Miroslav Tichý took up photography in the mid-1950s, building his own cameras and enlargers from shoeboxes, tin cans, recycled glass and other waste materials:
The rewind mechanisms were made of elastic from a pair of shorts and attached to empty spools of thread; the lenses were made from old spectacles, Plexiglas, plastic pipes and food tins and polished with sandpaper, toothpaste and cigarette ash. He also made his own enlargers out of cardboard and wood planks.
Rescued from neglect by his neighbor in 1989, Tichý's work was first shown at the Sevilla Biennale in 2004.
Tichy photographed public scenes in his small hometown. He developed the negatives in a bucket at night, because he didn't have a darkroom. Later, he said that the defects and ugliness were where the true art happen:
Photography is painting with light! The blurs, the spots, those are errors! But the errors are part of it, they give it poetry and turn it into painting. And for that you need as bad a camera as possible! If you want to be famous, you have to do whatever you're doing worse than anyone else in the whole world.
His work is currently on exhibition at the Centre Pompidou.