Interview: Katalin Hudik
Luca Curci talks with Katalin Hudik during the 17th Edition of VENICE INTERNATIONAL ART FAIR, at Palazzo Albrizzi-Capello.
My vocation is painting, art education and my family. In my autonomic artwork, I seek the way from my soul to the transcendent world. Painting for me is an inner journey, healing, prayer, experiencing God’s love and presence, transforming it into images and transmitting it. As an artist, I use the classical oil painting technique with new sacred subject matter and imagery, mostly remaining on the plane of figurative representation. My paintings are visual expressions of my inner thoughts, inner journeys, and faith experiences. I believe that art is a bridge between man and God, between soul and sacred world. It is a tool that helps us to go deeper, to focus on our inner world, to walk the inner path, and also to explore the transcendent dimensions. I like to paint on a large scale, because it allows the viewer to get more involved in my visual world, and therefore in my thoughts.
Luca Curci – Which subject are you working on?
Katalin Hudik – An important element of my painting is my faith. I have recently finished two large paintings. One was based on an experience I have had and thoughts I heard. It is called Source. Why do we need to go to the source? The air is also full of water vapour, but when we are thirsty, we must go to the spring to quench our thirst. So, is it with our soul? We need Someone to help us when our soul needs it. My other painting was inspired by the sad fact that war is raging so close to my homeland, Hungary. We hear the sad news and facts every day about the Russian-Ukrainian war. But our souls are longing for peace. In my painting, I have painted a war scene, from which I have highlighted the silhouette of a tank, and where there is no tank or weapon, there is peace and nature flourishes. In addition to these, motherhood is an important theme in my artwork, so I am currently working on a painting about it.
LC – How did you get to your current artistic practice?
KH – My original profession is painting restorer. I graduated from the Hungarian University of Fine Art as a painting restorer and a teacher of fine art. I worked for many years as a conservator, for example in the restoration department of the Museum of Fine Arts. I started painting independently relatively late, around 2012. At the same time, I felt the desire to use my painting skills to express my own thoughts and feelings, to project the images that I had inside of me onto canvas and to show them to others.
As a restorer, I had the opportunity to learn many techniques, but oil painting has always been the closest to my heart, so I started painting with this technique, which I still use today. Figural representation has always been close to me, so I use it in my painting, mixed a little bit with surreal, beyond-reality forms and systems of representation. I have a particular love for classical iconographic imagery, but at the same time, I often use innovative imagery on classical biblical themes in my own paintings.
LC – What is the most challenging part about creating your artworks?
KH – The biggest challenge is the amount of time I can spend painting. I basically teach in a primary and secondary school, so, unfortunately, I have very little amount of time to paint.
LC – How is your creative process?
KH – Sometimes I ask questions that are also addressed to myself, sometimes I formulate a summary of the thoughts and feelings that have already taken place and been concluded inside of me, and I shape these into images. But it also often happens that a ready-made picture appears before my mind’s eye, which urges me to paint it right away. Unfortunately, I don’t have much time besides my job, which is teaching, so I only start painting when I have a clear idea of what I want to put on canvas. I work quite quickly, and I am also very determined when I have the opportunity to paint. Then I don’t feel the passage of time or the tiredness.
LC – Are your artworks focused on a specific theme?
KH – Yes, I think I have specific themes that recur in my paintings. Basically, I bring together the processes of my soul and the thoughts in my mind and project them onto my canvases. My faith is very important to me, so I have many pictures of my relationship with God. I have artworks about my thoughts, feelings, doubts, and evolving opinions about the transcendent and sacred world. I like to explore classic biblical themes in new ways. Besides my faith, the other important theme for me is motherhood. I have four children; it is an incredible joy for me to be a mother. I consider it a miracle how a new life is conceived, formed, shaped, and born. This is a recurring theme in my painting and drawing as well.
LC – Do you agree with our vision of art and what do you think about the theme of the exhibition?
KH – I like this definition very much: LIQUID (lik’-wid): 1. a state of matter with a definite volume but no definite shape, composed of molecules which move freely among themselves but do not tend to separate like those of gases. I think art is a similar medium: it always takes different forms, but there is still a cohesive force. When it takes different forms, it can convey different meanings and content, but its language is universal. ITSLIQUID Group is helping a lot in stitching these molecules together.
The theme of the exhibition of the 17th Venice Art Fair is a very current one: in fact, it seeks answers to the most fundamental questions of our existence. From the smallest everyday phenomena to the big questions of existence. This theme is very much in line with my own artistic quest, my way of thinking.
LC – In which way the artwork presented in our exhibition is connected with the exhibition’s theme?
KH – It was very interesting for me to connect the section of the Liquid Room. In fact, I could have linked several of my images to the analysis of the relationship between body and space. Because my thoughts, as a painter, often explore this very thing: how I exist as a human being, how I relate to our earthly reality on the one hand, and to the transcendent invisible world on the other. The exhibited painting, entitled “Purpose of the soul” connects to this theme very well. Here in our life on earth, soul and body are intertwined, body and soul are in the same search of way. Space can mean not only the physical space around us but also a transcendent space beyond this earthly space. As a painter (also), I’m thinking about the relationship between man as a being of soul and body and the visible and invisible world.
LC – What do you think about ITSLIQUID Platform?
KH – I’m very grateful for what ITSLIQUID does: the opportunity for contemporary artists to present their work to an international professional audience, such as curators, gallerists, collectors, editors, and publishers, is a great opportunity.
LC – What do you think about the organization of our event?
KH – It was a very good and useful opportunity to meet artists from other countries. I also liked the fact that there were performances related to the theme.
LC – Would you suggest a collaboration with us? What do you think about our services?
KH – I would definitely suggest collaborating with you! You offer a very good opportunity for contemporary artists to present themselves, their works can show their inner world, and their thoughts, which hopefully will be reflected by many people and will provide spiritual support and help to many.