Polaroid Type 55 film—which produced instant positive prints in addition to negatives—was a cult favorite of photographers using large-format cameras until 2008 when Polaroid announced it would cease production of all instant film. Imperfect, over- or underexposed, scratched and sometimes barely legible, the positive prints were usually discarded or kept as rough proofs to aid the selection of negatives to print. Here, they stand as works of art all their own.

The practice of examining the instant contact sheets right after shooting a photo made me extra sensitive to the hidden potential of yet undeveloped images. And I also realized that imperfection is an essential part of photography, a price for faithfulness to the nature of the medium, which is, in a sense, a haphazard interpretation of a moment. The contact proofs are literally proof of that.

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About the Artist
Tomasz Gudzowaty (b.1971, Poland) is a Polish documentary, portrait and art photographer, who gained international recognition through numerous publications and awards, most notably – in World Press Photo in which he succeeded nine times. He is also a multiple winner or finalist of such competitions as: Pictures of the Year International, NPPA’s Best of Photojournalism, International Photography Awards, B&W Spider Awards, and National Portrait Gallery’s Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize.

He traveled to over 100 countries on all continents for his photographic projects, pursuing diverse subjects, with special focus on wildlife, sport, and social issues. In recent years, portraiture has become essential in his photography. Apart from magazine publications, his works appeared in several books, and were presented at individual exhibitions at museums and galleries worldwide. According to one survey, Tomasz Gudzowaty is the best known name in contemporary Polish photography.

In recognition of his achievements, Gudzowaty received high honors from the state and national organizations in Poland, including the Knight’s Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta, awarded by the President of Poland in 2000, the Award in Visual Arts from the Polish Society of Authors and Composers ZAIKS in 2012, and the Gold Olympic Laurel in Photography from the Polish Olympic Committee in 2013. He is the son of businessman and philanthropist Aleksander Gudzowaty. He is married to Melody Gudzowaty, who excelled in many beauty pageants – Miss Islas Baleares 2008 (winner), Reina Hispanoamericana 2009 (second runner up), Miss Dominican Republic International 2012 (winner), Miss International 2012 (third runner up) – and currently is working with him on a major art project named “Planets Alive”.