsewhere” is a collection of mixed-media composite photographs printed on a variety of surfaces, including wood, aluminum, canvas and standard photographic paper. Each is augmented to create a three-dimensional work, with materials such as wax, additional paper and oil paint. And each is a study in contrasts, mixing images of beauty with suffering, decay and pain.

“I found both painting and photography too small by themselves, and I subconsciously found myself wanting to make an image that has a warmth to both the look and feel of it,” he said.

Vojnar owns his own gallery in St. Remy de Provence in southern France and spends his summers there. He studied at the School of Graphic Arts in Prague before emigrating from the Communist-controlled country and completed his education at the Philadelphia Art Institute when he moved to the U.S. He is now an American citizen.


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