Miklós Ladányi-Tóth is such an interesting artist- his art infuses symbols of emigration and travel with thought-provoking elements of the current political climate in Hungary, a topic close to his heart. In our interview, we discuss Miklós’ inspiration, what he hopes to teach people and how art engages with politics.
What do you hope people who come to see your art will learn or feel?
This is a very important topic for me, because of my current personal situation. I started this series in Hungary and I continued it here in the UK- I feel I could [teach] something about this [Hungarian] political situation to the people living here. [I hope] they can understand this with the help of background information. I tried to make them feel the political situation [as if it were closer to home] with the elements of visual communication.
You decided to base your exhibition on the political situation in Hungary- why do you think art is good for engaging with politics?
There are numerous functions of art, the most well known being a decorative function, but [ also] as a communication tool, suitable for [different] methods of expressing opinion. We can give so many examples [of] art filled with political meaning; you can think about the exhibition about the artworks of the formal Yugoslavian artists from the Tito era, which was held this Spring at the Nottingham Contemporary.
Why did you decide to use elements of folk-tale in your exhibition?
This is the result of a long process. In previous years I was inspired by the patterns and elements of material objects of the recent past. Therefore, [the exhibition] automatically resulted from the tools of the patterns and the ornaments. I have always been interested in the contrast between the severe, contemporary topics and the construction of a nicely-done craftwork, or rather the dissonance and the sour irony of it.
What was your favourite piece to compose for this exhibition and why?
Among the artworks I created for the exhibition, the ‘suitcases’ are the newest ones. The most exciting moments during the installation of these dysfunctional objects were the play with the lights. That’s why these are my favourite ones, but I can see further opportunities in all of my work.
What do you enjoy most about being an artist?
The planning and describing of [my] creative ideas and the execution of them, so more or less, the whole process.
What inspires you to create art?
I really cannot give a proper answer. I simply work with inspiration, and I keep thinking about new ideas and realisations.
What advice would you give to young artists?
[To] give everything to their work and believe in themselves.
Written by Emily Geyerhosz for Surface Gallery
Images provided by Surface Gallery