Landscape photography is not what first comes to mind when I think of Sylvia Plachy’s work. Indeed, when asked what she means by “landscape,” she gives a little Sylvia smile and indicates that her understanding of the word includes the metaphorical. A dreamy picture of something resembling a fish tank is a kind of interior landscape, at least according to Sylvia.
Sylvia Plachy & Gyorgy Beck have been friends forever. Both were born in Hungary; Beck still lives there, while Sylvia has been a New Yorker for many years. But she has made many return trips to the country of her birth, often with Beck along.
They share what I call a poetic mindset, but are otherwise quite opposite in the way they work and express themselves. Sylvia creates her magical pictures by letting her eyes roam and her camera catch the image on which she settles—photography pure. Gyorgy works with his negatives and reworks his prints, combining images, adding colors, working with different printing techniques, and using unusual surfaces for his pictures. But check out how they both photographed shadowy dogs scurrying across the picture. There must be a Hungarian fairy tale about dogs mysteriously disappearing into dark forests. Here’s where I see that they are true soul mates.