I was born in 1953 in Kiskunfélegyháza. My demiurge led me to the fine arts by the nose. As a small child I happened to get to the László Holló circle of Félegyháza where the smell of linseed oil and turpentine enthralled me. My fate was decided. • In 1983 I graduated from College where I had specialised in reproductive graphics. Since than, up until 2018, I had been teaching there figure drawing, classic techniques, and – to my best intentions – some human and artists’ ethics. A correction is like a situation exercise: we face every new work, in each of its phases, of every student as a task to be tackled. If you have an aversion to it, that, too, has to be put into words and explained in a convincing way. It was a nice work, and I feel it important. To draw a man is a process of getting acquainted with ourselves. To understand and reproduce body langauge on paper is an exciting challenge. Drawing is an elemental, archaic form of self-expression, and I tried in the course of studies to lead my students back to the joy of the drawing child. (This, of course, can only be a kind of approximation. The sensations of a child discovering their world cannot be experienced once more in the same way.) The achievements and loyalty of my old pupils give me strength. • Now I would proceed to my own art. This, of course, I consider a rather indecent business, my only comfort being that art, itself, too, is a double play of hiding and self-revealing. • From the beginning I have been passionately interested in the human figure. I envy those who animate objects, landscapes or abstract elements of form, but I do not belong to them. What I am interested in is the movements of the figure. The open arches of movement speak of freedom and sometimes of the timeless bliss of ecstatic, rapturous moments; inarticulate gestures of the doomed experiments responding to unanswearable questions with a storm of arms flung about; and sometimes an aphatetic figure, sunk into himself, of a game given up for the time being. • What is simbolic in my works refers to well-known images, worked to a finish, because I wish to offer a handhold to spectators (so to say, to hold all those who understand me in an embrace – ugh). • Some motifs, I might say, have stuck to me, but I do not aim at building private mythologies. From among my favourite motifs the TV Teddy bear[*]and the ice cream later became much more well-known in the works of others than in mine, but I don’t think this is an important issue. • I have a special fondness for some of my contemporaries, like David Hockney, Lucien Freud or Horst Jansen. For an artist, however, the whole history of art is inspiration, parable, a treasure-trove of ideas, a goldmine. My crazy drummers, for example, desrespectfully beat Hollósy; his Rákóczy March is one of my favourite pictures. Art historians keep on repeating mindlessly that it is a failure, an unfinished, miscarried experiment. • Taking trouble with the seemingly out-of-date also has its attractions for me. This is why I organised a collective exhibition in Sopron under the title Idyll. Surely, publicity has robbed the arts of this category. I was intrigued whether we could still have success in this given up field. • In my college days I made allegoric compositions with the covert intention of getting across political messages. The allegory as packing was so successful that at an end-term exhibition it was my work that Comrade Aczél** liked most. This almost gave me a breakdown. • Crestfallen, I decided to stop creating messages. I narrowed down my field of play and simplified my compositions to one or two figures. • More than once my works have been criticised for being “literary”. In my opinion they are theatrical rather than literary (but whether it is much better, I don’t know). • Motion theater and ballet are of kin to my art. I hold them, in other respects, too, the fields where the most exciting endeavours of our days are in motion. From there the Word which has become a whore, discredited verbalism, is left out. • The grotesque I don’t like because it degrades the stakes, presents life as the petty game of petty protagonists, sometimes from the outsider’s position: here you are, that’s how miserable you are, your battle is that of mice and frogs. – Still, my works are, to some extent, grotesque. • I do not like the kind of expressivity that flings the figure down so violently that you can hear it groan. Such artists are too manifest macho men to my taste. The art of gestures, too, has its macho men. They expect female spectators to gaze with undulating bosom at the gestures of the rugged male. • As it has come to light from what I wrote above about the grotesque, I am intrigued by human dignity. The dignity of man is a fragile little thing compared to the juggernauts that are dead set against it. • I do not want to moralise in my works; I have no moral messages. There are no messages in them, but, I hope, there is a moral content. Namely, without it we can only speak of decorative painting or graphics.
* A toy figure that has for decades demonstrated on Hungarian television for children how to wash your teeth then sit down to watch your bedside story before going to sleep.
** György Aczél was minister for cultural affairs during the state socialist regime in Hungary.