István Szentandrássy, Roma Hungarian (°Budapest/1957), winner of the “Kossuth Prize” (2012). spent his childhood in an orphanage. That’s another Roma Hungarian, Tamás Péli (°Budapest/1948), a painter, who guided him along the way of painting, giving him his first contact with his own Roma cultural identity.
Untill April 30th., you have to visit the “Balassi Institue”, Treurenberg Street, 10 in Brussels to discover the talent of István Szentandrássy, who was in Brussels for the great opening of his ehibition, in presence of the Ambassador of Hungary.
It was great to listen to him while he was speaking about his paintings, asking two musicians, father and son, to play with their violins in front of his works. He is a figurative painter, showing sometimes some old traditional Roma figures with expressionism or symbolism.
Inspired by the Renaissance and the the early 20th century “avant-garde”, especially by Amedeo Modigliani (1884-1920), by some ways, he let us think about great paintings of Marc Chagall (1887-1985) being showed in another exhibition taking place in Brussels, untill June 28th., at the “Royal Museums of Fine Arts” (visited by 30.000 people during his first opening month).
As soon as you enter in the “Balassi Institut”, you will see his “Triptichon”, painted in 1998, one work of an impressive size of 45m². On another wall, we find one geat painting showing the life in a concentration camp’s dormitory. In front of this painting he asked to pay one minute of silence, thinking to all the victims of the “shoah”. “So many children died overthere”, he said!
Always in his paintings we find the spirit of love, like between a man of a horse. Violins that Roma people like to play or to listen to are often there as well as we can find a virgin Mary, a “Charlot”, with his black ball cap, of clown, with his red nose, always with nice colours of dark brown and warm brightness.
And if you never visited the “Balassi Institut” before, that’s a great opportinuty to discover, in family, a part of the historical walls of Brussels, being back a little stage where “great music” players of “jazz” bands often come to play.
Free entrance. Open from monday to friday, from 10 a.m. untille 05 p.m.
Pictures: Laslo Arany.