Eclectic Architecture in Budapest - and the view from George’s family apartment

 

Dreams, Eclecticism, Surrealism

 

Dreams have been an important part of my real life. There have been many decisions I’ve made based on them. A year into the pandemic, I started having a reoccurring dream. I was surrounded by a powder blue cloud, and I was dead. My eyes were open and I could see myself in a portrait. Very clear, but in a style I have always been attracted to but never practiced before. Surrealism became a very important communicative strategy - spread to many parts of the world (influenced by Freud and psychoanalysis) A language of dreams and fairytales, real but not real.

During my early childhood in Budapest, I was surrounded by nineteenth century Eclectic style architecture. I looked out of my parents apartment windows (on of the great Terèz boulevard of Budapest) and across there were buildings with a mansard roof, Italian windows, renaissance decoration, wrought iron balconies, added to all this a Transylvanian turret - to spur a child’s imagination; you could not have asked for a better brew of characters. Surreal, a dream. A bedtime story for a child. The city where all the dreams started.

As the pandemic spread to Italy, it spread the possibility that it will be here shortly. Indeed by March this scary unknown, bringing terrible death was in New York City. While we head to a sequestered life upstate, the imminent danger was around us, as we brought our groceries home and washed them with soap and water.

I began the Studio Updates, they were shaped to become a diary- and to establish communication.

Self Portrait After I Am Dead, 2021 Pastel on paper 15 1/4” x 13 3/4”

The unknown factor of the inevitable Coronavirus brought to my mind the possibility that we may not survive. Following my dream, I turned to pastels that I’d done in the 70s as studies for my monochromatic paintings. One important aspect of the studio work I did at the time, was that I decided to mount the pastels on curved surfaces to bring together aspects from the monochromatic paintings. It gave me a chance to see again the range of possibilities this material had. Mounting them on a curve gave a very interesting and powerful new life to these works. The pastel, as a medium, came alive and made me rediscover the wide possibilities it has. The reoccurring dreams surely had been influenced by this discovery. 

Afterwards I completed a series works I called Self Portrait After I Am Dead.

Self Portrait After I Am Dead, 2021 Pastel on paper 11 1/4” x 8 7/16”

 

 

Self Portrait After I Am Dead, 2021 Pastel on Paper 11” x 8 1/2”

Self Portrait After I Am Dead, 2021 Pastel on Paper 12” x 12”

 

Self Portrait After I Am Dead, 2021 Pastel on Paper 15 1/4” x 10 3/4”

Self Portrait After I Am Dead, 2021Pastel on Paper 13 1/2” x 12”

 

Surreal - a language so appealing, a language which I had never practiced before.

My recurring dream came too close to reality, a growth on the top of my right ear was diagnosed as cancerous, with the possibility was that it may have spread. An ominous time.

In this period of uncertainty, I ran to look at every possible exhibition in the city - like a sponge I was collecting all the information. At the Metropolitan Museum I found “Surrealism Beyond Borders”, a poignant reminder of the possibilities of this strategy.

I continued working with pastels and a a group of works titled: TheGoodEar emerged. I used the malaise caused by the ear to adventure into continued visual landscapes, situations, events, where this symbolic metaphor took on a life of its own. 

TheGoodEar, 2021 Pastel on paper 9” x 12”
For Jack, Courtesy of Dr. Jack Perillo

 

The ear could be painful, could hold up a mask, could listen, could see, could attach itself to any adventure, and adventure was the name of the game.

The limbo of uncertainty lasted a month. There was surgery, reconstruction and a declaration of total elimination of the cancer by another artist - a surgeon, who said my art “had to compete with the artist.”

The TheGoodEar series was unstoppable.

 

In Time of Limbo

TheGoodEar, 2021 Pastel on paper 15 1/2” x 11 3/4”

TheGoodEar, 2021 Pastel on paper 18 1/2” x 13 3/4”

TheGoodEar, 2021 Pastel on paper 18 3/4” x 13 3/4”

TheGoodEar, 2021 Pastel on paper 14” x 11”

 

In Time of War

TheGoodEar - In Time of War, 2022 Pastel on paper 14” x 11”

TheGoodEar - In Time of War, 2022 Pastel on paper 14” x 11”

TheGoodEar - In Time of War, 2022 Pastel on paper 14” x 11”

 

 

In Time in New Mexico

TheGoodEar - Valles Caldera - New Mexico fire, 2022 Pastel on paper 14” x 11”

 

TheGoodEar - Valles Caldera - New Mexico fire, 2022 Pastel on paper 14” x 11”

TheGoodEar - Valles Caldera - New Mexico fire, 2022 Pastel on paper 14” x 11”

TheGoodEar -Valles Caldera - New Mexico fire, 2022 Pastel on paper 14” x 11”

 

 

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