Richard Horowitz. Photographer of Things That Don’t Exist – History


During World War II, he lived with his family in the Krakow ghetto. Later, he was sent to concentration camps. In Płaszów and Auschwitz he was one of the youngest prisoners to be rescued. It was on the famous Schindler’s List.

Horowitz did not return to those times much in public statements. Each of us has an interesting story to tell. Richard Horowitz explained in an interview with Halina Eustas that I am one of those who can say something about it, but I prefer to leave it to myself, except for my family and relatives who know what to do about it.

13:38 1ryszard Horowitz ___ 24_07_v_tr_0-0_99485128891d38a[00].mp3 “Richard Horowitz” – broadcast of Halina Eustas from the series “Guest Show” (PR, 07.12.2007)

Director Andrzej Wajda spoke about the role and processing of memory in art in the context of Ryszard Horowitz. He highly valued Horowitz’s position and high self-awareness. – Horowitz is one of the people I appreciate the most, that is, those who talk a little about themselves – said Andrzej Wajda on Anna Fuksiewicz in the series “In the main role”. There are those who throw everything out of themselves and then have nothing to say, and there are artists who keep it to themselves and create only art that terrifies, astonishes, and astonishes.

46:38 Richard Horowitz ___ 769_04_iv_tr_0-0_9979200888d24b0[00].mp3 “Richard Horowitz” – broadcast of the series “In the main role”. Anna Fuchsewicz’s guests were among others Richard Horowitz, Andre Waida and Wojciech Priamovsky. (PR, June 20, 2004).

I started drawing

Horowitz made his first attempts at photography when he was in his teens, but initially decided to develop towards painting. Graduated from high school and the Academy of Fine Arts. – During my studies at the High School of Fine Arts in Krakow, I wanted not only to become a painter, but also. I studied drawing and painting. Richard Horowitz said after graduating from this high school, I was accepted into the School of Painting at the Academy of Fine Arts.

For many years he was associated with Krakow, which in the 50s and 60s was considered a center of avant-garde art. He was friends with artists from Piwnica pod Baranami, where he spent all his free time. – I lived for many years in the heart of the market square across from the town hall. I had a great view of the city, I was surrounded by charming and interesting architecture – remember Richard Horowitz. – Only after many years of travel did I discover the importance of being in this oasis of great architecture and this charming city.

In 1959, Horowitz left for New York. He attended Pratt Institute there. It was then that he met one of his masters, photographer Richard Avedon. Help him, among others, with a photo session of Salvador Dali. Then he worked in advertising agencies. After some time, he decided to create his own photo agency, so that he could express his individual style in his projects.

The beginnings of new technologies

The first contact with a computer, which took place in Hamburg, aroused great feelings in Horowitz. The artist, with the help of Zbigniew Rybczyński, visited a digital art studio there, who had access to a computer prototype adapted for photographic processing. It was the mid-1980s, pre-digital image processing. I’ve been interested in photographing items for years and have been learning how to assemble photos in a darkroom, said Richard Horowitz. I left with a bag of materials to try and solve technical issues I couldn’t get past in a dark room.

Alice in Wonderland was the first computer portrait drawn by Horowitz. The effect showed a little girl playing with a cat and was a combination of two other images. The cat in the image that the artist wanted to use was covered with a human hand, which goes against Horowitz’s intention. Easily with the help of the operator, because after I had no idea how to do it, he put the other ear in there, said Richard Horowitz.

The advancement of digital photography has opened up entirely new opportunities for artists compared to those offered by analog photography. At the same time, the use of new technologies in art was often viewed with unfavorable opinions. – Richard Horowitz said that the danger is that people often compare one another. For me, a computer is a great tool. It’s a different medium than darkroom work. It must be mastered first and then criticized.

Surrealist from Krakow

Horowitz was not interested in traditional photography, which is limited only to capturing certain situations in front of the lens. He treated it as a tool for communicating imagination and artistic idea. His work consists of taking out some parts of the image and transforming them into something else. Richard Horowitz said: “It did not appear to be cut or assembled, but a picture, but no longer a true recording of reality, but made up of real elements.”

In his works he experimented with different techniques and played with forms developed by the surrealists. For many years he was interested in composite photography, also known as elementary photography. – I am a photographer of things invisible in everyday life, and then I record using different devices – said Richard Horowitz.

Critics believe that the distinctive features of Horowitz’s universal style are the specific choice of elements, the method of composition and the technique of distorted perspective. However, the artist himself distanced himself from this type of rating. – I try to be myself as much as I can. Richard Horowitz said I do not analyze my work to the extent that I will impose any definitions or terms. The need for creativity and action often drives me.

High technical awareness

Horowitz described himself as a photographic author rather than a photographer. The last name sounded too pretentious to him. The photographer is the result of communist culture that arranged people by titles. The photographer was an ordinary mare, the photographer was a person with a diploma and was accepted into the Guild of Photographers – said Richard Horowitz.

He considered solid knowledge and acquired skills to be necessary items for an artist, but even they became a hurdle and an obstacle. They cannot block the creative process and dictate, as in the instructions, the next steps necessary to complete the work.

Horowitz’s unique style has gained international recognition, as evidenced by his numerous exhibitions and awards. The artist received, among other things, in 1982 the award for the best automobile advertising campaign, and a year later he was named American Photographer of the Year by “Adweec” magazine. His work “Bird II” won the Picture of the Year award from the American Advertising Photographers Association.

The successes prompted the artist to further creative work. – He always smiles and loves life and what he does. Fame did not confuse him, he is more natural than usual, this is how you get acquainted with the class and value of a man – this is how photographer Wojciech Priymovsky spoke about his old friend.


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