How did you enter the world of photography?
Originally I studied economics but I worked very little in this field, as I found out quickly that I can’t sit in one place. So I took upon myself the uncertainty and all the other drawbacks of leaving everything behind, and started something new. First I interpreted a little for foreigners, then I spent four years procuring goods for a store chain mainly in Asia, and sometimes in Africa or South-America. I liked these times – there was once a 10-day period when I visited a Buddhist, a Hindu, a Muslim and a Christian country one after the other. The different cultures, mentalities, and tastes of countries were a great influence for me. I took a lot of pictures even then, and these served as a foundation for my “archive of photos”. When I arrived home I couldn’t find my place among the interpreters any more, so I resolved to try to make a living from my pictures, as I had received a lot of positive reaction. This happened around 1995, and I can’t say things went poorly. People love my photos, and the past 16 years have seen my pictures published in virtually every Hungarian paper. Unfortunately it has become a lot difficult since the digital era started. The papers save more and more on pictures, a kind of negligence can be observed, as they don’t like to spend on photos.
Which are you most known photos of Budapest?
I’m in love of Budapest. I was born in Pécs but I spent my college years here. I’ve lived at many places in both Buda and Pest, but now it’s been eight years since I live at Bem square, which is a very friendly neighborhood. The apartment was my granny’s, before this I lived only in rented ones. Another reason I like to live here is the excellent public transportation, which is very important to me. I don’t even have a driving licence, let alone a car. I take a lot of pictures all around the city, actually, I took many of the baths of Budapest for years, day and night, season after season. This went on to be a very interesting material. I keep encountering these pictures to the present day on websites of baths, and in the press, too. Moreover, I took pictures of markets and bridges of Budapest among other venues, and, of course, I took pictures of the city for my own pleasure.
What do you take photos of for yourself?
Fireworks, the Sziget, or the Zoo, if I visit it with a child of one of my friends. Unfortunately, I have so much work nowadays (which has its advantages, too), that I don’t really find materials to shoot for my own sake. Though I’m planning to participate in the Fotomarathon. It sounds exciting.
Where can we see your works?
I had an exhibition on Budapest baths and the city itself in Moscow in early summer. Recently my photos were displayed at the opening ceremony of a day care center. Additionally my works can be seen in cafés, offices, and many apartments. An album of Bali was published from my works, and I could fill a fine book about India with my pictures if publishers were less strict about financial conditions even in the beginning. I’ve taken numerous exhibitions abroad as I try to appear on other markets, too, with my photos of Hungary and other places.
What’s your favorite subject or photo?
I have an exhibition called “Kirakat” (Store window), which I like very much. I think it could be a success all around the world. My favorite photo is a portrait I took almost 20 years ago in Bodhgaya, India. Among the ones I took in Budapest I’d choose the one I took at Lukács Bath – shot from the roof terrace downwards depicting the swimmers as they take strokes. I’d also be glad to see how my leg strokes look from above.
Where are you traveling next? What are your plans?
When this interview appears on the internet I’ll be in Holland for a few days. I was there not long ago but it seems I’m flying to Eindhoven once again. As you might have guessed I’m flying with a low-cost airline with all its benefits (good price at the right time), and drawbacks (remote airport, very early departure at times). I’ve got plenty of plans but how they will work out depends on many things.
- Favorite book: Gabriel García Márquez: One Hundred Years of Solitude
- Favorite movie: Dogville
- Favorite painter: Botero and Frida Kahlo
- Favorite venue in Budapest: Bambi bar, Lukács Thermal Bath
- Favorite music: Southern Slavic music