Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Art Space Talk: Balint Zsako

I recently interviewed artist Balint Zsako. I learned about Mr. Zsako during a recent trip. Balint was born in Budapest, Hungary in1979. He immigrated to Canada in 1989. Working with photography, mixed media, painting, drawing and sculpture, Zsako's works have been exhibited in Hungary, South Korea and Canada. He is currently represented by SPIN Gallery (http://spingallery.ca/gallery.html).

Q. When did you first discover that art would be an important part of your adult life?

A. Both my parents are artists, my mother Anna Torma works with textiles and my father Istvan is a sculptor. Art was always in the background so my current position was probably inevitable. I loved the beauty of math and physics early on, but engineering lost out to drawing."

Q. How has society influenced your art? Are there any social implications in your art?

A. "I try to make all my work to be as universally comprehensible as possible, the drawings are all stories that people can interpret freely. I dont have any didactic or political intentions with my drawings."

Q. On average, how long does it take you to create a piece?

A. "I work on many at a time and never really start and finish one without working on five others in between. But if Ihad to avarage it out I would say about a day for a 12x16 drawing. Sometimes the details take a long time, sometimes its just me staring at the paper for half an hour trying to figure out the next character or element to add."

Q. Can you share some of your philosophy about art and artistic creation?

A. "For me its important to have the time to work. large chunks of time when nobody bothers you. But this is different for everyone, I have friends who work best when they only get an hour here and there to make work, I think it concentrates their creativity. With me its just time, as much time as possible."

Q. Has your art ever been published?

A. "It has been published and reviewed in art magazines. But I have also done quite a bit of illustration work, which I love. Its so clear and straight forward. They have a story, I need to make a drawing that will make the art director happy. Its far more pure than the interactions that exist in the fine art world."

Q. What was your most important exhibition? Care to share that experience?

A. "My first exhibiton at spin gallery in toronto. I was about to graduate from my bfa and was walking around to the galleries I liked to try and show my work. Spin just had someone cancel a show last minute and they liked my drawings enough to give me their slot. "Can you get an exhibiton together in two weeks?" it went well, and they are my Toronto gallery to this day."

Q. Do you have any 'studio rituals'? As in, do you listen to certain types of music while working? What helps to get you in the mood for working?

A. "I like to listen to music and talk radio and audiobooks while working. instrumental music is good for when I am trying to think about a work, trying to figure out how to proceed, talk radio and audiobooks are good when I have it figured out and just have the repetitive task of filling in the details to do."

Q. If you could pinpoint the characteristics of people who collect your art, what would they be?

A. "They generally have a good sense of humour with an appreciation of both the refined and the obscene."

Q. Do you have a degree or do you plan to attend school for art? If so, how did it help you as an artist? What can you tell us about the art department that you attended?

A. "I studied photography at Ryerson University in Toronto. It was a wonderful program that completely mixed fine art and commercial photographers. It didnt matter which you wanted to pursue as long as you did it well."

Q. Why did you choose the medium(s) that you use?

A. "I love the contrast between the organic quality of watercolor and the factual definiteness of the ink line."

Q.Where can we see more of your art?

A. "http://balintzsako.com/ "

Q. Do you have any upcoming exhibits?

A. "I have works in an upcoming group exhibition Coercive Atmospherics at the d.u.m.b.o. arts center in Brooklyn curated by David Hunt. March 24 to May 13. and Love Stories at The Proposition Chelsea March 10 to April 14Q. What trends do you see in the 'art world'?

A. "I hear skulls and owls are hot, and that glitter is over."

I hope that you have enjoyed my interview with Balint Zsako. Feel free to critique or discuss his work.

Take care, Stay true,

Brian Sherwin


pRiyA said...

i find balint zsako's work intriguing and i did want to learn more about the man.thanks for the interview.

Salgi said...

Hi Bálint!

That's great! Really...