Interview: Dénes Csasznyi
Luca Curci talks with Dénes Csasznyi during VENICE INTERNATIONAL ART FAIR 2021 at THE ROOM Contemporary Art Space.
I am Dénes Csasznyi, I was born in 1967 in Bečej, Vojvodina. Although art has been a part of my life since my childhood, as my father was a sculptor and my mother was a drawing teacher, it was a long way for me to become a sculptor. After graduation, I was enlisted in the Yugoslav military, therefore I could only start my higher education when I was 20 years old. Although I was always attracted by being an artist, as per my parents’ advice and having technical interest I studied mechanical engineering at the Novi Sad College of Mechanical Engineering between 1988 and 1991. Albeit during this time I gained a lot of useful knowledge, which I use also nowadays in my work, I could not move away from statuary. In 1991 I got accepted to the Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje, majoring in Fine Arts. Unfortunately, I could not start my studies, because I had to leave the country due to the Yugoslav war, and I had to start a new life in Hungary that year. I tried to stay close to art in Hungary too, hence between 1993 and 1995, I worked as a drawer at the Pannónia Film Studio with József Gémes. Later, I worked as a furniture restorer and gilder until 1998, but also during these times I did not neglect sculpture as a profession, and I worked continuously in my own studio as well. Today sculpture is not only my passion but also my job, finally, I can dedicate most of my time to my art.
Luca Curci – What is art for you?
Dénes Csasznyi – For me, art is the way to glance behind the scenes. There is a material world that we know, that is tangible to us, that we experience in our everyday life, but I am convinced that the world is much more than this. During creation by imagination, though, the faith we can put something from this invisible world into the known material. With the help of art, we can grab something we know nothing about anyway. I believe that’s the reason why an artwork will be more than a well-done craftwork.
LC – What’s your background? What is the experience that has influenced your work the most?
DC – Being a son of a sculptor, I grew up in my father’s atelier. I loved being in his studio, playing with clay and pretending to be a sculptor too. I tried to copy my father’s technique and making my own artwork what he absolutely supported and gave maximum space to. With such a childhood, it was almost unambiguous for me to become an artist too. In 1991 I got accepted to the Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje, majoring in Fine Arts. Unfortunately, I could not start my studies, because I had to leave the country due to the Yugoslav war, and I had to start a new life in Hungary in that year. I tried to stay close to art in Hungary too, so during the years while I was working as a drawer at the Pannónia Film Studio, later as a furniture restorer and gilder I did not neglect sculpture as a profession and I worked continuously in my own studio as well. Today sculpture is not only my passion but also my job, finally, I can dedicate most of my time to my art.
LC – Where do you find your inspiration?
DC – I find inspiration from the impressions of my everyday life. It can be just a visual moment, a movement, an interesting theme I heard or read anything/everything.
LC – How is being an artist nowadays?
DC – I guess that in a way it is similar to the ‘old times’. If you are talented and find your patron, you can be successful. It’s easier to be an artist from that perspective that due to social media you can reach much more people and you can build a bigger network, due to globalization and the 21st century’s solutions your art can be shown around the world. Art now is not a privilege, it became a part of our casual life in a way, and as an artist, you can create more freely, you don’t have to follow the mainstream or one school. On the other hand, these advantages are aggravating circumstances because it is much more difficult to assert, as you have to compete with much more artists for the art gallerys’ and art lovers’ attention. But all in all, Art is my life, no matter how hard or easy is to be an artist – I cannot imagine any other way to walk on.
LC – Did your style change over the years? In which way?
DC – The way I create is almost similar. I am approaching the IDEA from the fragment. During the creation, I am led by some details to the whole. I do not create along with a previously specified concept, my works are born from one fragment by giving space to processes, momentary impressions. But of course time to time I need new challenges, so I’m experimenting with different materials. Bronze is the forever love, but at the same time, I’ve always been concerned with how to create something permanent, lasting, artistically valuable from changing, fleeting materials. Freezing and protecting an easily degradable material seems like preserving one moment of transience and change forever, so I am currently creating by using paper, glue, ceramic dollop and resin; I have also a new exciting idea in my mind about how I could bring these ways together.
LC – What do you think about the concept of this festival? How did it inspire you?
DC – In my statuary, usually the human body appears as a subject, but what we see is objectively always just a part of the whole, so based on our experiences, during the creation, I am trying to express the hidden part also. So when I read the concept of ‘Liquid Rooms’ (it analyzing the hidden parts of our identities… The human body is a changing system that connects us with other bodies and spaces to perceive the surrounding reality; a strong communication system with its own language and infinite ways of expression.) there was no question to participate.
LC – In which way the artwork presented in our exhibition is connected with the festival’s theme?
DC – According to the teaching of Buddhism, everything that has a beginning also has an end, everything that has arisen will pass away. Therefore nothing is constant, everything in the course of existence is in an intermediate state (“in bardo”). In my “Bardo” series I’m expressing different stages of our always-changing life – different body states depending on what life stage we are in. With “Antigravity I” – being a changeable sculpture – I’m demonstrating how we can express ourselves in different ways, how we can make different emotions by changing our pose or movement.
LC – Do you think ITSLIQUID GROUP can represent an opportunity for artists?
DC – Absolutely due to the many opportunities you offer continuously.
LC – Did you enjoy cooperating with us?
DC – This cannot be a question. A professional and helpful team, high-quality exhibitions and great social media support.
LC – What do you think about ITSLIQUID Platform?
DC – I just simply love it. It’s great to get to know better other artists, their perspective of view, just like being a part of a great artistic community.