I footle around, fumble among books, writings and drawings. I always plan more than I can eventually do that day. This way I make sure that I am always behind.
I am omnivorous, one day it is Trilok Gurtu, then Stravinsky, Keith Jarrett or Péter Eötvös, then Nusrath Fateh Ali Khan or Arvo Part ….yes, I know, it’s too much of a good thing. I listen to the Bartók radió while I work. Sometimes it’s world music, but more often original folk music. But silence can be very pleasant as well, even for hours on end.
I dip into every book. Unfortunately, these days I hardly ever get to read a novel. I have re-read Borges’s short stories and Krúdy’s works, besides books related to my work. I red bits of one of Maurich Blanch’s books last summer. I did not read it as a novel, only savored it. It was a sensual kind of text for me. He has a major essay on Kafka that I liked a lot.
Only the Far-East and the Mediterranean World! I have been to Java once. I would like to go back there.
Fate will decide. It makes sense only if I have an exhibition there. I consider going as a tourist a little bit of luxury without a real purpose.
I like to improvise, but only when I know the recipe. Then it is good to break the rules.
I have already created a few strange combinations of tastes. I often find restaurant food unimaginative. Stylish presentation and elegance don’t make up for the absence of other qualities. It would be good to have more good hash houses. In Eastern countries, it is a pleasure to eat on the streets. It is a shame that we do not have street food in Hungary.
I only by dailies when I am really desperate. Maybe once a month. Television and Internet only with moderation. You need to be careful. They can be harmful.
I hate magazines. There used to be good monthlies and quarterlies, such as Nappali Ház, Átváltozás, Pompei, Vulgo etc., I have kept many of them.
I flip through things in the library. I do not subscribe to magazines. I read literary monthlies.
I wear clothes until they get worn out. Nowadays I like more colorful clothes. I used to wear black before, almost all the time.
There are clothes that I would not wear regularly but I would not refuse to put on anything just for a short time, for an occasion. I hate suits and black tie, I would only wear them if I were an actor, kind of a ham in an absurd tragi-comedy.
I have no favorite. In my opinion, this is the worst possible question. Only a dilettante or someone who has burnt out would answer it.
The list would be quite long.
But rather than famous people, I would have a coffee with my father. I would tell him about my life.
Right now I am writing about Menyhért Tóth. Since his exhibition in 1976 at the Műcsarnok (Kunsthalle) I have known that he was the most important Hungarian painter ever. I admired Lajos Vajda already in my teens. My fundamental source of inspiration was the Szentendre School. Henri Michaux’s world was also a revelation for me. And I could go on and on about the influences…
As I am also a teacher, and so, this is the most difficult question. Now I would have to give something like a recipe, something that would be general and also witty, but in effect, useless. Everybody needs something different. Ultimately, what you need to achieve is the joy of immersing into what you do, a high level of absorption and focusing. This is the pleasure of creation... But I don’t like big-sounding words.
Too many of them. But this is my working method. The open state, suspense, to avoid sinking into a rut.
I have hundreds of unfinished portraits waiting to get the final touch, the final expression. But the state of unfinishedness can also be final. A kind of open work.