Mr. Pavel Banka was born in 1941 in Prague, Czech Republic where he lives and works. His photographs are in the permanent collections of the International Center of Photography, NY; Art Institute of Chicago, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris; Musee de L’Elysee, Switzerland & Museum Ludwig, Cologne. He has had many shows throughout Europe and the United States including a major career retrospective at the prestigious Rudolfinum Museum in Prague in 2001.
Pavel Banka has worked in many directions over the years; from drawing with light and layering multiple strobe exposures to straightforward documentary prints with objects added later and rephotographed, to a series of self portraits of him with his images. Some of his best work is figures, usually nude women, shot in the studio with simple props–the prints are beautifully split toned. He uses unusual objects in a sensuous way-a metal spring or bar gently touching (or almost touching) a face or breast. His sensitivity to light in the studio is extreme and often the figure seems to have a glow or halo-an aura. He says that to him the pictures are nostalgic because eventually the model will age and die, they are records of a moment that is passing. His most recent series is pictures of Terezin, a concentration camp near Prague, they are large empty rooms that hold the memory of human presence.