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Author: Brigitta Ádi
We have been able to see your work at numerous Biennials, in addition to solo and group exhibitions, your works were also awarded numerous prizes. There is a long list besides the Munkácsy Mihály Award and the Arany Rajzszög Lifetime Achievement Prize. How does such a successful career begin?
Awareness is coupled with luck. There is always a sense of consciousness in it, a creative intent. But you also need a high degree of luck to get people to understand, accept, and appreciate your work. Perhaps the only secret is that you always have to work a little against trends. In the last line of Antonioni’s film Zabriskie Point, there’s a scene that somehow sounds like: try to play against the rhythm. If someone doesn’t follow the current trend and also creates good and interesting pieces, he may find himself with an audience that is receptive to his work.
Has it ever occurred to you to move in a different direction?
I never planned to go in other directions. There are gateways between graphic design and image graphics and other areas of Grand art. I formulate things in a more nuanced way than is usual in advertising graphics. That is not necessarily an intention, but rather ability.
You work in countless genres. Your creations range from logo design to illustration of narrative poems. Which genre allows the more nuanced approach you mentioned?
With common sense, I would say that the areas which are close to the illustration, but in the case of a sufficiently sensitive receiving medium, each area allows it. It is an opportunity that depends on the intellectual quality and sensitivity of the receiving medium and stems from the subtlety and complex system and relations of the messages. Of course, a bit of luck and advanced culture of discussion is needed too: so that the person does not jump up offended, but can lead his idea nicely from thought to thought to the customer.
Bauhaus 100 No 2
Your work is very meticulous, the closer I look, the more detail I can discover. Can you tell us a little bit about how you used to work? In what environment, under what conditions do you create?
It is very important to me to keep the environment comfortable and harmonious, to be surrounded by silence and undisturbed peace. I completely turn off the outside world. I usually listen to the same music of Leonard Cohen, and to my delight, I weave the webs like a spider. I make lace-like stories that are densely woven, and I love to magnify them because I love the little details. The process itself is more enjoyable for me than the finished work.
Are there genres in which you prefer to create?
I love all areas equally... which are perhaps a little further away from me are areas that are direct and hard-worded and require a lot of rationality, such as consistent corporate identity design or industrial design. I respect them very much, but that is a bit far from me. I will do it if necessary. But some great colleagues build system designs in a very logical and beautiful way.
What are the main aspects that play a role in the execution of your work?
Technical virtuosity is very important, the technical virtuosity inherent in execution. Perfectionism is a key issue, as it is when design becomes materially visible. I look for places with the most complex and sophisticated technical possibilities where my designs can be produced in a virtuoso way. I am also looking for carrier materials on which my work can appear with sufficient accuracy and detail.
In Memoriam Körösényi Tamás No3
As I mentioned, you have received countless awards in recent years. Is there one that was decisive and/or surprising to you?
Perhaps the very first award was a cornerstone when I received the Presidential Award from the Japan Design Association. That was a surprise award. Of course, the other prizes came as a surprise too. Not all awards can be won, but it always feels good to be valued for my work. Very different designs are also rewarded within the same competition because there are parallel truths. Not just one answer to a task can be optimally good.
In addition to your work as a designer, you are also a lecturer at the University of Fine Arts. In addition to your work as a designer, you are also a lecturer at the Hungarian University of Fine Arts. What was it like to start teaching? How does it affect you?
Hard. Teachers do not have to force their ideas on students, but to try to lure genius out of them, and that takes patience. Even students with an uncertain motivation will find their own voice after three to four years. I believe that each student is individual, unique. All students should be treated with respect. And in terms of repercussions, I can say that through education can gain new impulses and motivation.
Fluctuat nec mergitur No2
In Memoriam Paul Klee No.1
Your work recently appeared at a group exhibition in the Műcsarnok, and now you are preparing for your solo exhibition. How did the coronavirus period affect you? What topics are you currently working on?
I was not personally affected by the confinement caused by the coronavirus. Since I could not move out, I had a lot of time to deal with what I really like. It was a comfortable and beautiful period in the sense that it was possible to be at rest. I like to discover the good in everything. I tidied everything around me, I tidied up the garden, for example. As I mentioned, I like to work in a peaceful, quiet environment. In this exhibition, there will also be older and newer works. The leading theme of recent creations is time. I deal with the built environment in parallel with time as a new element. One of the most beautiful concepts is uneventful time.
Hora sine tempore No.111
In addition to the Ampersand International Graphic Competition, in this year visitors will also have the opportunity to see Tamás Felsmann's solo exhibition, which will be on view at the Lívia Villa in October.