The Tichy Ocean Foundation’s “Artists for Tichy — Tichy for Artists” collection is unique. (Note: the foundation’s name is a pun in Czech: Tichý Oceán means “Pacific Ocean”.) It is unique because of its origins. It came into being and is still going on as an exchange. Artists from all over the world exchange their works of art for the photography of Miroslav Tichý. The exchange itself started with Tichý: in 1992, when the famous Austrian Arnulf Rainer visited him in Kyjov, Tichý refused to sell anything to him. But he had nothing against an exchange. Since this time, a wide range of popular, world-renowned, lesser known, and even unknown artists have exchanged their works for Tichý’s photographs. And that’s how this diverse collection got started.
All of the exchanged works came from artists who are admirers of Tichý. And Tichý became an artists’ artist. But what is it that is fascinating? Life devoted to art that, in and of itself, is so certain that it does not need a public or recognition. Selfreliant devotion exerting the inseparability of life and art. Life becomes art and art life, without any compromises. What artist would not want to devote their life to such a cause? Hence, desire is a reason for this fascination. But desire is only a desire for as long as it is unsatisfied. After being satisfied, it disappears like the morning dew. But can this desire inspired by Tichý ever be satisfied?