Slovakia’s Famous Photographer Karol Kállay Passes Away
Karol Kállay died at the age of 86 on Saturday 4 August. He was the most famous Slovak photographer and documentarist, renowned for his reports.
Kállay was born in Čadca in north Slovakia on 26 April 1926. He studied economy and law at the university and started to work as a professional photographer in 1940. Two years later, he obtained his first award: a gold medal at a national exhibition of photographs in Bratislava. This was followed by an exhibition in Zaragoza, Spain. In 1954, he published his first book Slovenské rieky (Slovak rivers). From 1956 onwards, he organised his own exhibitions.
During his life, he published more than 35 photographic books, and organized about 80 personal exhibitions in Slovakiaand abroad as well. He worked as a press photographer, fashion photographer, portraitist and landscape photographer. He worked for the leading fashion magazines in Paris and Berlin, photographed for example for GEO Hamburg, Der Spiegel, Stern, Focus, Manager Magazin, Paris Match, Illustré, Sport International, Tutto Turismo and so on. He was a member of the renowned agency Bilderberg in Hamburg, of the International Federation of Photographic Art (FIAP) and holder of the EFIAP (Excellence of the International Federation of Photographic Art) award given to him by the same organization. In 1992, he won the editor’s prize of the magazine GEO – Photographer of the Year.
His most famous publications were about Italy, Los Angeles, Slovakia, Tokio, Romeand Mexiko. The books Pieseň o Slovensku (Song about Slovakia) and Los Angeles were distinguished by the UNESCO as the most beautiful books of the world. With his photographs, he tried to express what he saw and experienced, and also his thoughts by seeing things. With his work, he represented Slovakia throughout the word. He made photo reportages for example in Egypt, Thailand, Tunisia, Morocco, Australia, Cuba, USA, Yemen, Dubai and Indonesia.
He worked as a photographer for 30 years. In 2011, he was made honorary citizen of Čadca by the mayor of the town – with the occasion of his 85th birthday.
Karol Kállay was seriously ill in the last period of his life, but worked until the last moment, and managed to finish his life work, which should come out at the beginning of next year. A service in his memory will take place at 12.30 tomorrow at the crematorium in Lamac, Bratislava.