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Prague Biennale 5: “The best way to appreciate art is to be able to love”

Leo is sitting in an armchair o,c. 190x240cm, 2011
Attila Szűcs

Attila Szűcs is one of the artists presented in the section Portraits of Power at Prague Biennale 5 (19.05 – 11.09.2011).

Present yourself in three sentences.

I was born in Miskolc, Hungary in 1967. I live and work in Budapest. My website is:

What is your (favorite) technique? Can you describe it?

Since the early 90’s, I’ve been making traditional oil-canvas paintings.  As a starting point, I often use media images, newspaper cut-outs, postcards, film-stills.  When painting, I concentrate on such high density moments, when our everyday experiences and viewing practices become obsolete while decoding - I create empty spaces around the objects of thoughts and figures without defining them in a preconceived notion.  It is the distance and the concentrated attention on absence that rules my relationship with painting.  What I am most interested in is the search of interpretation of knowing and not-knowing, the way they are able to extinguish one another.  I collect inspiration from the rubbish of collective memory, which I then re-interpret through the reality of painting.  I attempt to dissolve the already defined and therefore false structures, and introduce new types of looking in a peculiar formal and compositional levitation, where the paintings’ vacuum-like state partially originates in the loneliness of represented elements, and partially from the transformation of metaphysical into universal.

Do you think that one has to understand art to appreciate a work of art?

I think the best way to appreciate art is to be open- minded and to be able to love. Even me as a professional artist can’t understand every aspect of art. If something is fully understood, it’s on the edge of boring.

Do you think that contemporary art asks questions or gives answers?

Making art, or creating something unique is a learning process, therefore questions emerging continuously. I’m not sure about there is final answer.

What do you “against the grey”?

It’s question of sensitivity. If you are sensitive enough you can see hues and differences everywhere, however you also feel the oneness of the universe.

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