krasne-nehody-1693841334 | Danubiana}

Beautiful Accidents

04. November 2023 - 03. March 2024

Martin Stranka creates photographic scenes, blurring the line between reality and dreams. He sees photography as a space of pure balance and peace and often likens his work to a personal diary. He works with art photography in a unique way, often using a collage technique, which he takes far beyond the traditional perception of photography. The minimalist conception of the scene emphasises man as an individual and his inner dialogues. Through symbolism, Martin responds to the consumer side of life in contrast to his return to nature. Thus, he turns his attention to the mutual effects of these two apparently estranged worlds. He names his first photographic series, which up to this date remains open, I Found The Silence (Našiel som ticho). The very first artworks in this series portray the artist himself staged in self-portraits most of which were taken in the studio. Later his friends and family became the objects in his work. Stranka drew from these intimate bonds for the benefit of the captured shot. The shift in his work came when he left the space of the studio turning to nature in his creation and incorporated animal symbolism in his photographic scene. In 2018 he created the project entitled Portraits (Portréty), in which he captured artistic portraits of inspirational figures of Czech and other scenes. His series Beautiful Accidents (Krásne Nehody), which was awarded in New York, walks a fine line between aesthetic beauty and a fatal event. These intentionally unfinished visual stories search for the boundary between visual beauty and a dramatic scene which can change the course of a life in a split second. His goal was to determine the extent to which it is possible to aestheticize an accident that the viewer witnesses and becomes a part of.


Martin Stranka was born on Friday April 13, 1984 in Most, Czech Republic, where he lived with his parents and older sister until the age of three. The family then moved to Litoměřice, where he attended elementary school and the Josef Jungmann Gymnasium. He went on to study economics in Prague, where he has lived and worked ever since. He never studied art, but after the loss of a close friend in 2007 he turned to photography as therapy to regain his balance in life. After completing his university studies, he worked as a human resources manager while continuing in his pursuit of photography which later became his passion. In December 2010 his passion became his profession when he accepted commissions from New York publishing houses Sterling Publishing and HarperCollins.

In his seventeen-year career, Stranka won more than 80 international awards, the most significant of which include Special Photographer of the Year from the International Photography Awards in New York in 2022, and 1st place in the Sony World Photography Awards that he won in 2018 and 2019 in London. His works were exhibited and auctioned at Christie's in London in early 2023.

Martin Stranka exhibited his work in New York, Miami, Orlando, London, Paris, Prague, and Shanghai, in galleries including Christie's London, Saatchi Gallery, SNAP! Orlando, Somerset House, and many others. His works already attract the attention of art collectors and can be seen on the covers of books published by HarperCollins, Sterling Publishing, and Penguin Random House. He has published four monographic books I AM, 10 Years, Dechem and Beautiful Accidents, the last of which was published as the catalogue and book for the exhibition at the Danubiana Meulensteen Art Museum. Martin has also created several photographic visuals for the National Theater, the National Theater Ballet, and the National Theater Opera.