Peter “Erzvo” Zvonar: Picture Perfect
By Chris Astrala


Mapplethorpe, Bianchi, Hamrick, over the years we have seen many great male erotic photographers. All having their own style, their own concepts and ideas. But what is it that really drives these talented people? What makes them choose to do male photography, or male erotic photography? Peter Zvonar stands out by the quality of his work. Peter grew up and lives in Slovakia, and it is here where he found his first inspiration to become an artist. His art is a reflection of his own personality; especially when it comes to male physique. Peter Zvonar wants us to know what drives him and gives us his insight to the world of his art.

What is your background?

I come from the Slovak Republic, the heart of Europe. I had studied Fine Arts, to be more specific – The Restoration of art works. I studied Photography for two years but originally it wasn’t my plan to pursue this path at all. I wanted to paint and write. For a while, I have taught art at a school, where I taught young children Fine Arts. Later, for quite a long time my journey had taken a turn away from the art so that I would find myself again, who I am.

How did you get started in Photography?

It was my father who got me into Photography. He photographed using the classical old fashioned film and I helped him to induce photos in a dark room. To the photography however, I returned by detour route. First, it was graphic design and then photos design for international photo-banks such as Getty Images. I started photographing people about two years ago. I saw photographs by Annie Leibovitz and I was very impressed by her work. I love people, I like listening to their stories, and I try to understand why they do what they do, why and for what reason are they the way they are, why they find themselves in a certain situation with a problem. I don’t try to condemn anyone nor judge him or her. I wanted to create either; my own stories and capture them in photos where, the main character would be me, or to photograph stories of other people – staged photo with a story, or a simple portrait that lets you in on the personality essentials. Annie Leibovitz has greatly inspired me.

What are your favorite subjects and why?

My favorite subject would be a man, probably because I am gay. I like well-shaped male body. I do not photograph ordinary men although of course, I have to earn my living and so, I take normal bookings. But when I choose a man for a project, he must have charisma; just a good body is not good enough. The person must radiate something. It is the same for women who are subjects in my projects.

What do you think makes you different from other photographers?

Before the photo-shoot I try to get to know the person, have a conversation with them. One of my models, with whom for some time we engaged in the same project and I believe that in the future we will work together again, once said: “Some of the art photos need a special sparkling between the model and the photographer. If this works, then you can talk about the best pictures. But you can never rely on it. Peter Zvonar sympathizes with his photos and his model, there are no routine situations and stereotypes that he would be repeating with everybody, but he surely is trying to get one´s best.”

What inspires you?

Unequivocally the human being. I have so many ideas and visions. I have a dream and when I wake up the image is already permanently printed in my mind and I try to recreate it in a photograph. Such as my latest project with an angel theme. It was about the idea that people often seek help elsewhere, waiting for their angel, but the angel is still with them. And also emotions inspire me, negative or positive. That to me it’s like my diary. At that time, I mostly take pictures of myself and I try to put my feelings into the photograph.

If you weren’t a photographer what would you be?

I studied art therefore an artist. I also do graphics, even for foreign companies. I am very communicative and organizational type and so I will be fine doing whatever.

I know you have many exhibitions thorough out Europe, are you planning on bringing your work to America any time soon?

Yes, I am preparing an exhibition in Bratislava, the capital of Slovak Republic, then certainly it will be in Prague. I am preparing my own large-size book full of photographs and I am already in contact with one American publisher. The concept of the book and the exhibition is ready, it only needs a few touch-ups and I need to find sponsors in Slovakia. It is not easy but when I put my mind and soul into something, I always achieve it. This year is exceptional for me, both in my work, because I have made a big step forward thanks to many people around me, and then also in my personal life where I got to know a great man with whom we took many interesting photographs and I believe that one day we will once again return to this production.

To reach Peter Zvonar and to see his complete portfolio visit