Over the tiles of the Grail
Everything artistically realized by Lorant Agoston bears the marks of storytelling. He simply ignores the boundary between childhood and adult world. Once it pervaded his paintings and graphics, enmeshed smaller and larger danger zones, the tale eventually manifests in his collages.
Being a guardian, humble parent and not a playful, irresponsible child, Agoston’s existence is pervaded by (self) control. His fragile lines synthesize a new reality from the ancient relics. His guardian, protecting sight repeatedly sticks the tiles of the Grail and the torn waste sheets of the great codex together. Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. For Lorant seeing means curing. Thereby, as a restorer of the disintegrated world he gains the idea of the primordial (childlike, animal, mineral) heavenly harmony. He is not the one who breaks the world but who plasters its cracks with the white of the finest Adamic clay. Plastering for him means revealing beauty.
I recall his travelling exhibition from the 90s in Roman Hall, Belgrade. He spread his large paintings as flying bedsheets, enriching the viewer with the pure metaphor of reality. We glimpsed the cracks and the colourful patches of our beings. Reality was torn into strips that Lorant’s artistic hands grabbed and with a curious poetical constructivism he tried to tack, staple and stick together. When in autumn I saw his collages in Senta, an old acquaintance smiled at me – the child inside me. Once again, this eternal Burratino was charmed by the magical handwork and also the goodness of Carlo papa.
Circles around the person most loved vigorously drawn with chalks. Tinges succinct, not colours but surfaces juxtaposed. There are scissors but also the glue. There is uncontrolled tearing but meaningful altering, as well. Danger rephrased, hereby deprived. Broken down to a sole sign, to a warning, to a riddle. Since, as we said, the centre of the artistic universe is the child. Some kind of unsolvable sign system unfolds around her. Lorant plays with paper like with fire, keeping matches away, beyond anyone’s reach. These collages, picture epistles are secretly addressed to both the child and the adult. These sedative picture-books are to soothe the effects of cataclysm emerged in the meantime.
A child, without being aware of the Minotaur, skips the painted confines of the labyrinth as she pleases. A text for her is like a tag – a scribble, a pattern, hopscotch. The painter, while he keeps his eye on his angel child till her adolescence, transforms the hell of reality with Ariadne’s thread in his hands. The daughter with her girly figure has already trodden into the mud reaching to her knee. Or in a swamp? Perhaps in the clay, from which a new mankind will be born? Both the child and the animal are equally meek: they sit on the almost same steps. They don’t even suspect that they are the targets of predatory claws.
Everything changes when you grow up. Exiled subconscious breaks out as well as the ghosts from Goya’s paintings. You’re out of pupils, became a creature that evokes a dead’s skull. A narrative of the thresholds and time-tracks in the cacophonous manuscripts. A story of the broken heart. A guide through purgatory.
The artist bridges the rising syncope. Once again he arranges the after-flood fragments void by hierarchy, embedded in the address, photo, blood group, illegible signature, stamp stuck upside down, seal press, deprecated train ticket, ominous yellow reflex. He patches the split identity, ties it into a booklet, a codex, squeezes it into cardboard, a brick of a future building.
Here’s the devil on the back of the icon. And it will be the new Adam, with his kaolin heart who sticks him down. Tired people are stores of the texts, not their broadcasters. Background (urban landscape) in recycled collage technique, ink colours, full of nostalgia for the navy blue. The child always escapes from group portraits, heavenly gold dropping on her.
Those who agreed to the rain of hieroglyphics, in the middle of the imaginary sweetness of angels flown around by wasp and mosquito swarms (finally, back to the happy childhood!), by now are dark silhouettes. Where have their pupils gone? On the backside of the old packaging there is the devolution formula, from tired Adam through the shivering rabbit (whose eyelets are not empty) to the nihil reptiles. Inside white cracks, spaces that need to be bridged and fill with meaning, with witty and ironic, elliptic sign system, in an attempt to recreate the world by any means…