Interview: Eszter Bognár
Luca Curci talks with Eszter Bognár during MIXING IDENTITIES, the third appointment of CANVAS ART FAIR, at THE LINE Contemporary Art Space.
Eszter Bognár is an artist currently living and working in Budapest, Hungary. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Painter-Visual Representation Artist from Eötvös Loránd University in 2017. Through painting, her practice seeks to explore the different elements of the natural world from abstractions and patterns found in nature. She creates textures and layers while discovering relationships between the colors and the unexpected structures.
“What does art mean to me? I think art is a creative force for culture with its mythical form and symbolic language. In my paintings nature is only symbolically identical with itself – a symbol of freedom, happiness, pain, emptiness hence emotions, where the landscape symbolizes human emotions. In my paintings I explore these feelings, where the landscape grows into a transcendent director, that is the image of our inner world/human soul. Imagination shapes the invisible and the intangible.
Luca Curci – What’s your background? What is the experience that has influenced your work the most?
Eszter Bognár – My name is Eszter Bognár. I live and work in Budapest, Hungary. In 2015 December I studied anatomy and portrait drawing at the Russian Academy of Art in Florence, Italy. In 2017 I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Painter-Visual Representation Artist from Eötvös Loránd University (Savaria University Center), Hungary. While I was a university student my artworks were figurative, but after I realized abstraction allows me to be more expressive in my creations. So, I define myself as an abstract artist, a thinker and an explorer who likes to dig deep into the subject of an artwork. I have a scientific approach to art: I dissect, I explore, and I create. I assume it is due partly to the fact that I hold a degree in Engineering Management. In 2020 I completed a mixed media course at the New York School of the Art. When I began to explore the mixed media art, I knew I had found something that was going to change my way of creating art. Mixed media is a process of adding organic and inorganic materials to create texture in a painting that may not have any aspects of reality, but interprets reality in an abstraction. Through painting, my practice seeks to explore the different elements of the natural world from abstractions and patterns found in nature. I create textures and layers while discovering relationships between the colors and the unexpected structures.
LC – What are your thoughts while you paint? Do you have any habits or rituals while you work?
EB – The idea of a painting in my mind goes through a long way of configuration, conceptualizing and maturing. But there are some cases, it can just suddenly pop up and appear in a distinct visualized way thus triggering an immediate urge for me to start painting. This is what I really like because I feel I am in a flow. Turning an artistic idea into a concrete painting can be varied. When I look at my half-finished painting and something is not what I really wanted or an element is falling out of context, I often redo it. So, tests and faults are frequently taking place, but not always, because some paintings are created with the flow without any hindrance. I don’t’ have any habits or rituals while I work.
LC – Where do you find your inspiration?
EB – I find my inspiration in nature. Life gives me topics or concepts like: “Inside”, “In Transition – Layers”, “Life is a mirror”, “The body” concepts. I like to express something between the visible and the invisible because this is the essence of the mystery of life.
LC – What is the most challenging part about creating your artworks?
EB – The composition is a very important element in the painting process because it can totally change the mood of a piece of art, that’s why I focus on it a lot. I think balance, rhythm, color and a focal point are essential to a successful composition. Color is an amazing tool for composition. In a piece where I want something to hit hard, I’ll use a contrasting value of color as well as a complementary color.
LC – Do you use art to express something in particular? Is it like your medium of expression?
EB – The cultural concern and social message of my work are to demonstrate the interaction of the human inner world with the changing world. I think art is a creative force for culture with its mythical form and symbolic language. In my paintings nature is only symbolically identical with itself – a symbol of freedom, happiness, pain, emptiness hence emotions, where the landscape symbolizes human emotions. In my paintings I explore these feelings, where the landscape grows into a transcendent director, that is the image of our inner world/human soul. The imagination shapes the invisible and the intangible. Art for me is a way of life in which I can express myself.
LC – Do you agree with our vision of art and what do you think about the theme of the festival?
EB – I believe your vision of art to be highly appropriate. The theme of the festival ‘Mixing Identities’ is very well considered and contemporary. The exhibition is created as a bridge between a variety of artistic approaches and media.
LC – What is the message linked eve l artwork you have shown in this exhibition? How is it connected eve l theme of the entire festival?
EB – My exhibited project is the “In Transition – Layers” work. At the center of this concept, I focus on the human being as a personality, the organization of psychological systems, and examine its inner layers. The human being is constituted in the form of a unique and distinct individual. It contains a unique feature of each layer of our spiritual functioning (cognitive functions, emotional reactions, motivations, actions). According to Sigmund Freud’s deep psychological personality theories, unconscious processes play a decisive role in behavior, all our manifestations being predetermined, the reason lying in the unconscious. In my work, I raise the question of how to get to the ID (instincts), the most ancient part of personality. ID encompasses all inherited, instinctive, and primitive aspects of personality. Our instinct is completely unconscious. Freud believed that all spiritual energy (libido) in the instinct comes from the self. Through how many and how many more layers do we reach and discover our instincts!? What structures and layers cover it, which all keep in mind the state of the outside world, within the limits of reality. In my work, I combine the layering of artistic materials with the layers of personal meaning. My paintings unfold in layers: I build layers of oil paints, acrylic, chrome and texture paste on canvas. Possibilities for visualizing different layers of personality (memories, states of mind, time layers) are unlimited with the mixed media techniques, so these layers partially or completely overlap each other, and then in some parts of the picture the lowest surface is visible again. The composition of the resulting painting is shaped by the textural effects given by the overlapping colors and the paint layers. In my work, I show that the layers covering personality do not completely overlap each other, the “instinct” can surface if we look for it.
LC – What is your idea about ITSLIQUID GROUP?
EB – It is a great innovative platform with wide international participation of artists. Very professional cooperation. It is especially good at marketing and promotion.
LC – Do you think ITSLIQUID GROUP can represent an opportunity for artists?
EB – I think it is a great opportunity for artists to get exposure and participate in amazing international exhibitions.
LC – Did you enjoy cooperating with us?
EB – Yes, for sure! I’m very satisfied with this ITSLIQUID GROUP and I’m looking forward to work in the future with you.