Ever wonder why the cover photo on my blog and FB page is a tropical scene, rather than a Budapest skyline? Today I bring you the answer.
It’s a painting by Krisztián Sándor, part of a larger painting entitled African Town. His paintings are bold and bright, and his black and white work was so inviting, somehow, that I chose it for the border of my blog. But it’s worth taking a closer look. The black and white painting is called Tsunami, and portrays the havoc nature can wreak. It is a jumble of material things – the people are missing. In my mind, they’re not just missing because they were victims – the work reminds the viewer how much stuff we have, and makes us rethink its significance.
Sándor’s work often seems simple at first glance, especially since his style is what’s usually called “naïve.”
“My themes are deceptive – they aren’t about recalling sporting events or exotic travels at all,” says Sándor. “Themes such as racism, stereotypes and social criticism are hidden behind a popular motif. For the unsuspecting viewer, this only becomes apparent after he or she faces his or her own preconceptions.”
In Jay and Malcolm Are Waiting in the Car, two black guys are sitting, smoking, in a car. It turns out that 9 of 10 people think they are criminals. Another painting of two black men in a car was originally entitled, simply, Flying Car. Viewers continually referred to it as the Car Thieves, so he eventually changed the title to reflect that.
Last year, Sándor began to feel that “two dimensions were not enough,” and began to create collages and sculptures, called “totems” by at least one publication. He scavenged the dumpsters and courtyards of Budapest, using shoe soles, bits of wood, wires, cardboard and bold paints to create faces and insects that are almost tribal, but inescapably belong to today’s world.
Now he’s back to the two-dimensional world of painting, he says, and he’s also hard at work building a new studio-gallery space. Because of this “work in progress,” his work isn’t on display anywhere other than his website or by appointment. I will keep you posted on the opening of his new space. Until then, check out his work, read reviews and his bio, and contact him via www.sandorkrisztian.hu.