Václav Chochola

1923 (Prague) - 2005 (Prague)

He came from Prague's Libeň district, where he attended the local grammar school and Sokol. He began publishing his images in 1939. He started an apprenticeship in the studio of O. Erban in Letná in Prague, and studied at the State School of Graphic Arts in Smíchov. In this time he met Karl Ludwig and Zdeněk Tmej.

 

His first studio was opened at 1943 in Soukenická street in Prague. He enters the Club of Friends of Art Manes. He got the certificate of apprenticeship in 1945 and photographed the Prague uprising and the end of the Second World War. He admired the artistic Group 42. The inspiration comes especially from the theaters, Chochola became the external photographer of the National Theatre, Theatre in Vinohrady, Urania, Provisional and Intimate Theatre, Větrník etc. Besides an artistic surrounding he pays particular attention to the sport.

 

He met with the artist Franišek Tichý and joined the Union of Czechoslovak artists. In 1950 Chochola opens new studio in the Old Town. He returns to Libeň, he gets married and becomes a father of a daughter Blanka. After an intervention of comunism party in the Union of Czechoslovak artists Chochola´s mental health is undermined and he needs to be hospitalized.

 

In the Theater S.K. Neuman he is acquainted with the writer Bohumil Hrabal. Since 1960 he worked on the first monograph along with poet Jiří Kolář. He went to Vietnam and China with photographer Dagmar Hochová for three months.

 

At home he made lots of photo-portraits of local and international celebrities and many pictures from Paris too.

 

Václav Chochola was imprisoned for two years when shooting the grave of student Jan Palach, who burned himself in protest against the Soviet occupation in the end of seventies.

 

His daughter Blanka Chocholová wrote about him a diploma thesis at the Film Academy of Performing Arts, together with father they prepared his archive of photos and presented the exposition of his works and the works of his friends.

Source:

Aleš Kuneš: Václav Chochola, Torst, 2004

www.vaclavchochola.cz

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