Lukas Kuzma is a Czech photographer, currently studying for his BA (Hons) at the University of Chester in the UK.
Like Walker Evans, he has a body of work which was taken on trains, inside and outside stations in London. We see the familiar “blank” stares and the “caught up in own thoughts” expressions that are evident in Evans and DiCorcia’s work. I was particularly drawn to his images of people going up or down the escalators. The inquisitive glances at fellow passengers behind as they descend into the bowels of the earth and the bored stare of a little boy looking at people behind him, probably going in the opposite direction. But we also see people grimacing as they stare at something out of frame and I am intrigued as to what they are looking at. Is it a station busker like we have here in Vancouver, or is it something unpleasant?
My favourite image in this set would have to be the one with the mother, cell phone in hand, bending over a toddler who is intent on throwing a tantrum on the platform floor, while another woman stands to one side watching the mother, her fist clenched into her sleeve, and a little girl holds out her arms as if she is clapping, her eyes squeezed shut. I can almost hear the poor mother threatening the little boy that she is going to take a photograph of his screaming face if he doesn’t stop his nonsense and get up and behave himself.
Kuzma’s images feel more real to me than those of Walker Evans. It is probably due to the fact that they are obviously more modern than Evans’ work, but also I feel more empathy with these images having been in similar scenarios myself. There is also a sense of the hustle and bustle that one finds in these types of places. Kuzma’s photographs also show more movement and actions.
Kuzma, Lukas (n.d.) Transit London [online] http://www.lukaskuzma.com/transit-london/ [Accessed 24 July, 2016]