Born in Esztergom nearby Budapest in the Hungarian Socialist People’s Republic, Janos Huszti had to learn Russian. He remembers his teacher forced the class to watch Leonid Brezhnev’s funeral ceremony on the television when he was 8.
"It was fun because we didn’t understand what was happening, just enjoyed to watch the battle tanks parade. Art was not an option in my neighborhood at all."
As a young man he entered the Army as it was required during this era of his Country. But his love of art did not waiver. A self taught artist, Janos went to the Hungarian National Gallery several times to study Hungarian masterpieces. Hungarian classical music like Béla Bartók which sounds pretty much modern and progressive even in this time was part of his soundtrack in life.
Fortunately the regime changed in Hungary in 1989. Janos had several indifferent jobs, when finally he went to the PTE University’s Art Faculty, where he made his dream a reality and graduated as an artist.
What are some of the earliest memories you have about art?
When I visited Hungarian National Gallery as a teenager I was fascinated by Tivadar Csontváry Kosztka’s and László Mednyányszky’s paintings. In those empty museum rooms I realized that I met a pure, authentic culture which is mine and it speaks to me and I have never had a chance till then to meet it.
What made you want to be an artist?
Beside the Hungarian masters I was quite into baroque masters too like Rembrandt, Van Dyck, Velázquez. But the truth is that I had to inspire and educate myself. Unfortunately there was not any art-educated adult in my neighborhood who could been encourage me. All together I think it was fine. If you born to be somebody, there is no teacher who could tell you how to achieve your goals except you.
As artists we always have some inspiration from other artists along the way. Who inspired your work?
I’m also really into and always moved by contemporary artists. My sister lives in the US, she have sent me a couple of art catalogs from there at the late 90’s. I have met in these magazines the American contemporary art scene: Revok, Dalek, Shepard Fairy, Cleon Peterson, James Jean, etc. It seems to me that American artists are really hardworking and persistent in their specialty.
If you could collaborate with any artist dead or alive, who would it be?
It wouldn’t be. Because of me and because of them. We artists like to work alone. If somebody still made us to work together, it would be Nicola Samori, Zhang Huan or Neo Rauch.
What do you want to accomplish with your art?
I called my first abstracted portrait series Amygdala’s Hall. It shows the human soul’s variety and depths. Beyond that these portraits are my mind’s projections about non-existing human beings.
What is the last thing that you saw that really inspired you to create?
After a few years I graduated from the university I have tried to find my place at the Hungarian art scene. By this time period I got ahold of the Internet and discovered the international art scene. Till then I can get influences that impress me or come across artists who really inspire me any day at every moment. But I have just back from Barcelona where I have seen the Fundació Antoni Tápies cultural center and I have been amazed by the Catalonian master’s work.