We spoke to designer TÖRÖK TIHAMÉR about his fascination for abstract shapes, social realism in Romanian architecture and his passion for animation.
MAZIPOS – Your illustrations have a wonderful naive taste and a great use of color and geometry… with what artistic tradition would you identify?
TÖRÖK TIHAMÉR – When I was younger I was inspired by Victor Vasarely’s work and I tried to recreate some of his decorative paintings. Now, I am still fascinated by geometric abstraction, but also by Suprematism. Leaving behind the particularity of the appearance, natural form and colour, and finding the expression in the abstraction, the straight lines and the clearly defined colours.
M – I love the variety of your posters design, it’s a very solid and mature portfolio. As someone that constantly produces posters for the artistic community, do you see major changes in Romania’s culture in recent years?
TT – There is progress in last years, but mostly is noticeable in the underground scene. This medium offers the possibility for the artist to build a visual world based on the concept of the event. Playing around with Illustration and text information until they melt together, each one tells a part from the whole story.
For the cultural events here there is a need for a “better poster” from the viewer and client perspective, but their approach is mainly about style and with zero focus on content. So the posters are more or less a collage of graphic styles, without having too much personality. If you look at them from a bigger distance, they are create a new texture in the city, a balkanposter pattern.
M – Your work also explores architecture through collage and photography, tell us more about your recent pieces…
TT – Analog photography fascinates me, while digital techniques are the norm. This opens new ways, but in the same time closes other. Using both techniques probably is the golden mean. In photography we collect memories and save them for the future. This assumes that what we see on the image, was once the reality. Every symbol compressed in this frame has a meaning and every detail is contributing to the world of this picture. I like to deconstruct this reality and keep only fragments of them, by placing them in a geometric space. It’s like a sci-fi utopia with part time reality, made by using analog photographs mostly taken in Cluj. It’s like painting en plein air with a laptop, cruising around in the city. These are the collage series, called Cityscapes [presented in MAZIPOS’ first edition].
M – For someone that hasn’t been to Romania (or that part of Europe in general), try to explain the bizarre architecture that was build during 60-70s and how that influence the artists nowadays.
TT – The manifestation of the social realism in architecture was influenced by growing expectation, housing situation, migration, political ideologies and the building industry technological progress. Cities with urbanist plans were made from scratch in just few years, in order to serve the well respected working class – mainly identical ones, but some got personality. Filled with decorative elements made from concrete, various balcony and window arrangement, they break the uniformity making them monumental Stalin baroque buildings.
M – You also do animation. Can you tell us few words about that?
TT – For me, as a visual type of person, focused mainly on illustration/motion-graphics, creating animation is a multi component genre (story/image/sound) that implies collaboration with other creatives. In 2010 we grounded Vakuk.com animation studio with Csont Zsombor film director after working together on various projects. Our aim was to make a platform for our voice using animation/motion-graphics, and use it also for commissioned projects. Mainly we work with vector graphic and collage technique but we made some papercut series too, depends from the story.