Peter Nagy – singer, composer, lyricist – Legend of the Czech and Slovak pop music.
For more than two decades he is the one of the most outstanding figures of Slovak and Czech popular music. His being on the music scene was and still is extremely successful. This is evidenced by two dozens of albums with such a number of units sold that today it is just a dream of recent stars. Tens of them became genuine hits.
Peter Nagy was born on 9th of April 1959, in Prešov. He started his career in 1983 with his own music group Indigo. In 1985 he won in the Czechoslovakian most famous pop music contest “The Golden Nightingale”. As a producer, composer and song writer he worked also with child singers with whom he made several very successful albums.
His so far latest (2011) double album is called “Plenty of songs”.
Last ten years he began to fulfill his old dream, which was the creation of art photography. Model and inspiration was a precise work of professional photographers, with whom he previously cooperated in the production of his albums – Fedor Nemec, Alan Pajer.
Currently he runs a photo studio called Atelier of Art Photography – ARTFOTONAGY. Peter uses digital technology and the main theme of his photographic works is the romantically toned female nude.
Peter avoids of shooting professional models. There are women from exotic countries such as the Canary Islands, Costa Rica, Cuba, Singapore and Namibia among the models he shot. Photos are toned mostly in black and white and then finished in graphics programs. He had several exhibitions in Prague, Bratislava and Vienna.
His photographs were published in Czech, Russian and Brazilian mutation of Playboy magazine. He also became a winner of the cover and editorial in a special issue of this magazine, which was released on his 50th anniversary. In 2007 he was the official photographer of Czech Miss. In 2008 he presented his first book publication. He published also several art calendars, the first one in 2005 named “Intimate images”. His newest one entitled as a “Rum and Choco” is for the year 2012.
His new book “Kindly songs” has been promoted lately (on October 26th 2011) at the Prague Golem club.
The book presents photographs associated with the poetry of Peter’s texts. It is a unique probe into the soul of women. The photographs of Peter Nagy show women as real women. Beautiful, unique and full of emotions.
However at the promotion of his new book he told for the Slovak press agency: “I am quitting with photography….”
Interview with Peter Nagy is nice for me by two reasons. I own his complete discography on gramophone records (an LP record was for 50 CZK) and also with the appreciation I also pursue his successful photographic career. His photos right now at the time of negatives are extremely important. They bring peace, beauty and a good mood. So why is there your statement of quitting photography?
I’ve already shot all I wanted …
The situation in business is so strange … sometimes even comic … TV and Internet feeds are full of slogans and shoutings: “Become a star, become a model, singer, photographer, and celebrity blah, blah …. it’s like a sale of positions where in fact really can stand only those who really have been working for years to reach that position. But the media needs new naives who think that it’s really that easy …
Not a few people want just their “15 minutes of fame “… such a karaoke for drunken (by media).
A number of deaf singers, blind photographers and stupid celebrities increases. It is a price for the internet and the aggression of Medias chasing the readership and audience. It seems to me that the last few years or longer people don’t feel the art and they just want to obtain a fast and powerful experience – what the art photo has never been nor will be. I’ll wait for better time. Now, I am just selling my photos.
You have started to shoot quite late. Why were you interested in photography? Maybe golf would fits you better at your age.
I always wanted to take pictures I just did not have the time and money.
I need something creative … I need something imaginative. I needed to express my admiration of the woman.
How do you cope with difficult life of popular singer and photographer?
This is essentially not controllable in any way. One suffers for the second and vice versa. As a musician I am constantly in the car for my job and as a photographer it’s basically the same. I must say that the studio photography doesn’t satisfy me because of its lack of plausibility. It’s something better than the photo ID just the ID is naked :). The choice of shooting location is hard and also the organization itself. It’s practically not possible to do it together with my music traveling.
Was it difficult to convince people to take you as a photographer?
Nonetheless the majority knows you as a musician and it was certainly a burden. How was the beginning?
From the beginning I absolutely don’t give a dam. One of the fundamental principles of my life is – I do what I want. Whether someone likes it or not. Like the music which I’m doing for my feeling not for critics.
And basically I don’t care what thinks some sweaty writer of some internet online chat who theoretically can do everything “better” than the others.
In the very beginning of your art creation we can see a noticeable impact by Fedor Nemec. Photos were colored and there was a significant intervention by the author, i.e. the collection “Woman & Steel” or “Angels”. And then suddenly the switch to the black and white photographs with a minimum of modifications. What did cause this change?
Fedor is an amazing photographer, my friend and author of nearly all covers of my first music albums. It was an unaware imitation of my idol and the man whose work I have always admired. Later, I began to think about a lot of photos and what should be my own style. I have always liked romance so I started to take pictures in black and white because it’s more dreamy. Today I shoot an illusion – just as it is in my songs. Almost every song is illusory and therefore it can make a positive mood. I always wanted to shoot positive pictures…
Who is usually the first critic of your photos?
Unfortunately, myself. Concerning the work I hate myself so much that I delete many photos right after shooting. A few minutes later I am watching and deleting them again and finally I have the only one I am going to use.
You mainly capture a woman. How is the work with them? Are they stubborn or priggish?
At first women who I am going to capture have to love their body. Therefore I select women who practice professionally or amateurishly fitness, do sports or are ballerinas. Simply women who have no problem with self-confidence. On the other hand in addition to these
“non models” there are women who are so uncritically priggish. I know it mostly from castings of Miss Czech where I worked as a photographer. It was a like tour of pointless self-confidence similar as in a Superstar (Pop Idol). In the front of the lens I like ordinary beautiful women. The so-called “usable for life”.
There are also photographs of animals from Kenya which can be found among your pictures. Was it just a “side activity” or are you thinking of doing something similar in the future?
It was only the opportunity to try a “long lens” in the field. Otherwise the object of my photographic visit to Kenya was women. The result was the third calendar with photographs of exotic women “Rum & Choco”.
Our readers are mainly photographers. For them it would be certainly interesting what the way of taking pictures is. I mean, if it is not a secret, what light do you use, do you take picture just by yourself or do you have an assistant, how do you choose the exterior?
Every photographer has his own way. Shooting of nudes is not about pressing the shutter but about communication with a woman and work with a light. It is therefore important to know the location and how unpredictably the light behaves, same as a woman. It’s very similar:).
Do you use a digital camera or do you also have an experience with the analog photography?
I started with a classic but as everybody after the arrival of digital camera I can not resist.
You are in the editorial board of an independent national magazine of Czech and Slovak photographers together with names such as Jan Šibík or Robert Vano. What does it mean for you?
At first it’s a big honor. For example I value Jan Šibík as report photographer who has no competition over here and apart from that he is an amazingly modest man. Robert Vano is a professional whom I admire for his profound detachment and for his never-ending sense of humor.
This year has been for you full of news – the new double album, a new book. What can we expect in the new year 2012?
I will close myself in a dark room and will sleep there :).