When deleting history is more important than making it.
That was how I planned to start the new update, but then I realized there are other things on my mind. I have this collection of painted stories on small 25x35 board panels, and I would like to share this one, about how the artist became an artist.
For most artists, the panel is a small one, but not for Miklos. It is like this: You have rings, with a little stone or piece of glass. Usually, there is a little hole in the back of the ring. He takes a little scratching pen and scratches your portrait in the glass. If you stick around long enough, you will recognize it, and you can buy it. “So,” he says, “on this enormous panel, I can paint my complete life story.” And he did. It is called “Storm in a land of Fire,” and it is about the talents and anti-talents. You know what talents are, don’t you? People who have nothing and can make something out of that. And anti-talents are people who do not like those people.
“How do artists start to paint? They started just like everybody, as kids: You take a pencil and start scratching. I loved that. Later, others tried to draw trees, houses, or the sun, but I did not do this. I took three pencils of different colors and continued scratching. You get lovely structures. My mother didn’t like it, because I painted the table and the walls and so on. Once, I made the gate for the annual village celebration. With my father, we made these boxes together, and I took three brushes with three colours. That was great. Anyway, by then, some of my friends found work and others got girlfriends, and they thought I was still scratching like a child. That is how, slowly, I became the fool of the village. Nobody wants to be the fool of the village, so as soon as possible, I left my village and went to the city, to Budapest, to the academy of fine arts.
“At the end of the year, there was a holiday, and I went back to the village to see my parents, but before I had fully entered the village, I met some people who immediately shouted, ‘The fool of the village is back in town! Let’s have a beer!!!’ I hated this. So, I went inside to see my parents and left on the first bus the next day – away from this village. But – it was 1986, 1987 – luck was finally on my side. Times were changing in Eastern Europe. The Iron Curtain still existed, but it was opening slowly. The Hungarian government, the Department of Arts in particular, wanted young Hungarian artists to show themselves in Western Europe. So, by the end of the year, not only did I get my diploma, but also an exit visa, which was required at that time to leave the country. I could go anywhere!!!
“Some of my friends went to party in Amsterdam or London, right away. But I did not do this. I prepared well and after several month, I had my first exhibition in Stockholm – with my little jewelry and paintings. That was pretty good, and I sold well, and within a year, I went to Denmark and to Hamburg and Berlin. I was working as I wanted and doing what I had studied for. Nothing unusual, actually. A musician or artist should not stay at home. Then, one day, I came back to my village, and the people did not talk about the fool of the village anymore but said, to the people in other villages: ‘See, this is our internationally recognized artist. He is ours. He’s from this village.”
“And in this way,” the artist said, “I finally overcame with my talents the anti-talents in my society. And I hope every artist succeeds in this. It is good for the art. It is good for the artist. And it is good for society.”