Csáki Róbert


The majority of people certainly imagines that a real studio is at the upper end of a spiral staircase, and, at a strait garret, there is a bearded painter, cap on his head, one hand holding a palette, a brush in the other hand, he is full of paint, and just going to die of hunger. In this case, only the spiral staircase and the garret are true. “ I do look like everyone on the street, using no palette, holding the brush in one hand, a rag in the other. And my little table for the paints has rolling legs, just for kicking it away if I paint a three-meter canvas.” This painting technique was applied during the Renaissance. He paints many subtle layers to each other; sometimes the paint is thick to show the pressure of the brush. Then he deletes back it with rag.

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“I went to the practice-teaching elementary school of the University. At the window, the children of wealthy families, being brought from the garden districts by car, at middle the super talented ones, at left and back we, of the near-district. It quickly turned out that I could draw everything. I wondered why the others did not see and know what I was able. I won the national drawing contest, so I was admitted to the Art and Craft High School. I was interested in nothing but the drawing, the waist-length hair, playing guitar and sport. At 16, everything changed, I settled down, being affected by the smell of the flax and the turpentine.

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“For a company jubilee event in Germany, recently graduated painters were invited from several countries. I was selected from Hungary. Unpacking my pictures, the general manager was disappointed. “What you brought is not politically correct. You will not sell any” – he said in 1993. I got a room, appended my pictures, and, hoping no sale, I gave a very high price. And I sat sullenly in a corner. “

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“Suddenly, the boss’s wife broke into with her guests. ‘What are these gremlins?’ – they screamed. I said wearily: ‘You can stroke them, they will not hurt you only if I’m here.‘ More than half of my pictures were sold.”

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What makes a good picture? How do we know that we found the right one? “If I get a shivering attack seeing it. Stepping in an exhibition room, I immediately feel it. It helps if we know that the artist put his best work on the front page of invitation. Or, what he does not want to sell. The expert collector is waiting for the main works, anyhow.”

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“I do not know in advance what subject I am going to paint. Before the frost, I found a sprig of fragrant roses in the garden. I put it in a glass of water. Then I noticed the merged, strange shadow of the transparent glass and the flower, illuminated by the infiltrating light. This light-and shadow sight generated a still life series. One picture leads to another.”

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“When I was young I dreamed a lot, having recurrent dreams. Walking in familiar landscapes, I knew which way to turn at the end of the street. I often dreamed of water and ships disappearing in mist. “

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“One night, loitering in the darkness, I passed in front of the mirror. As I saw my face in the dim light, I imagined the feeling if once you, almost in a daze, met your portrait. These heads here like fingerprints from afar.”

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The ‘black rococo puppets’ are connected to my adolescent experience. “ When I had to write an essay on the Rococo, I hit upon the paintings of Antoine Watteau. These were like tiny dollhouses, beautifully painted, but the figures, all dressed in frills reflected no easiness. When I got first into the Louvre, I could not find any picture of him, even after long wandering. Only when I went to the lavatory, I alighted on three small paintings of him by the door. I was shocked that they treat this great artist such a way. For me, to whom Jimi Hendrix means the life, it was a shocking realization. I have never met this grade of sadness.”



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