Gabor Andre is a young, emerging artist from Budapest. ARTODU Online Gallery of Contemporary Art represents his artworks. We asked him about his interests and his next steps in his career.
Artodu: What are your plans now, having received your diploma degree from MOME? What areas are you interested in trying first?
Gabor Andre: After graduation I decided to try something completely new, right now I live an artistically bipolar life: apart from my studio time I started to work for a web-design company as a designer. That means a constant shifting from analog to digital techniques and back. That also means that my time is divided, still that kind of helps me to focus on painting and getting on with the main ideas of the current body of work.
Artodu: You were studying in Plymouth for a year. What is the difference between the education there and in Budapest?
Gabor Andre: Studying in the UK was really, really different than in Hungary, but the comparison cannot be absolutely fair in this case: I studied Product Design at MOME (the one in Budapest) and took the Painting, Drawing and Printmaking course at PCA (Plymouth College of Art). My opinion on the College was immediately that it is very well organised, the building had been recently renovated and it really was – as it seemed to me – super modern and well equipped. It had all the physical equipment from cameras to drawing tablets to borrow, and it all was supported by a really neat internal website. Through that website, I had access to all the goodies PCA had to offer, the equipment, tutorial classes, and consulting sessions with my teachers. And that is something that I want to highlight, it is really clear how internalised the spirit of democracy is at PCA throughout the whole structure of the institute. You had to take the effort to ask for the time of the teacher and the reaction you got was proportional to how much work you had put into your project, no one was left behind but those who wanted more actually got more. It didn't feel like time was money, it felt like time was a value, and it was really clear no one should waste any of the time of anyone else. I really liked that and I think the Hungarian institutes really need to improve in this area. College-wise I had the most satisfying time in Plymouth: I had all the opportunities to try, experiment all I wanted, I had all the equipment at hand that I needed and all the assistance necessary. The only downside is that Plymouth is a tiny town and it is quite far away from everything, I am more the London type of person
Artodu: You have already had several exhibitions in Budapest. How did these requests come?
Gabor Andre: I have had like three shows in the city, two of them was in ruin bars, one was a house party exhibition with the students of Hungarian University of Fine Arts, but those were really a long time ago, I got the chance to be part of those shows through friends who helped me quite a lot at that time. However, my idea of an exhibition has changed by now, when you exhibit at a bar you have to make a lot of compromises. Basically, the function of the space is to sell drinks/food, so my paintings and the idea around them had to fit the space. What I want to do now and the project is in progress, is to make a strong body of work with all the contextual background and take it to a place that is actually designed to accommodate such pieces.
Artodu: You have started painting for private collectors at a very young age. What did these early paintings mean to you, how did they affect your style?
Gabor Andre: The opportunity came through close friends of the family, and it certainly defined what I was doing at that time. In fact, I look at it as a starting point for painting, before that all the stuff I created was pre-painting. I had the chance to try a lot of new things, in scale and in technique, getting enough paint, or brushes or any tools became something that I didn't have to worry about. I always enjoyed the progress of a commissioned painting, I think I was able to really use the feedback for unfinished artwork and felt useful to have someone to be as a kind of mirror, to test whether my ideas or intentions work or not.
Artodu: Who are your favourite painters, the artists that inspire you?
Gabor Andre: Well, three years ago I definitely would have started with Matisse and friends, but lately I kind of deliberately want to draw distance from those guys. My latest inspiration is more the following people: Euan Uglow, Andy Pankhurst, Robert Dukes, Mitchell Johnson, Frances White, Felicia Forte, Zebu, Martin Compos, Robin F. Williams, Lisa Wright, Jo Hay, Betty Thompson, Joan Semmel. Amongst these painters, there are classic and emerging feminist painters; Euan Uglow, the master of bodyscape, and many others who cover people and space in their imagery. My most significant inspiration lately is the idea of Gill Perry and co-writers planted in their book, "Gender and Art". The idea of an art history that left a huge part of the worlds art out of the focus and concentrates still almost exclusively on the European male.
Artodu: What other forms of art mean the most to you besides painting?
Gabor Andre: I love photography, I enjoy good cinema, I am a big fan of architecture, and I am fascinated by literature.