Adolf Zika Adolf Zika Photography
Adolf ZIKA - photographer, director, producer

Curriculum vitae

Adolf Zika was born in 1972 in the town of Prachatice. He graduated from the school of pedagogy and in 1988 became a member of the Center for Top Sports in Prague. He gained the title of Junior Champion of the country in judo, and was awarded a bronze medal in the European Junior Tournament in Vienna. In 1990, he traveled to Budo University of Katsura, Japan, where he underwent training under the best judo fighters in the world. After his return, he abruptly quit his judo career without any official explanation.

In the following years, Adolf Zika tried to catch up by learning everything about life which he had not learned from sports. He composed music, toured and organized various unique projects. In 1993, he was the guitarist for the hardcore band Serious Music. He wrote both music and lyrics.

In 1994, he began with photography overnight and a year later won first place in the most contended category of the Czech Press Photo – sports series. In 1996, he worked for German travel agencies in Cologne. Following this, the fashion label Pietro Filipi selected him as their central photographer. In the spring of 1997, Zika was able to open his own studio in Prague. He began shooting fashion and commercial photography, and his first large commissions for brands such as Hermès, Australian Bodycare and Speedo started to come in. He worked on fashion catalogs all over the globe, creating calendars and working on commissions in Australia, Barbados, Hawaii, the Dominican Republic and many other locations. He worked regularly for Playboy, where he photographed many of their covers. From 1997 to 1999 he led and created the image of the travel agency Fischer and its airline Fischer Air.

In 1999, he formed the film and production company ZIPO film.

In the fall of 2000, he was selected among six photographers of the world to represent the renowned brand Leica at Photokina in Cologne. He was then placed into the prestigious worldwide calendar of this brand, where his photographs were presented together with photographs by the Canadian rock star Bryan Adams.

He is the author of the largest printed project of the year 2000, which involved the cooperation of the best 120 photographers of the Czech Republic and four other countries. The result was the publication POSLEDNÍ KNIHA STOLETÍ, Jeden den v životě České republiky (THE LAST BOOK OF THE CENTURY, A Day in the Life of Czech Republic). A year later, Adolf Zika was placed into the book of personalities for Czech commercial and fashion photography.

Since 2001, he has directed over one hundred television commercials.

In the same year, he began his long-term cooperation with the mobile operator Orange. For Orange Slovakia, he created their entire re-branding campaign in South Africa. Between 2001 and 2005, Adolf Zika was the official photographer of the racing team Ferrari Menx, with whom he traveled throughout Europe.

In 2002, he placed among the bestselling Czech authors at Paris Photo in the Louvre, where he represented the Leica Gallery Prague. He also won a tender to be the photographer for commercial television station Nova, after which he created the photographic concept and creative promotional visuals for all its programs. A year later, he worked for the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs where he prepared the official book on the accession of the Czech Republic to the EU.

In 2003, he signed a contract with the publisher Presco Group for an annual calendar of his work to be distributed worldwide.

In June 2004, Adolf Zika was arrested under unclear circumstances, followed by a three-month detention. After a two-year process, he was cleared of all charges without explanation. In September of 2004, his photographs were once more on display at the world exhibition Photokina in Cologne, this time in the Olympus E-system Gallery. His photographs were later displayed at the exhibition Black and White Past and Present, organized as a part of Interkamera 2006, where there were three classic Czech photographers exhibited (Drtikol, Chochola and Sudek), along with three representatives of the current generation: Saudek, Vano and Zika.

In the summer of 2006, with support of the Hasselblad and Leica companies, he took photographs for his planned publication 6 DAYS AND 24 HOURS OF LE MANS, a non-traditional conception of the most famous automobile race in the world. He yet again dedicated himself to the world of fast cars in 2006 and 2007, while working on the project A1GP Season 2006/07. The result of which is an extensive photographic publication, capturing the dramatic moments of the A1GP season as well as a peek behind the scenes of every race.

In October 2006, Adolf Zika released a narrative and luxuriously adjusted black-and-white and in part retrospective book of photography LUXURIOUS LUMINISCENCE, published by the Presco Group.

