Friday, September 16, 2011

Painter & sculptor Andras Toth´s works mine the mystic world of Nature

Andras Toth
"Fall" by Andras Toth, chalk 70 x 100cm 

“Magic men are not subject to the gods.”Andras Toth (July 2011)

Andras Toth wore a sharply sculpted Roman face armed with bright, intelligent eyes.

He stood quietly, alone, in the dimly lit, cavernous entry hall inside the Museum of Fine Arts at Heroes’ Square adjacent City Park Lake in Budapest, site of this summer´s Art on Lake contemporary sculpture show.

I was pacing slowly about three meters from him, waiting for art historian Edina Deme to provide me a concentrated curatorial back story on the Hungarian avant-garde exhibition, The Eight, which ended on 12 September.

Still life by Andras Toth, oil on canvas, 50 x 70 cm Image courtesy of the artist

I often say I run into artists “accidentally on purpose.” 

When I practiced law, I could pick lawyers out of the crowd at great distance on busy streets. 

I am into art now, not law, and I was drawn to this young man as both of us appeared immersed in the state of waiting.

"Amsterdam Mirror" by Andras Toth, graphite 50 x 90 cm  

“Are you an artist?” I asked without hesitation.

Andras confessed. He is an artist.

He´s a painter and sculptor (also a poet), age 27, with two years’ study behind him at the Stuttgart State Academy of Art and Design in Germany.

"Samsara" glass painting, 50 x 60 cm by Andras Toth Image courtesy of the artist
He said he is unable to return this month, although eligible, because he cannot afford the 1,000-Euro annual tuition plus living expenses.

That will not stop him.

“In Hungary I will take lessons to perfect myself,” he said. 

"Three Nympths"  by Andras Toth, oil on canvas 90 x 140 cm Image courtesy of the artist

About a week before this interview, I ran into Andras, dressed up in his docent-museum guard uniform watching over the Dutch salon with pictures from the Rembrandt School adorning the walls.

It was an extremely hot and humid day.

To keep the Rembrandts well preserved, this is the only air conditioned salon in the museum I experienced in six hours at the museum that day.

There we set up an interview at a cafe in the 7th District in Budapest.

"New York" by Andras Toth, acrylic 160 x 200 cm Image courtesy of the artist

“I am still finding my artistic personality,” he told me, a good friend acting as translator.

Like many talented and aspiring new or pre-emerging artists, Andras rarely makes much money selling his works. “I cannot make a living with art,” he said.

"Sleeping Godess" by Andras Toth, marble Image courtesy of the artist

“I don´t want fame or money,” he said. “I like to show people beauty and wisdom through my pictures.”

Often the artist finds his hands moving by some mystic force, something beyond the realm of his own understanding, something so powerful, he said, that on those particular works, which amount to about 60 percent of them, he simply doesn´t sign the work.

"Shining the Light", drawing by Andras Toth Image courtesy of the artist

They belong to another force or power. They are part of the “magic” of his creative process.

Yet Andras has attracted attention, part of the emerging process. (To emerge, according to my dictionary, means to get noticed.)

He appears well on the way, one show at a time.

Andras has already mounted six solo shows, two in France near Nice, one in Szentendre, the potboiler of Hungarian avant-garde and contemporary art talent for more than a century.

"When I returned home (from Germany), Kiss Janós, a great hungarian artsist, became my master. He is the apprentice of Szőnyi István and Barcsay Jenő. 

"My intention is to follow their tradition," Andras said.

Andras Toth--Artist´s Statement

"The basis of my work are the law-giver myths of the old world, which designated man’s place in the universe and showed him how to live in harmony with nature, environment and with himself.

"I believe that the reality we perceive through our senses and define in our everyday life is not the only one. The truth of the myths is deeper than that.

"In the ancient depictions, man appears not as weak creature at the mercy of the natural elements, of the changing seasons and of old-age and death, but as a silhouette which embodies the manly and the divine.

"During the act of creation the soul breaks free from it’s chains and flies to unknown worlds to bring back things which can be made visible with the help of some elements of the known world.  

"I do not wish to simply copy the reality.

"My goal is to create like nature, which does not repeat itself. Nature tends to keep everything in balance which is always formed by the interaction of two opposite forces.

"On a still picture this tension is provided by the alignment of positive and negative forms, by emphatic and non-emphatic elements."

"Samara Etching" by Andras Toth, 50 x 70 cm Image courtesy of the artist

Rock on and practice peace and love.
Stefan, the ArtTraveler ™

ArtTraveler notes:

After living at the Hotel Queen Mary in Budapest (3.5 stars), I heartily recommend it: old on the outside, otherwise totally modern (23 rooms); 

The owner and staff are affable and speak English and German. Tel: 0036-1-413-3510;;

Check out a sculpture or mosaics workshop or walking tour in our beautiful mountains. 

"Walking the Walk," near Canillas de Albaida, Andalusia Photograph by Stefan van Drake (2007)
Contact me at or by calling (34) 951 067 703; from the UK at BT landline rates, 0844 774 8349.

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