“I do not wish to find out the world, just want to find a different way to put it together.”
…He is not driven by a person, or a particular human being, he generalises, focuses on the essential. Furthermore: it is not the active, but the meditative, thinking person which he puts into the centrefold. This is how we arrive to a new, important category. Since Tibor’s art leads to a world beyond our experiences, we can call his painting a metaphysical artistic approach.Balázs Feledy
…Wondering before Tibor Fazakas-Koszta’s paintings one is taken aback, frightened, but is the least peaceful. His paintings evoke relativity’s abstract motive (and his cousin is uncertainty), which is the most pressing human life experience, as it drags one out of what he thought to be his certain, comfortable everyday life. We cannot know who these figures really are, and we fall into despair; perhaps we may also lose our faces, and masks like they have.
…It is no surprise if you, dear viewer, do not put yourself into particular artworks when you confronted with them. Who would like to meet the presentation of his own nakedness? Who would wish for the vision of reality instead of the calming ‘I’m alright’-s? Although the question is highly sensitive, perhaps even revolting, if we consider the search for truth in contemporary art, we may very well see ourselves in them. Or we may perhaps be drawn to the vibrant splendour of colours, and simply remain beyond the content – or the suggested – shadow world. We can choose aesthetics or – and – we may dare to meet the criticism of our time.
…I am drawn by the space, the place, the atmosphere that I see beyond Fazakas-Koszta Tibor’s figures.
I know that this is his – and every one of our – inside and that only the autonomous man has his own intimate inner world. Only this power is capable of the joyful search, only this can paint a sophisticated image to our eternal questions.
Looking into the artist’s window, the reality produced by true art comes to life in me as well.
Csaba Jakab, DLA
Architect, Interior architect
…The good and the bad are distinguished in the faces. Their association with the evil or the good is sooner or later exposed on their faces. We hope for regaining our own divine faces given to us at our creation, as we learnt it from the scenes of the good angels. They, who look upon God’s face can help the man, hidden behind the shame of his evilness in order to regain his divine image on their blank faces.
… There is no sign of frivolity. The figures and objects have weight. They are charged with their symbolic meaning through their functional significance or a presented counter-point. They do not obtrude. They are facing us with their timelessness. The search for the quality of life is faces with our quality life search.
Artist, Gallery owner
The magical surrealism of Tibor Fazakas-Koszta
Space, Time, Art
“The vehement pathos, with which the subject took the attributes of creation, is provoked by the impressing axiom of nature’s imitation. This confrontation has not been finalized, although new formulas seem to prevail.”– written by Hans Blumenberg, 1957.
There is no doubt that ever since this statement, the art form and conceptual transformations are both measurable results of a photograph, and a film’s space-conquering features, as it can be seen through Tibor Fazakas-Koszta’s art. Fazakas has come a long way to develop his photo-realistic, figurative, cinematically dynamic art.
His early works are somewhat art history elaborations as well as specific ‘ars’ poets, professional self-understanding, which are based on the work of iconic artists’ reinterpretation, re-creation. Through his systematic creative activity, he evoked almost the entire art history, ranging from the Middle Ages to Postmodern, but also emphasized great predecessors, like Fra Angelico Max Ernst, Dali, Picasso and Csontváry as well as symbolic and real intellectual, cultural and visual fundamentals. In his paintings from a few years ago, the faceless figures, human-sized chess figures seem to look back to great painters like Titian, Rubens, but appear even the Szentendre-centered Hungarian artists showing traces of the European School, such as Dezső Korniss’ non-figurative motifs.
However, his current work’s tone is still primarily determined by the magical realism of Giorgio de Chirico, and surrealism, Rene Magritte, Max Ernst. But for me the paintings conjure up the European figurative painting’s and the graphic tendency’s most significant, and also interlinked group of the Lipcsei School, and its key figure; Neo Rauch, whose perspective and unexpected associations are presented through Fazakas’ new paintings.
Although the nostalgic nature of Fazakas’ paintings is increasingly fading – they are more often associated with the visions of the present, feeding themselves from his own lifetime. ‘In our time (2014) or Postmodern (2016)’; these titles already indicate a conceptual transformation; the arrival to the present. The backgrounds, shapes and movements of the figures and the compositions are surrealist and refer to shapes of the magical realism: In the afternoon, Venus’ box, Summer, 2011; Heavenly and Earthy Things, Passion, 2014, but the vegetation and the elements of Hungarian landscape, the clothing of the characters and the objects from out everyday environment: Integrum, Leda 2015; Margit, Piknik 2016.
The artist himself is changing through the transformations of the depictions, and the homogenous colour surfaces are replaced by modeled geometric and human bodies, neutral backgrounds and real landscapes, accurate anatomical drawings of the schematic figures the vivid human portraits.
