Zsombor Barakonyi – painter
In the course of the past years, I have developed a complex image creating process. At first glance, the visual world of these panel paintings invoke the ambivalent nature of the human-made world – its everyday homelike feel and its simultaneous, amazement worthy theatrical foreignness, and, through this, the world of utopias.
The various types of utopias manifest as stages in the journey of self exploration, which places the individual in the foreground.
Only a layer of my photo-based paintings touches on the visuality of utopias and the alienating – but also sheltering – nature of our artificial worlds, however, as these images are first and foremost embodied objects, which were primarily created from – and exist in – perceivable matter, and have been filtered through the memories, knowledge and experiences of the artist. The manner in which they were created is not a secret. The tools and techniques clearly take central focus; the paintings carry and render visible the different stencils used, even the holes pierced by the needles serving to keep them in place. During the creative process which resulted in my latest works, the techniques of analogue film tricks from before the era of digitalization – such as masking and multiply layering, as well as the superimposed mounting of different layers – played a key role.
In contrast to my earlier paintings, which depicted Andrássy Avenue and Oktogon Square in Budapest – in my latest works – it is no longer simple to determine where and when the film-like scenes are taking place. Budapest, London, Rome or Vienna. In the eighties, the nineties or the day after tomorrow?
I am interested in the city as a form of existence – as an utopia, the mystery of alienation. It is for this reason that I travel and work in cities. I am intrigued by waking visions and dream images, which have been pushed to the periphery of reality, but which hang on, gripping at the edge of consciousness. The world I create is like the colorful patina of an imagined city (which demands that I do, indeed, live and spend a fragment of my life there). To avoid misunderstandings: the subject of my exploration is the manner in which the survivors of the metropolises of technicolor-like decay live their lives, day after day.