Zsolt Gyarmati Expresses Visual Overload


Artist Zsolt Gyarmati

Award winning artist Zsolt Gyarmati's practice focuses on raising sub-conscious interest in areas of modern art with emphasis on basic symbols. 


In his paintings, Gyarmati imitates visual overload, translating the aggressiveness of targeting consumers with massages into the language of painting. This is the most obvious form of imitation: the story of a scene with arranged figures would serve as a visual rendition of the problem addressed to the audience. Consequently, the viewers will be able to relate themselves to the painting.


Painting by Zsolt Gyarmati

"I provide the chance for self-recognition elsewhere. My painting is an exceptional work of art in the sense that the relationship between the individual and power is condensed into an icon-like presentation in contrast to the story, thus the viewer is offered a different way to identify myself with the theme."


Gyarmati would like to portray the status which is most similar to the well-known virtual reality we are living in. The integral part of the mindset of contemporary artists, the experience-based reflection and everyday observations, that is also why his works avoid being moderated or impersonal. "According to my worldview, human being exists genuinely neither in the Nothing and nor in the Information, but squeezed between them in a status called Noise, lost among the great variety of incomprehensible messages, leading to a situation in which too much information kills information."


Painting by Zsolt Gyarmati

The key element of Gyarmati's creative process is to depict this information noise emission, which overthrows reality. "My modus operandi nurtured by one of the toughest artistic traditions: trying to be a special witness of my time, and to study it on a purely intuitive basis, and then imitating as many aspects as possible." This attitude results in a kind of overcrowding in his works, not as the goal, but rather as a necessity.


"I can get so immersed in the creative process, that with slight exaggeration, I don't even notice, and already I have the final product, the painting, hanging on my wall"

"In my opinion, the audience should be consciously or sub-consciously influenced by contemporary art. Experiences, forms of expression and ways of seeing are extremely important in processing the whole spectrum of possible experiences, and as an artist I also recognize that some impacts are unavoidable. This creative process is not conscious, it simply exists and has a direct impact."


In Gyarmati's creative process pixel-shaped figures are typically used. His meticulous and complicated digital design of his early works has now shifted towards minimalism.

"My characters usually take a frontal view and strive to represent typical, iconic shapes that are recognizable from a few cubes. As our world moves towards ever-more digitization, the rounded, naturalizing formations are increasingly given to the frame-based finality of my paintings.


Painting by Zsolt Gyarmati

I often turn to the monkey or monkey head symbol that I have used most since the beginning. The Christian mentality-based approach to morality - including its visual world - was considered by the dogmas consecrated afterwards to be the monkey's negative or subtle expression. For example, in the Middle Ages, the iconographic archetype of diabolic figures depicted as the manifestation of sins in most cases is in agreement with the appearance of apes. With my monkey-headed creatures that produce elementary excitement and bruised manifestations, I want to paint a person without alignment, without a string."


"My working method is some kind of „war” of ideas"

Gyarmati's work is a constant and unsolvable conflict within him, during which layers appear and disappear on the canvas representing different atmospheres. Creation is not a linear process, instead a mixture of signs, symbols and atmospheres unbound of time. He excludes and discards the surface, the didactic elements of consumer society from the monotonous urban background noise, and through further analysis of the visual details of the mapped reality, he puts emphasis on basic symbols which are characterized by simultaneity and malleability.



Last year Gyarmati had a retrospective exhibition in the Artpool Art Research Centre which is a division of the Museum of Fine Arts, where he presented a selection of works from the past ten years, and also a connecting edgy project in Kapolcs at Valley of Arts Festival. "These projects required a lot of energy. I am not planning a solo show for this year, although I was also invited to several group exhibitions in Budapest and Berlin. I am constantly working on a series about cultural and historical icons, and it seems I would never finish this series, I just look around and several ideas are expressed."