The Muses


Looks like I am starting another series, but hey, we artists love variety! The new series will be about the nine muses. I will contemporarize them according to my taste, but I will keep in mind also that they need to inspire me and the audience alike in spirit. The emphasis will be on form (gowns and hairstyles that don’t aim for any historical or stylistic categorization) and surface treatment, whether texture or colour, or both. The figures will be larger than most of my sculptures, between 30 and 36 inches.

Here is Euterpe, the muse of lyric poetry, which includes music, dance and song. In ancient Greece she was usually depicted with a flute, which is the perfect instrument for me, considering my son plays the flute. I used his flute for reference at his insistence that it had

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to look like his own, very realistic! Thus, I ended up including more detail than originally planned. In all my figures I will try to keep in mind that these ladies are half human, half otherworldly divine creatures, so will have to be idealized.

The purple colour sort of bewildered me at first, but I have gotten used to it, and wouldn’t have her in any other way!

That Day


This piece reflects on some of the relationship-layers in the new millennium. I look at the dynamics of the mother-daughter unit in response to societal influences. There are always new trends popping up in the evolution of  ideas, and these have a say in shaping the future. However, there is a significant risk in change, due to its untested nature. Surely, a calculated risk is usually part of the equation, but it seems to me it is foolish if not dangerous to do away with the accumulated wisdom of the past to chase Utopian social constructs that defy nature, reality and logic.  Failed social experiments can cause serious damage in future generations. Good intentions are not enough, we owe it to our children to make sure we lead them towards a reality-based future.

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Girl2Girl

More bird (madár) sculptures


I almost forgot to post the rest of my madár sculptures. In fact, there may be more coming as I am preparing for a workshop in the fall. I made these sculptures with a different technique, the traditional layered paper mache strips.  I like the results and am already incorporating the (to me) new method into the pulped paper sculpting. It will particularly be useful for delicate detail that might be prone to breaking otherwise.

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Madár


Madár is the Hungarian equivalent of ‘bird’. In the Carpathian Basin bird is seen as a powerful symbol of freedom that has inspired many wonderful pieces of art and music. Brancusi was inspired by the folk tales and the symbolic magic bird, “pasarea maiastra” when he created his wonderful sculpture of the same name and another one, Bird in Space.

I hope to create more than one “madár” in the following months. I like the biomorphic approach very much, but am also thinking about using elements of Hungarian needlework.

“The Thinker”


Last weekend, while reading an art history book, I came across a familiar face, that of “The Thinker”. No, I’m not talking about Michelangelo’s Lorenzo de Medici or Rodin’s famous sculpture. I’m talking about Neolithic man’s version of “The Thinker”. Last time I saw it was in elementary school history class.  Never thought of it ever since.  And now there he was, with his companion piece, “Seated Woman”.  I was impressed.

The "Thinker" & the "Seated Woman" - Masterpieces of Neolithic Art by londonconstant.

The two clay statuettes were found in 1956 in Cernavoda, Romania, in a tomb near the Danube. They originate from the Hamangia culture, an early farming society emerging in the sixth millenium B.C. They were found among other similar, but headless figurines. There seems to be no unanimous agreement on the age of the artifacts, various sources dating them somewhere between 2500 B.C. and 6000 B.C.

There are plenty of other statuettes from the Neolithic, but none of what I’ve seen so far show the level and care for form, gesture and emotional involvement of these figurines, clearly the work of an artist.

The woman is seated very casually, with her arms resting on one knee. Her robust thighs and hips show the usual Neolithic approach to femininity (i.e.fertility), but look at the well defined hands gently positioned on the knee.  A very sensual and subtle portrayal of the woman indeed.

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Can it get any better than this?  Is sure can. The maker shows even more concern for the male figure. He is seated on a meticulously modelled realistic stool.  Lost in thought, his facial expression and suggestive gesture show anguish and worry. The artist made a conscious effort to articulate his subject’s state of mind. If the statuette were to be used for religious ritualistic purposes, he needn’t do that. I suspect he made the figures for his own pleasure, like  all artists do. The heavily stylized anatomy and the facial expression look very contemporary to us. The Thinker’s arresting presence conveys a feeling that perhaps what we are witnessing is one of the beginning moments of art.  After thousands of years of progress, a lengthy but steady evolution, art has come full circle. Brancusi himself could have carved these figures!

This novelty is a Romanian coin dedicated to The Thinker:

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The picture below shows a modern day copy of The Thinker and Seated Woman.

The Thinker of Hamangia and his Woman

And lastly, this is my sculpture inspired by these two figurines. For more pictures follow the link: https://erikatakacs.wordpress.com/2010/03/10/evolution-new-sculpture/