Life and Work
He was born in Nové Zámky, Slovakia, to parents of Hungarian descent. He studied in Bratislava and after his closing exams in 1967, instead of joining the armed forces for duty, he emigrated via Yugoslavia and Italy to the United States where he made a living as a hairdresser and beauty parlour assistant. Later on, he worked as an assistant for a number of fashion photographers and since 1984 he has been active as a stand-alone artist.
Over the years, he has worked in New York, Paris, Milano and Prague, shooting photographs for fashion magazines such as Cosmopolitan, Harper's Bazaar and Vogue. He has been residing in Prague since 1990, assuming the post of Executive Art Director in the Czech edition of the Elle fashion magazine 1996 through 2003 and subsequently until 2009 in Czechoslovak Models advertising agency.
More than anything else, Robert Vano is regarded to be a visionary fashion and commercial photographer. He mostly takes black-and-white portraits and nude art photography on standard celluloid, in addition to using the nowadays rarely used technique of platinotype. He has been working together with renowned brands and is in charge of a number of "Daylight Nude" workshops. He prefers to shoot by daylight.
Vano has never been secretive about his homosexuality. In 2009, the Czech gay portal Colour Planet pronounced him one of the most influential gay figures in the Czech Republic. This aspect of his being is also reflected in his work as he has mainly earned his reputation with nude photography of male models. He himself has cited American photographer Robert Mapplethorpe as one of his ideals, in addition to Nadar and Sarah Moon.
Vano's largest exhibition called "The Platinum Collection", referencing his signature technique, took place in Prague's Mánes venue in 2009.
Robert Vano has been heard multiple times stating how difficult it is for him to bear the burden of aging.
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