In the year 2007, Adolf Zika as the screenwriter and director, completed a feature documentary film about the world renowned photographer Jan Saudek, titled JAN SAUDEK - V PEKLE SVÝCH VÁŠNÍ, RÁJ V NEDOHLEDNU (JAN SAUDEK - TRAPPED BY HIS PASSIONS, NO HOPE FOR RESCUE). The film was completed as a Czech-American co-production. A year later, the film won the Glass Eye Award for the Best Documentary Film at the EuroFest film festival in Montreal, Canada. Other successes: Selection - Seoul International Film Festival (South Korea), Krakow Film Festival (Poland), Rhode Island International Film Festival (USA), European Film Festival London (UK), Competition: Moving Image Film Festival Toronto (Canada).

In the following year, Adolf Zika made a feature documentary film about the most famous automobile race in the world, the 24 Hours of Le Mans, entitled LE MANS PHENOMENON, which was picked in the Official Selection of the ‘Sport Movies & TV 2010 – 28th Milano International FICTS Festival’.

In 2009, ONE YEAR OF MY LIFE in 3285 Pictures by Adolf Zika in Co-operation with Leica was published, a worldwide unique photography project, which illustrates one year of the ordinary as well as extraordinary life of Adolf Zika in nine photographs a day. Based on the main idea of this book, in the same year he founded the web project WEEK OF LIFE, a unique documentary project, which aims to create the largest photo library of humanity. Photographers from more than 50 countries all over the world have taken part in the project, which has become a part of the Czech cultural heritage.

In the same year, Adolf Zika together with his life-long friend, sculptor Petr Schele alias musician Petr Brant, made a record called DESET LET IN SUDU (Ten Years in the Barrel), a music collection for a forthcoming feature film based on a real event and also written by Adolf Zika.

In 2010, he once again sat in the director’s chair and directed the short documentary film TICHÁ VÁŠEŇ (SILENT PASSION).

In October 2010, a long-awaited book named VE STÍNU SVĚTLA (IN THE SHADOW OF LIGHT) was published. It consists not only of black and white nudes, but also contains raw portraits of personalities or images of landscape where time ceases to exist. In any case, nude artistic photography dominates and forms the main body of this remarkable publication.

In February 2012, Adolfa Zika was awarded the prestigious METRO Zlatá pecka 2011 award for the TV spot “Anthem”, which he directed and created for Mountfield a.s.

The Le Mans Phenomenon was selected among the best sports documents at the World FICTS Challenge - Sport movies & TV, a series of 14 festivals in 5 continents.

Later that year, he directed a feature documentary film, composed of collected footage sent by citizens of the Czech Republic, named ZEMĚ ČESKÁ, DOMOV TVŮJ! (THE CZECH LAND, YOUR HOME!), which he created in co-production with Czech TV. He invited Alois Fišárek, a legend among film editors, to join the team, starting a long-term collaboration with him.

In 2013, Adolf Zika started working on famous calendars for Stock – often referred to as the Czech Pirelli –, creating two consecutive calendars.

In 2014, after three successful documentaries and seven years of script writing, Adolf Zika decided to make his first feature film, BURÁCENÍ (RUMBLING) with Tomáš Hajíček and Vica Kerekes in the lead roles. In 2015, the film won the major award for the best feature film at the International Motorcycle Film Festival in New York.

In 2016, after the triumph of the Czech champion at the Olympic Games, Adolf Zika in 21 days transformed an extraordinary story of an ordinary guy from Jihlava into the feature documentary ZLATÝ MUŽ Z RIA ANEB „JEMNÁ CESTA“ LUKÁŠE KRPÁLKA (THE GOLDEN MAN FROM RIO OR THE “SUBTLE WAY” OF LUKÁŠ KRPÁLEK).

In 2017, the first part of the portrait photography book CHARISMA was published, capturing exceptional personalities and inner charm of both Czech and foreign cultural and public figures. Zika’s selection includes Miloš Forman, Johnny Depp, Danny Trejo, Mika Häkkinen, Boris Becker, Emerson Fittipaldi and many others.

In 2018, he finished his sixth film ROBERT VANO – PŘÍBĚH ČLOVĚKA (ROBERT VANO – THE STORY OF A MAN), which was selected by American critics for the international film festival ArtFest Košice, Variety Select section.

On his journeys for unique photographs, Adolf Zika has travelled to over 50 different countries all over the world.