Artist Interview - Tibor Jakab
Category: Artist Interviews
It could be said that Tibor Jakab is the complete photographer. He has been creating photographs commercially since around 1988. His photographs have been exhibited at International art photography salons in 50 countries, on 5 continents. He has been awarded 455 prizes for his work and had 45 personal exhibitions in 15 countries. Tibor has been awarded many honours for his services to International Art Photography during his career. Tibor has also worked as a press photographer and for many magazines. As a freelance journalist, he has contributed to more than 1500 illustrated articles from 1989 to the present day.
We were lucky enough to catch up with Tibor during our recent visit to Transylvania.
David Field: When did you first realize you wanted to be an photographer?
Tibor Jakab: I was always interested in photography, however it wasn’t until around 1988/1989 that I realized I was good enough to make a mark. I entered a competition in Brazil and I was awarded a prize for one of my photographs. This inspired me to study at the New York Institute of Photography between 1992-1995.
Tibor Jakab | Photographer
DF: If you could describe your work with one sentence, what would it be?
TJ: I only make photography with humans, especially the female body!
DF: Can you tell me how your style has changed, if at all, over the years?
TJ: My work is classical and I think it lasts forever. I have tried modern styles but I always drift back to black and white. My newer work does tend to have less light than my older work, but in general the ‘style’ has not changed too much.
DF: What project are you working on now?
TJ: Recently I was working on ‘bodyscape’s with instruments’, specifically Jazz instruments like the guitar, trumpet, saxophone and drums.
Bodyscape's with Instruments
The work was received very well among critics and it has inspired me to explore classical instruments and the shapes and lines of the female body. The female body is beautiful, as is the sound of the classical instruments such as the piano, cello and harp. I want to express this through my photography, using these classical instruments.
DF: Choose one piece of your art and give me a critique?
TJ: I have chosen one of my works from the ‘bodyscape’s’ series, #2123. I simply love the female form and like to show it in unusual angles. The shapes and lines of this piece are like pieces of a puzzle and if you see the whole collection of my bodyscape’s series, you will see the complete puzzle. The shapes and lines of the female body are just perfect, like they were designed by the God! Tibor talking about the piece can be seen
DF: Where do you find inspiration for your work?
TJ: I have always studied classical photographs and photographers, but I wouldn’t say it has influenced my style. I tend to find inspiration in trying to find the ‘perfect model’, the ideal subject! I am never content though, and I sometimes re-do old work with a new model!
DF: What makes the ‘perfect’ model? Is there such a thing?
TJ: The body does not matter, as long as I can show it in a beautiful way. I like to describe it as teamwork. When I have a new model, we will usually begin with three or four sessions in order for the model to get used to the idea of being naked, and photographed. The model needs to be fully relaxed and confident. So in answer to your question, the ‘perfect model’ is difficult to find and it takes time to work on it, but it is possible!
DF: What was the last show you participated in?
TJ: I enjoy entering competitions; therefore I constantly have work in international exhibitions and shows. My last solo show was based on my ‘Musical Body Sounds’ and was in ‘Sibiu’, here in Romania. There is a huge world music festival there every year and I was asked to participate.
DF: Who’s your favourite living photographer and why?
Difficult to say, I prefer older photographers, most of which are dead, Helmut Newton, the German / Australian photographer is someone I admire very much; sadly he died in 2004. Ansel Adams, an American photographer and environmentalist is another of my favourites. He once said ‘You don’t take a photograph, you make it’.
Photograph by Helmut Newton
DF: What’s the first art photograph you ever sold?
TJ: I sold a few here and there in the early 90’s, however I didn’t have a lot of success until my solo exhibition in Zurich, Switzerland in 1998. I did a series of work on the ‘Life of Gypsies’ and I sold well.
DF: What’s the last artwork you ever sold?
TJ: I was lucky enough to have a piece of work from my ‘bodyscapes’ series exhibited in the Louvre last year. I entered a competition and was proud that I was one of only 100 artists selected for the exhibition. The work I displayed is a limited edition photograph and someone purchased one of the editions last week.
Bodyscape #2582 - Displayed in an exhibition at the Louvre, Paris
DF: What annoys you most about the art world?
TJ: Much has become cheap and of poor quality, just to make money. I prefer quality over money!
DF: What is the best thing about being an artist?
TJ: You see the world differently and see more details. You can capture everything in a moment, like in a picture frame. You can take pictures with your mind; it really is a great blessing.
DF: Lastly, anything else you would like to say?
TJ: Photography makes my life better, and if I can send some messages through my work or make people happy, that’s just perfect!
Tibor Jakab | Musical Body Sounds Exhibition 2016
Tibor was interviewed in July 2016.
You can find a selection of Tibor's photography on Artfield Galleries
You can also find artwork and further information on Tibor's website http://www.jakabtibor.ro/
Email Tibor: firstname.lastname@example.org
Video of Tibor talking about one of his bodyscape photographs, you can see it here...