Pulicar / Efemeria



My father, Jaroslav Pulicar, has been photographing the world around him since the 70s. He's been always on the road, with camera ready at his hand, possibly even when taking out the trash. Yet he never called himself a "photographer". He had his day job independent of his photography and his photography independent of his day job — a model many professional rock star photographers would consider to be nothing more than a cute weekend hobby.

Regardless, his archive kept steadily growing into thousands of rolls and the need to publish his meticulously considered body of work kept growing as well. So we finally ended up talking about making a book.

Despite my father's humble claims that 'Less is more' and 'You never make more than two or three good photographs a year' we have ended up with semi-final selection of several hundreds of photographs that rightfully deserved attention. The decision was clear soon enough. Why come out with just one book, when there is enough quality material for two? And, under the hard-earned luxury of complete independence, why not make and publish them both at the same time? Unusual? Irresponsible? Lost opportunity? Retail suicide? Who cares, we are doing it this way.

Pulicar has been designed to be a timeless classic. Larger format, hard cover, Swiss serif. It contains 78 trichrome photographs representative of my father's work, pivotal to his very special way of looking at the world. Efemeria is a small block with more expressive approach, but still providing maximum room for the total of 202 trichrome photographs. Both books are quite different, yet they speak the same language. And, man, is it a language that is well appreciated.

One would have thought that a pretty much unknown "non-photographer" who spends his working days at construction sites, warehouses and workshops would make his five minutes of fame debuting his book at a mediocre exhibition in a local library. Well, that's not who my father is.

Upon publishing these books, which made ripples around the local photographic world, Jaroslav Pulicar has been recognized as a Personality of Czech Photography of 2020. Joining the ranks of Koudelka, Kolář, Kratochvíl and other Czech photography titans. On top of that, the book Pulicar has been awarded the Photography Publication of 2020.

Tomki Němec, the 400 ASA member and author of the iconic Havel, wrote:

Regarding those Jaroslav's books. Photographs, photographers... It is like with bands. Some play good, some play great. The Beatles. The Rolling Stones... And then you discover Led Zeppelin.
Pulicar is Led Zeppelin.

Becoming "Led Zeppelin" did not come out of a blue. It took decades of consistent work, adamant dedication and hard self-criticism. The legacy of my father is a great reminder that this rule applies to anything one does in life. Do it often, do it good, do it without a compromise and it will eventually turn into something valuable.