Miroslav Tichý was born in 1926 in Netcice (today part of town Kyjov). When he was four his family moved to small house on Svatoborska Street where he still lives.
His father was a tailor and his mother, originally from village Uhrice, worked as secretary for solicitor. Tichy often recalls childhood which he was spending at his grandfather (his mother’s father) who was reeve of Uhrice. After finishing the secondary grammar school in Kyjov he studied at Academy of Fine Arts in Prague under leadership of Jan Zelibsky. He received recognition within collective of his classmates for being very good draftsman, his immense talent and for his unique personal sense of humour. He left studies in 1948 and returned home.
In the beginning of his career Tichy mainly focused on his painting and drawing skills but in 60’s he switched to photography. He used his handmade cameras and other parts of photographic equipment not because of lack of finances but because making them was his hobby. He refurbished an old shed at the back garden of his house to photographic chamber. This is where most of his photographs were given a life. Every day he was browsing streets of Kyjov making pictures mainly of women but also capturing momentums of situations and different corners of the town, which could be seen only by artists eye
He didn’t care about his image in these times, he wore only a jacket and didn’t cut his hair. He was differing himself from other people, some of them were scared of him while others took him as a folklore part of the town. Most of the public thought he was just pretending taking pictures. And it was this distinctness which brought him to the conflict with nowadays authorities. He had to spend some time in mental hospital and was considered an enemy of the regime. But in a sense Tichy was just a rebel against order. This is why asked in 1989 "Why don’t you change your image when times have changed?’’ he answered ‘’Times have changed but people didn’t."
His work attract wide interest sprouting around year 2000, and there is foundation established without his permission named Tichy Ocean in Lichtenstein, presenting his work abroad. Miroslav Tichy had nothing in common with the foundation, he was not its member and didn’t agree with its activities. Foundation didn’t support him financially or any other way, no member of the foundation met Tichy.
There is no doubt that people from foundation are behind promoting Miroslav Tichy’s work, but this does not mean that copyrights of author can be disrespected in any way.Statement of Miroslav Tichy (PDF)