Photo taken in:Cluj NapocaYear when photo was taken:1997Country name at time of photo:RomaniaCountry name today:Romania
This is in my atelier, and in the back you can see the small models of my big works. I?m on the right and next to me is Ervin Miko. This photo was taken in 1977, a year before his death. He was a regular visitor to my atelier. He came with his son at the time, who was an excellent photographer and took this picture. Ervin Miko is a Jewish man who wrote in Hungarian. He asked me questions and published our interview in one of the newspapers. He had question like for instance 'what are you going to do in 2000?' My answer of course was that I didn't know. After 1989 I turned to Jewish subjects in my paintings, which had been impossible to do before because I could have never exhibited them. At the state art exhibitions they didn't accept any Jewish or biblical subject matter so after 1989 it was a great relief to be able to paint what I thought. It was then that I decided to have only individual exhibitions. Initially in my work I focused on Jewish typology: portraits, praying Jewish figures, and then mainly biblical subjects. I started reading the Bible again and it became a Jewish history book for me, which is depicted in a particular way in my paintings. My wife Margo died in 1999. I was left alone after 54 years of marriage. I completely stopped sculpting, working became difficult for me and I even gave some of my tools away. So, it's only drawing and painting that's left for me to do. Many people look up to me and respect me for having done so many things. Somebody told me once, 'How can a sculptor also paint, be a graphic designer, cast ceramics, and also work with metal?' The only comment I had on his question was, 'What can I do, I'm a belated Renaissance man?!'