Born in 1963 in Prague. After graduating from secondary school in Prague in 1982, Nemec worked in various professions. In 1987 he began the photography programme at the Academy of Fine Arts, Prague, but a year later was forced to interrupt his studies owing to his nonconformist views.
After the fall of the Communist rÃ©gime in late 1989 (the Velvet Revolution), he was employed as the personal photographer to President VÃ¡clav Havel. He accompanied the President on many trips at home and abroad and photographed him on various official and nonofficial occasions. Nemec eventually assembled a large set of expressive photographs, which show different aspects of Havel’s personality and his ups and downs – from being the leading figure of the “Velvet Revolution” of November 1989, to his diverse work as an extraordinarily popular president, his resignation from the Presidential Office over the break-up of Czechoslovakia in 1992, and his election as the first President of the Czech Republic.
From these photographs, many of which have been published in leading newspapers and magazines of the world, Nemec made a careful selection for his book. In 1992, while working at the Office of the President Nemec became a member of the R.M. Anzenberger Agency, Vienna, with whom he continues to collaborate to this day. Since 1995 he has been sent on various assignments in the field of photojournalism and documentary photography and has meanwhile been preparing his own project on life in Cuba.
For this project he has taken photographs which tell their story not only on the concrete level of showing the lives of ordinary people in Cuba under a rÃ©gime in deep decline but also on an abstract level beyond time.
His photographs have been published in news-papers and magazines such as LibÃ©ration, Le Monde, Paris Match, Der Spiegel, Stern, Geo, Die Zeit, DU, Focus, The New York Times Magazine, The Los Angeles Times Magazine etc. In 1995 he won Third Prize in the World Press Photo competition (Amsterdam) for one of his photographs from Cuba. And in 1997 he was awarded a scholarship from Kultur Kontakt, Austria, then, a year later, he received a scholarship from CeskÃ© foto. He has taken part in several group exhibitions – for example “37 Photographers in Chmelnice” (Prague, 1989), “November 1989, Czechoslovakia” (Prague, 1989), “The Year of the Emergency Exit” (Lausanne, 1990). In 1990-today he exhibited the Havel photographs in towns throughout the World.
Tomki Nemec lives in Prague.
Acknowledgements, scholarship, grants:
1991 World Press Photo competion – acknowledgement connected with the highest standard in the field of photojournalism for the photo of VÃ¡clav Havel â€žcatched unawaresâ€œ by a sea wave.
1995 World Press Photo Third Prize for the photo â€œBlack market, Havanaâ€, Cuba.
1997 Gains scholarship of the Austrian Foundation Kultur Kontakt.
1998 Scholarship Pro Helvetia-Czech Photography.
2004 Grant IVO, Slovakia
2004 First Prize, Czech Press Photo, Daily Life, Banat-Rumania
2004 Grant of the capital Prague
2004 Second Prize awarded to the Eurotel Foundation Annual Report for photographs of handicapped children of swimming team SK Karlovy Vary.
2005 First Prize for photographs of clients of a non-profit organization â€œStepâ€ for Annual Report of the Eurotel Foundation 2005
1989 Exhibition: â€œ37 photographersâ€ – at â€œNa Chmelniciâ€ / Prague 1989/ – curator Dr.Anna FÃ¡rovÃ¡,
1989 Czechoslovakian November 1989 /Praha,1989-1990/ – curator Dr.Anna FÃ¡rovÃ¡,
1990 Year of the East / Lausanne, 1990
1990 Velvet Revolution / Lecture 1990 /, Agency â€œRadostâ€ (â€œPleasureâ€).
1990 VÃ¡clav Havel â€“ Photographs. The collection has been exhibited since 1990 till nowadays in many capitals and cities â€“ for instance: Vienna, Berlin, New York, Warsaw, Lisbon, Soul, Bucharest, Stockholm, Kisinev, Chicago, Dresden, Bratislava, Moscow, Santiago de Chile etc.
1999 Potographs of Czech society / Supreme Burgrave Office, PraÅ¾skÃ½ Hrad
2002 â€œDÃ¡rek na rozlouenouâ€œ / Leica Gallery, NejvyÅ¡Å¡Ã purkrabstvÃ, Prague Castle
2003 Visa Pour lâ€˜ Image / Perpignan / – night performance projection
2004 Banat, Rumania /Fotoplus Gallery, Prague
2004 Thank you Mr. professor / World Web Gallery- www.wwg.cz
2004 Slovakia 2004 â€“ Report on the state of the Country / House of Arts, Bratislava, “Month of Photography”
2004 Czech Press Photo 2004 / Prague
2005 Slovakia 001-005, / Bratislava Castle, “Month of Photography 2005”
The photos have been published in newspapers and magazines, books, calendars, CD jackets, for instance: LibÃ©ration, Le Monde, Paris Match, Stern, Der Spiegel, DU, Geo, Die Zeit, Focus, New York Times Magazine, Los Angeles Times Magazine, News, Playboy, Cambio, Diners Club, Interview Magazine, Esquire , Civilization, Amica, Respekt, MladÃ½ sv&t, Esquire, Reflex, MF Dnes, TÃ½den, Instinkt etc.
In 2002 he was at the outset of weekly magazine Instinkt and, for a short time period was chief of its photo dept.
In a long term he has been co-operating with, and making photos for, NGO, dedicated to social problems and activites of handicapped children and families.
Presently he works on his own projects that are not realized on a commercial basis. For the years 2006 -7 he prepares a profile foto publication / publisher Torst, Prague – series FotoTorst /