White modeling luxury
13th December 2018 | The drawing board
Istvan is a Budapest-based artist and a practicing architect/designer, who graduated from MOME University of Art and Design Hungary. Having spent several years creating a body of paintings and photographic works, Istvan set up his own atelier. He is based at our G.A Design Budapest office.
We spoke to Istvan ahead of his solo exhibition at the OTP Bank Gallery to discuss method, style and influence.
There is a vibrancy and fullness to your work – many of your landscapes have an abundance of flowers. Even the ‘Winter’ landscapes are in full bloom, whilst fruit retains its leaves, and fallen petals retain their colour. Is the presence of life important in your paintings?
Definitely! My artworks transmit the desire, the hope, the vitality, the value, the colours of life, as a kind of therapy even in “hard, winter times”.
My paintings depict symbolic landscapes, that I express intuitively, via emblematic, fundamental and even banal elements (e.g.: fruit, flower, light, colours etc). Often, the elements are inserted into the timeless space with a sensitive touch of flow.
Your work is influenced by traditional Japanese art. What is it about that style that interests you?
In general, I feel close to the essence of Japanese art and culture. I am especially fond of their sophisticated sense of (fleeting) beauty, the congenial admiration of visual joy and delicate features, which are somehow natural in their everyday life and culture on many levels!
Tell us about your process? How do you create your paintings?
That is the very hectic part. If I have time, energy and inspiration, I work many pieces in parallel! However sometimes I am out of working process for weeks or months, or rarely even years! Then something happens inside and instinctively I start to think, research and work on it again!
How has working in architecture and design informed your art practice?
I consider them as the different “ingredients” of the artistic value. I suppose, they have the same roots and the same importance, as they can form together the space we live in, on a higher level of quality. They are just the different part of the menu. It is a matter of taste and situation, which one you would like to emphasize to feed your soul.
You have worked in painting and photography – are there any other mediums that you are keen to explore?
Of course! I occasionally write haikus or short poems, and I really have the desire to make sculptures. I suppose, there is no limit to which way I would like to express myself.
Having taken part in several exhibitions and set up your own atelier, what advice do you have for other people who may want to create art alongside their day job?
Just do it, if you have something inside. Do not doubt – it is a waste of time, and I know it because I do it often! To improve, it is important to take it seriously although making industry connections is of equal importance.
Finally, if you could have any painting in the world to hang on your wall, which one would you choose? And why?
There are thousands of artworks I would take home, and not only paintings! For example, currently I am keen on the metallic balloon sculptures by Jeff Koons, or the Mariposas sculptures by Manolo Valdés, alongside some work by Matisse, Klimt, Monet, Hiroshige etc.
Istvan is currently exhibiting at the OTP Bank Gallery in Budapest. The exhibition runs until 04th January 2019.