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Interview with Szilard Barta

Szilard Barta

Hungary, Debrecen


Self-educated artist

Main Theme:

Main Art Subject:
Painted Objects

Inspired by:
Nature and tense between materials and surface

Favourite artists:
Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, from contemporary – Alberto Burri, Roberto Crippa, Edmondo Bacci, Ferruccio Bortoluzzi, Agustino Bonalumi, Hisao Domoto

2012 Budapest Dunapart Gallery
2018 Buják
2019. Debrecen city / Life Science Open Gallery

2018 Young Generation Art Fair, Goldberger Institute of Contemporary Art

Szilard Barta for BeArte Gallery
Szilard Barta for BeArte Gallery

The intention is to have as little space as possible, with minimal and physical tension, to create the space for encounters and the unlimited flow of thoughts. Material and object art is a visual system in which the passion of scattering extends honestly and vividly to the barriers of the two-dimensional plane and communicates with what is around it.

 / Szilard Barta

Beata Piechocka: What is your main activity? Are you a fulltime artist?

Barta Silard:  Being a fulltime artist is the beginning of my goal. But at present, I work as an alpinist. I settle internet aerials powered by microwaves on radio towers.

BP: You have surprised me. The alpinism is associated with a very masculine and dangerous occupation. How did it happen that you have decided to become an artist?

BSZ:  It wasn’t a decision, it was an inner motivation. Art, as a tool of self-expression, was determined in my life earlier as well. The demand for presenting myself and my creations before a bigger audience appeared after a call for an exhibition of my early works. I wanted to show them and others wanted them to be shown.

BP: In your biography, you have written: “I’m looking for challenging boundaries in my creations. The intention is to have as little space as possible, with minimal and physical tension, to create the space for encounters and the unlimited flow of thoughts.” What have exactly you meant?”

BSZ: The aim of my „searching” is to create that origo, where the materials I have used, the surface I have made, and the observer’s attention reach the maximum concentration. Hence, the arising visual tension, in spite of the static presentation, induces energetic moments and thoughts, in this way repressing that cliche which follows every regularity. Thus it leaves room for intuitive feelings, thoughts and impacts. So it operates in space and time simultaneously without barriers.

BP: Why do you choose Painted Object as your main subject, is it because in that kind of art you can show this tension between two different materials you mentioned?

BSZ:  It wasn’t a conscious decision. It was some kind of a sense of loss which made my art to step on this way during the creation. And what I wanted to show overran the sterile „painting palette and frame’. The process of creating is an integral part of the work itself, that’s why I opened up to the approach, that the surroundings aren’t sterile, but it has to link integrally to the work – in many forms. By now, the effects of my creating environment and the attributes of the materials I use, not only means a built-in part but form the result itself.

BP: Can you also explain what exactly is the Painted Object? For me, it is an object between painting and reliefs; I also call it 3D painting. What is your definition?

BSZ: Well… maybe the best phrasing is, that full assimilation of an object, while all of its attributes are preserved in order to gain a new interpretation, thus making it whole.

BPIn principle, it’s difficult to describe your art in two words. Not only that the paintings themselves can be defined as reliefs or Painted Objects, but your art can also be defined as Recycled Art. What kind of materials do you use to create your art?

BSZ:  The materials which can be found in my environment. For the frames and bearers, I use used roofing and floorboard, the bark is always the bark of a fallen tree. I never use the bark of a living tree. Cotton, few nails, sometimes steel wire and rope. The paints are industrial oil paints, industrial glue and ground coat. Sometimes, broken slate and sand, too. Furthermore, which is blown by the wind or the sun burns into the picture during the creation.

U Series V. Flux
U Series V. Flux
Sz.Barta. U Series IX. Black Synchron
Sz.Barta. U Series IX. Black Synchron
Sz.Barta.U Series III. Yellow Synchronous
Sz.Barta.U Series III. Yellow Synchronous

BP: Is the connection with Recycled Art conscious, or did you join this ecological trend by “accident”?

BSZ:  It is an absolutely random connection. I only used what was available, thus it wasn’t a directive.

BP: But you mainly use “natural” materials. Maybe because you are alpinist and you are understanding the power of nature. So what do you think of that Eco-trend in art? Is it art or is it a craft with a noble idea?

BSZ:  I consider it the art of full value. When natural materials are used (despite appearances), it isn’t easy to be conscious and creative during the creating process. I think, its successfulness can be measured by „the more natural the better”.

BP: How are your objects created? Do you have an idea first and then you choose proper materials for it or is the opposite – the material defines the idea, composition, and result?

BSZ:  Yes, the material defines the idea, the combination, and the result. The bark is always the first. After the preparation, the size of the frame can be defined, the demanded beares, the lashing points, and the order. There are no plans for the creations, maybe I make sketches during the work, but only to define the lashing points and the amount of substance. The result can be seen only at the end of the process even for me

BP: Can you describe, step by step, the process of creating a Painted Object?

