Had she not come to India with her family in 2015, she wouldn’t have reached for the brush, says Ildikó. When she arrived on these shores, she immediately began feeling the same strong inspiration for art and painting that the renowned Hungarian-born artist, Amrita Sher-Gil must have felt, living here in India. Inspired by Amrita and the ‘Incredible India’ parallel, she started to paint India herself.
Looking upon Amrita as her master, Ildikó paints faces, people, movements, moments, mythology, religious festivals, and situations that carry her away, and somehow encompass India for her. She mainly paints in acrylic, keeping the theme and atmosphere of her paintings colourful, rich, and as surprising as India itself.
When did you first realise your interest in art?
My first direct experience with art was seeing my father paint. It was his hobby and I was terribly envious of him being able to paint. At the age of 14 I applied to art school, where I found my love for art, which has persisted for the rest of my life. I graduated as a graphic designer and continued my studies at an art university as a graphic designer. My life was about advertising graphics until I arrived in India.
Do you have a favourite work of art amongst those you’ve created?
It would be difficult to answer this; each one is my child. The current favourite is always what I’m working on. It’s the process of creation that I love.
What do you try to communicate with your art?
When I started painting in India, it was only important that I first cover what I saw. It was so strange, so colourful, so interesting, that I just wanted to capture all these experiences. Now I’m trying to paint a little more consciously; I’m trying to communicate a message, something beyond the fact that India is the subject. What I try to communicate is different with every series, but the overarching message is the same with every painting – that India is indeed incredible.
What are your other passions?
I love to travel; I think travelling is the most fantastic thing in the world. I feel lucky because I have visited many places and I’ve been able to enjoy a variety of cultures.
What was the inspiration behind your ongoing show in the city, In the Wake of Amrita Sher-Gil?
For this show in Hyderabad, which is in cooperation with Asian Art House and the Sheraton Hyderabad, we’ve selected 50 paintings that I made in India about India, during my years spent here from 2015. Two things that Amrita Sher-Gil and I have in common are that we both are female artists, born in Hungary. We both came to India and discovered the beauty of the country, and decided to express it through paintings. She was my first inspiration and my master here; she opened my own artistic vision in India. Amrita’s inspiration, enthusiasm and influence are always with me; therefore I’ve chosen to title the exhibition In the Wake of Amrita Sher-Gil. – as told to Sumana