Space, Time, Secret
As the time of paintings is replaced by the present time; instead of spaces filled with statue-like figures, a storyboard-like life images appear on the paintings, whose figures are faceless puppets or posing figures behind masks, but they are about the great subjects of even today’s society; they are about human relationships, desires, nature, today’s era of alienating technology: Snowfall 2012; Amrita 2013; Passion, Disclosure, Messenger 2014.
On the painting named ‘Passion’, the two – possibly a couple of – female and male figures are wearing a mask. The image’s title gives some idea about what characteristics the shown figures believe should remain hidden, which is perhaps suggested by the exuberant ram. However, the philosophical explanation is not this simple. The mask opens up to distance, producing a feeling of absence, but fetishizes too, it eliminates the ‘recognisability’; the lack of human faces and gazes stand for the lack of personality and they evoke the instability of the recipient “image”. The mask does not only conceal, but raises additional questions. If we wear the mask ourselves, could we see another way outside? Would we see ourselves differently? Could we undertake our personalities, actions any easier? Or is this concealment all just an illusion?
Similar questions are posed and similar stage-like spaces are created by the installations in the films of Andro Wekua, Berlin-based Armenian artist, who creates two-dimensional, montage-like work and portrays his figures in schematizing masks, but the most recent two-dimensional works also reveal photo-realistic portraits. Not only the masks and the lack of faces, but the film’s effects offer the position of being an outsider, they do not wish to let us in, they avoid intimacy. They do not “name” the portrayed figures and do not personify the participants. The figures simply play themselves, but do not identify with themselves. Is this the era’s, or the human’s criticism? What does the mask want? The questions float unanswered on the paintings, while stretching their auras. For this reason, we are attracted to them, and therefore find the answers in ourselves.
Space, Time, Man
Although Fazakas’ latest works “shed themselves” the mask, and reveal their faces, they lose their artistic embeddedness, their historical stance, and determine today’s and the artist’s own magical-surreal approach, of course, feeding off the visual experiences. In these, almost photo realistic, scenes the characters become real people and carry out seemingly real actions, however there is always some mystery that remains – which is presented in the paintings as a constant mark. The slow separation from art history becomes more noticeable year by year and has brought about visual evident changes, but Fazakas’ works continue to hold a relationship with the past, and the end result of the paintings is a new reality, the narrative of today’s inner invisible events.
If we consider that the future generations will look at us through our art – these and similar paintings refer to our mood, passion, internal turmoil, constant relationship with spirituality, vivid fantasy, which vitally determine our verbal, musical and visual culture.
The ‘Picnic’ is the most complex work, in which the figures are located in the same space but they have no relation to one another. In the background, we see an idyllic, but seemingly deserted yellow-painted Mediterranean house with two-storey columned portico. A teenage in swimming shorts is about to exit the image, an ice cream eating, white-capped boy and a woman, who offers a jam bowl to a person who is no longer visible in the painting. The scene about the three figures playing in the tall grass could even be an ordinary afternoon in the garden view, if only the blue-winged male angel would not have dropped into the picture. In the foreground, the boy’s and the mother’s face express serene half-smiles, yet the artwork’s atmosphere is melancholy, a somewhat painful “nowhereness” and the feeling of passing floats around, which is also culminated by the space’s uncertainty.
The creator’s eternal restlessness, doubts are expressed as the saint and the profane move along the thin line between spirituality and vitality, gentle retreat and flamboyant aggression, floating meditation and sensual lust, to which the most expressive examples are Margaret – Saint and profane No., Postmodern, Leda – Hommage á Csernus 2016 and the Signs 2015.
To me, the Postmodern and Margaret evoke Marc Quinn’s statues, who “pours into sculptures” the extravagant icon’s of today’s world, and raises the question of where the world is moving? The Leda inquires the nature of today’s female, who cannot imagine her intimate union with nature without the fetish objects of the fashion world, so takes her bag with her to go to the lakeside reeds. In other words, to what extent is a woman tied to materialization? To what extent is a human still part of the desired worldly paradise? Are these questions still relevant, or is the only the merely critical, alienation, analytical glances that are valid?
Although Fazakas is visibly processing real scenes, and perhaps uses photographs and models for his most recent works, but he does not give up on art historical references. The clothes of the male figures in the Signs recalls ‘Manet Breakfast on the lawn’, whereas the ‘Not Margaritte’s apple’ clearly refers to the artwork. The paintings are primarily historical representations of the female beauty, they ask questions about the role of nudes, feminism, and the quality of male-female relationships, but do not supply reassuring answers.
As Blumenberg writes: Recognising the new and creating it is no longer the task of instinctive curiosity, instead it the “metaphysical need: as man tries to justify the image of himself”. The works are narrative, but they do not show the visible, sensible moments of the story, instead they show the inner events, continuous self-analysis and doubts. The paintings are details of the visible world, but are not interchangeable with reality, even though they are very similar to it, but the unexplainable mystery always remains in them.