BSZ: After the studying of the found bark, I clean it, then polish it, it usually takes 2 or 3 days. Then I prepare the slats for the frame and match them. The next step is to form the bearers of the extruded surface – it takes 2 to 4 days again -, then to cut, polish and fix them. It is followed by stretching, forming, and temporary fixing of the canvas (1-2 weeks). That is the step when the bark meets the canvas and I fix them permanently. Then I form the connection of the canvas and the bark and stretch the canvas. It is followed by the proper foundation – 2-3 layers of ground base -, and painting in 2-3 layers again. Briefly, this is the procedure, but the time of the work is defined by the surface, and it is rather longer than shorter.

BP. I see it as a very hard work, where each step is logically thought through. So let’s talk a little about the colours. You use mainly primary colours. It seems the colour is not an essential part of the artwork.  Is it because you want to direct a viewer to the main subject – the tensions between two different materials? Would I be right by saying that colour is the background on which the main scene appears?

BSZ:  Actually, yes. The primary aim of the colour is to psych the observer up to the surface of the work. It is important, because this is the first thing the audience recognizes, and it dictates the focus on the main scene. After that, as visual background noise, it gives some kind of background music to the thoughts and the topic, story of the most important part, and defines the colour of the shadows generated by the lights.  To avoid giving over annoying information, I only use 1 or 2 colours, but I usually make monochrome works.

Read article about Recycled Art

Recycled Art
U Series X. Contact Point 78,5x84,5x15 Mixed Media On Extruded Canvas 2019. 2
U Series X. Contact Point
U Series IV. Resonant
U Series IV. Resonant
U series VII. Harmony
U series VII. Harmony

BP.: You create paintings in series, e.g. “U series”. There is also the “Female series”, which is very suggestive and provocative. Can you tell a bit about the idea of this series?

BSZ:  Representation of women is always a thankful topic. With my woman series, I wanted a new, directly minimalist approach about women, as a complex surface. I wanted it to be sensual, expressive, defining, and typical. That’s why I chose the triple play of leather, wood, and extruded canvas. I divided into five cycles the important life stages of women. The sensuality of the leather with the playfulness of the veins of the wood and the movement and colour of the extruded canvas. The visibility of the sex features is only presented to a required extent. I think it is expressive and fortunately, others think the same. One of the interesting things about it, that I had only a few materials during the procedure, thus I used a lot of things to make it – sewing by hand, paper strips and others.

BP: The painting from U series as e.g. “U series VIII. Feedback” seem to be very natural and “friendly” on the first glance, but object “U series VI. Infinity” is very industrial, modern and „cold”. What did you want to show with those artworks which belong to the same series, but differ so much with their impression?

BSZ:  The U series is about the connection between the natural and the artificial world. The presented materials almost become touchable. The evolved surface makes an impact on the observer, intruding in the space it cuts the annoying outer sources, thus allowing the audience to feel their own thoughts and help them to connect directly. The diversification of the U series shows that openness leads to the infinite possibility to connect to our environment and cooperate with it, which can enable us to create a better and higher world for ourselves. In this artworks, time and space melt into one picture, and while I was connecting to the forming of the surface during the creative process, now the observer can connect to it and to the creating forces, thus a connection is made which defines as a continuum.

BP: What do you consider as the destiny/purpose for Painted Objects in the ordinary home? Some people think that art is only for public spaces. Can you encourage and suggest to the potential buyers how they can present your works in their homes?

BSZ:  Well, I haven’t met this aspect so far, but in this case, we look at these works as if we bring little public spaces into our homes, were either alone, or in a company, we can connect to them and share them with each other.

BP: What do you want to tell the world with your art?

BSZ:  I don’t like explaining, since my works speak for themselves, and affect everybody, but they emphasize the importance of the actuality, significance and understanding of relationships, with our environment, ourselves and others as well. I only hope that I can manage to form something in the audience with these works.

BP: I am fully respecting your point of view. At the end of the interview, I always ask the artist about their artistic plans. What is the plan for Szilard Barta and where will the future bring him? What is he dreaming about?

BSZ:  I rely on my success, of course. The future is here, in every minute, thus I do everything I can. More intuitive, more openness, reaching and presenting the limits of the materials. It is my artistic ambition, which –  hope – can be shown before the world and will generate new cooperations, and will create a change, new artist groups, communities, and greater artworks.

BP. I must say, that it is not so often to find an artist who has such a deep and analytical approach to his/her art. I am impressed by how each stage of your work is logical and justified. I wish you, on behalf of myself and the entire BeArte team, to fulfill all your plans.

Thank you for very much for your time.

Sz.Barta. U Series VIII.Feedback
Sz.Barta. U Series VIII.Feedback
U Series. Infinity
U Series. Infinity

About the Author:

I am a co-owner of BeArte Gallery, art marketspace based in Denmark. I have an art education and I paint myself. I am also a part-time paint teacher for artists amateurs. Communing with art and contact with the artists is what moves me in life. Without art, my life would be devoid of emotions, higher meanings. I believe that thanks to Art, each of us has a chance to touch an absolute.

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