To the loving memory of my mother and father.
The first photograph I ever made was one of my parents sitting on a seesaw in our garden. They were smiling and holding each other’s hands. The image was slightly blurred and out of focus. My hands were shaking with uncertainty and desire to press the shutter button at that proverbial decisive moment.
My father and mother are now gone, as is the photograph. But the feeling of the moment has remained: the smell of the flowers, grass, the dancing shadows under the huge chestnut tree in our house’s garden, solid and smooth touch of the metal surface of the camera. For me, the camera turned into an instrument which can magically capture that moment seemingly for ever.
This was 1970s. Fast forward to 1990s at which time I became a staff photographer for Zmena weekly news magazine to capture the key moments and political changes taking place in my country.
Having moved to New York in 1998 I thought it might be a good career move to photograph for no other periodical than the New York Times.
It didn’t quite work, to be honest. I showed my fresh rookie face in the NYT mailroom exactly one week after submitting my portfolio for review.
„Your portfolio was looked at,“ told me the clerk.
„I have nothing more to say to you, sir. Have a good day.“
Obviously, my career in photography took an unexpected twist, or so I thought at that time. I wasn’t quite sure what to do with my life then. So, in 1999 I returned back to Slovakia and did an exhibition of my NYC work.
Then I started shooting sunsets, nature, skies, and urban landscapes. People became distant figures, or silhouttes formed against the grand natural sceneries. Also, I did dance. And read books, all sorts of books. And watched paintings, lot of paintings. Like those of Vasili Kandinsky at Tate Modern.
„Path to Abstraction“ was called the Kandinsky exhibition in 2005. Lines, shapes, colors exploding from their known hierarchy of relations, becoming pure energy and a source of my inspiration.
Over the period of 2000 until now, I have been taking pictures of all sorts of things. I found that the best scenes usually lie on the outside perimeter of my vision, in the corner of my eyesight.
Surely, a photograph is only a visual representation of one moment amongst myriads. And yet, this moment is so unique, starting with the thought, selection of the scene, framing, waiting and finally pressing the shutter. Indeed, there is so much more behind every single photograph made by any author.
Name: Lubomir Groch
Born 1964 in Bratislava, Slovakia
Studied at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering in Bratislava
1990-1991 – Staff photographer for Zmena weekly magazine
1993 – Assistant translator for the Reuter News Agency reporters to Slovakia
1997 – Exhibition „Face in the Crowd“ in Ziva gallery, Bratislava
1998-99 – Living in New York City, working as a computer consultant
1999 – Exhibition „New York – an Open City“ in Bratislava, Banska Stiavnica, Slovakia, sponsored by the US Embassy to Slovakia
1999 – Now, living in Bratislava, Slovakia, with my beloved girlfriend Ivanka and her daughter Johanka; working as a freelance photographer, teacher of English language and translator.