Torjay Valter szimbolista festőművész honlapja

About me

I was born under the sign of scorpion and the dragon in Szombathely at the 17th of November,1964. Where the maternity ward was situated there is office-block and a coctail-bar is standing. The new life on this planet did not come smoothly, ps: I was born 2 weeks later than I supposed to, so: I am a heavy arse since then…

Ancestry - childhood

I come from an old family from Vas-county presumably through my mother who was born on Sárvár. My great-grandfather, who was a master mason building up the city's considerable part he owned a nobel rank as Ládonyi-Németh, but my grandfather - if may be, even better master builder than my great-grandfather - did not ascribe so much importance to this already. My grandfather ensured a happy life for my grandmothers in the beautiful, own planning house at Arad street 12. A lot were my grandfather's sibling, but apart from him only his younger brother Jenő established a family. The rest of the siblings remained under the great-grandmother oppressive power.

My father was derived from the former genteel middle-class with possessive nobiliary and member of the upper-middle class ancestors. Our forefather, beölsei-Buday István was general under Rákoczi, my great-great-grandfather, Buday Imre was captain of the Hungarian Independence war in 1848. The surgeon, Réczey Imre belongs to our family as well as Fleischer József who was obstetrician professor. My paternal grandfather, Valasek Ernő grew up on Tata Tóváros, where his father head master fisher, was a bailiff at Esterházy then. My grandmother Felsőtorjai Száncsek Ilona was born from a highlands mother (eperjesi Fleischer Matild) on Dés and a father who came from Partium, Felsőbánya (Zoltán Sztáncsek geologist-, school-inspector). I think I used up this topic with this.

My mother as a psychiatrist did a lot for the fallen people. I did not know a more altruistic doctor than her. My father became a doctor, a surgeon and urologist, not a historian because of political reasons but he came into conflict with the power inspite of that. I perceived some of this. Now he is honourary, and heir president of the 56' Association in Vas-county. My parents were honest people in their entire life, and a property was not collected although they were not needy. I learned the affection of music from my mother and the affection of the homeland from my father.

I was a vivid, vehement child with big fantasy. I have most of my memories from my maternal grandfather and my big auntie, Ilike, and the days we spent on Sárvár, apart from many friendships and of course opposition having been weaved with the boys lived in our street. Here I was faced with the concept of the theft first. I started drawing series due to different newspapers as "Pif", but it was presumably my departed maternal grandfather who had deep effect on me which cannot be measured yet then. There was not even a word about dealing with art at this time however I collected old money and fossils with pleasure on the other hand. I also played football a lot with my friends.

In the primary school there was so much problem with my personality and also because I could not integrate myself into the "peer pressure". Fortunately I always had excellent teachers who were pretty understanding towards me. I gained a little, Russian camera that time, which I did shootings with, and we tried to shoot a western film with the boys though. I did not dare to take the first step towards my first loves and if I did it was rather ridicoulus so I did not have many success. Neither I was the women's idol later as I was not scoundrel or floppy.

My youth – the beginning of my art

As secondary grammar school I attended Kanizsai Dorottya Gimnázium. I started playing the guitar at that time and I formed three bands later on (Lex, Selejt, Félkilenc). In my opinion we did good songs, however I may not have paid attention to this being the purpuse of my life, since I was not a qualified musician. The instrumentalists did not bunch from the grammar school, but from the friends and collage students. Mainly we played rock, punk and also the new wave had huge effect on us. I started drawing again that time, what Ferenc Vörös, my grammar school teacher, followed with attention. With the help of his private lessons I could attend the teacher-training college onto the academic specialisation of drawing and history. I met for the third time my first big love on Bélatelep at this time, a German girl, whose name was Beate, and with her we corresponded until years, however just about true neutral topics. I have to mention her because she belonged functionally to the era between 1979-1986.

I served my military year on Szombathely, which gave much practical experience and two wonderful friends to me, Zsolt Prucsi, the musician and Zsolt Gulyás painter. I went to the college from 1984, which gave me the lifelong friendship of Péter Zsoldos and Tamás Zsoldos.

I started painting before it though, but these experiments were very feeble. In the college I had to face the fact that I know almost nothing about the profession. This lead to conflicts of course, indeed I received just "satisfactory" of a drawing once. I learned much here! The advises of Mészáros and Horváth János lead me slowly to the right direction. They helped me to get rid of the bad mannered style and it was high time for that. I adored the Art Nouveau in the grammar school already, then slowly I oriented towards the symbolism and during the college period I realized that this world matches to my individuality the most. It was sure from the very beginning: there was no ways towards the avantgarde. I disliked the peculiarities of this stream, and also the behaviour of these artists I saw. Oroszy Csaba offered his friendship on the college. He had exciting, experiments with a spectacle centered wiew in those days. Later we diverged from each other a little bit because he took the other direction however he preserved the essence of his spectacle centered style.

