11 To Remember 2016 Howard Bossen

Markéta Luskačová came to the West in the early 1970’s from
Czechoslovakia. Leaving her communist controlled homeland she took little
but her finely honed eye influenced by photographers such as her beloved
Josef Sudek and a profound ability to see humanity, dignity and warmth
where others see only poverty, homelessness and depression. While the
world of the street musicians she photographed years ago no longer exists,
in her black and white images one can sense a range of emotions from
despair to joy and even to ecstasy as the music floats through the working
class streets of the city. How else can one describe the emotive quality
in Man Singing in Brick Lane where with arms outstretched, shirt collar
unbuttoned and tie askew, head raised toward the sky the joy of singing
manifests itself?

In many of the photographs the musicians seem lost in themselves;
the music has overtaken them and no matter how troubled their lives may
be, the joy of being alive and making music comes through. In others there
is a direct and penetrating eye contact between subject and photographer
revealing a tender humanity captured in a fleeting moment. In some there
is playfulness where children ”mug" for the camera while the musician
takes little notice. In all there is a masterful sense of composition combined
with a beautiful use of light, resulting in strong, yet often stark images.
Today, the streets, the people and the culture have been transformed.
While Luskacové's old street musicians are long gone, her images keep
the tradition alive. In these beautiful photographs the music of the street
musicians can still be heard.

Howard Bossen