One to Watch

László Máthé

László Máthé is a Romanian artist currently living in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. He graduated from the University of Art and Design in Cluj-Napoca in 2015 and is already attracting a lot of attention of his
portraiture and figurative paintings. Through his practice, he explores themes of inequality, monetary systems, and the concept of democracy. His subjects are often children, animals, and the poor and disenfranchised.  He works with a moody, dark color palette, and many of his paintings can be considered a contemporary reinterpretation of the Old Masters.

László has exhibited in both Romania and Hungary, including three solo shows at the Erzsébet Room, Minerva House, and Corvin Mathias House, Romania.

What are the major themes you pursue in your work?

I am interested in how people can be manipulated by society. I paint themes such as our monetary system, and its effect upon people and society. In my works I take people as my main subject, because they are the principal victims of manipulation, and I am one of these people.

What was the best advice given to you as an artist?

I never received great advice, but I’ve gotten a lot of encouragement.

Prefer to work with music or in silence?

I prefer to work with music anytime; it’s not just background noise, but rather I like to listen to the music. My emotions can become heightened by music, and then it’s easier for me to concentrate on my work.

If you could only have one piece of art in your life, what would it be?

It’s hard to choose one piece of art from many good works, but I would like to choose just one detail from the work of Willi Sitte. (Leuna 1969). On the right side of this work are two children who are running together in a happy world.

Who are your favorite writers?

I don’t have favorite writers necessarily, but I like The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck and books by John Perkins.