About my art so far

I painted the picture "Wanderer" in 1987. It depicted my old friend, Miklós Hunyadi "Hunyusz" in his young age. There was several small study behind me at this time. I finished the college in 1988. My painting "József" was born in this time what was the premonition of Hungary's fate, with which I bowed to Ferenczy Károly. I started the series of my monotypes this time, to which my oldest friend, Nagy Jóska (1964-2004) prepared the copper engraving press. This year I applyed to the College of Art, where with a reason ("His drawings are good, but what does he wants here if he has a degree already?") which cannot be accepted for me they dropped me out in the final round. Finally this appeared to be a fortune because they could not transform my artistic temper.

I started the painting in the same time in Pázmány Péter street in a little mini bedsit, this was the "old studio". The ancient cemetery which was lying infront opened the "Big Book of Misticism", which inspired me starting the whole series of paintings and graphics in this topic. Between mysterious circumstances I also found my grand-garand uncle here. I initiated a fight for rescueing the cemetery, that obtained reputation though, but powerful enemies for me also. All this interwoven with the beginnings of my fight for the rights of the classic art what closed all the gates of all frequented exhibition places before me in my hometown, as well as in the capital until today. Slowly I discovered how big the intolerance is towards the traditional-root painting in Hungary. At the same time I understood that I am one of those who represents this school the most sharply without compromises.

In the period lasting from 1988 to 1993 I was grammar school teacher of drawing in Körmend which entailed much free time and the real explosion of my painting development. I never learned this much, and all this in the free nature and from the old masters. At this time one of the potentates of the other side tried to discourage me from my own style, telling that "vainly beautiful, if it is not modern". All this affirmed me, that I have been on a right way, just like the echo of several of my exhibitions kept in the county previously.

Although from many aspects I was on the periphery of the painting community, I experienced the audience's gratitude as well. There was always somebody also in the local press, who supported me for which I can not be grateful enough. I got the chance to appear on a TV series which title was "New under the sun" made by Ádám Fellegi and Imre Antal in 1993. The programme introduced neglected talents. I was selected from many painters and it was a great honour for me. With this an era finished in my art as well. I saw Paris and Rome too this time. I met my wife, Krisztina Varga in the grammar school of Körmend, whom I married in 1997.

I have been teaching in the Secondary grammar school of arts since 1992, where I started teaching art-history, later ethnography and history of furnitures. However for that I had to brace myself attending the ELTE (Eötvös Lóránt University of Sciences) academic specialisation of art history. Travelling between the two cities and dividing myself between work and studying constatntly, made the creative work extremly difficult. After all several pieces was born at this time which were very important for me. I could mention the "Adventures of Klári", "The shade of Rippl Rónai", the first version of "All Saints' Day" and innumerable picturesque and graphic. Meanwhile my furniture and phonograph-record collection increased as well. At the summer of 1997 "one day before my wedding" I met André Smeets, a Belgian photo artist in St. Márton cemetry during painting. This big researcher of St. Márton visited us two years later. At this time I was getting involved into an affair with the new director of the art gallery so as a result I was ignored more firmly for years. After this affair I gave up the dream becoming respected and honoured artist ever. I recognized that my style as a painter became more "avantgarde" comparing to the contermporary art. I also realised, for me the success could only mean the honest appreciation of the audience and the feeling of delight above a work since the "painter's communitiy" treated me like an enemy.

I acquainted with the composer Ityko Bonczó in 1995 thanks to the cemetery again whom I have strong friendship since then. Thanks God, there is no lack of good friends! His wonderful creation about the old cemetery of Szombathely made me devoted to his art for a lifetime.

In 1999 I was elected into and exhibitor group which had to introduce their work in the Bavarian Kaufbeuren where I met the painter and art-historian Erwin Birnmeyer and his wife, whom took me under their wings. With their support I took part in several other german exhibition which brought me some financial success as well. To tell the truth it was definately something new for me after the Hungarian cirsumstances.

In 2000 my son, Valter was born who became the source of so much joy and more and more the topic of my paintings. Meanwhile I had exhibitions in several towns as Tata, Budapest, Nagykanizsa, Pécs with success and also I held few other ones in Szombathely as well. I strove to my art getting closer to the old symbolistic world more. This way a number of charcoal-drawing, monothypes were born and of course a lot of oil paintings like "The ancient castle remembers at night", "Idyll", "Eve" or the the bigest painting of mine so far the "József and his followers" which figures reflected my admiration towards Marées and Munch. I began writing down my thoughts from which some were published in the journal "Our life" inducing positive and negative reactions again.

I also started publishing as an art historian meanwhile, mainly focused on the field of the gravestone-, and furniture work. My book about the master-joiners of Szombathely was published in 2006.

In 2005 I managed to get the contact with the artist's colony of Véső Ágost in Nagybánya (Slovakia), where I had the chance taking part two times till now. Stepping onto my ancestors' and the Hungarian painting's holy land was a miracolous feeling! I could see the former mansion of Sztáncsek family on Felsőbánya, which was built by them and they owned it until 1905.

However in 2007 I could not travel to Nagybánya, with the help of an unknown friend I had the chance to go Nagykőrös to the artist's colony of Révay György. Wonderful place it is! I hope I can return once!

This web-page certainly is innovating from that point of wiew, how I do not list all of my exhibitions (I confess I would be too lazy to collect all of them), and neither I will list my awards – since I do not have any. I belive it is more important knowing about my artwork and my humanity instead.

Valter Torjay