Igor Prokop is a Hungarian creative force with a spirit as wild as the colors and strokes that decorate his expansive paintings. Convinced thatmathematics, science and art are not mutually exclusive and should not be seen as such, he explores and pushes the boundaries of art, investigating its purpose and his place within it. Read on to find out how he views the past, present and future of art and life.
Good morning, Igor! What’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?
I tend to work late into the night, so I’m usually very sleepy early in the morning. But the first thing I do is look at my small workshop and ask: what did I do last evening?
What inspires you to create every day?
I am inspired by nature in all its complexity and movement, by how our world is changing and what we can do to help it. My perspective is influenced by determinate factors within the Butterfly Effect such as interaction, our ecological footprint, the necessity of biodiversity and Albedo – the measure of reflected solar radiation. I see these issues through the eyes of a biologist and a traveler, understanding them both from authentic scientific sources and professionals, but also as I have experienced them throughout my own travels. I am inspired by Stephen Hawking for his vision and impact, and from an artistic perspective: Jean-Michel Basquiat for his sarcasm, cynicism and exploration into the subconscious, and the Impressionists for their examples ofcolor complexity.
What does your work space look like?
From the cellar to the attic, the whole house is a studio.
Describe the core of your technique or style.
My style is built from a multi-faceted approach, namely a mix of philosophy, science and artistic expression. I deal with famous philosophical questions like “Where are we from? Where are we going? What are we?” and center my work on the unification of analysis and synthesis.
It is very important to me to communicate authentic information. Artistic information and scientific information are seemingly contradictory, and art consists of a lot of subjective elements beyond scientific reason. These subjective, emotional elements often seize me, and sometimes I consciously do not represent them in the concrete image of an assigned topic. For example, with the topic of global warming, I don’t need to show burning buildings or melting glaciers to transmit my message. Generally, just as much – if not more – can be communicated through pure abstraction.
Besides its material structure, an essential element of my art and process is what I use it for: teaching. Being a teacher means I have the urge to pass my art onto others. I have to motivate, teach and make great impressions on my audience, mainly a strong, visual, emotional effect through which I seek to show them the world. I aim for my paintings to contain elements that help the viewer find a strong point connecting them to reality, thus enabling them to find connections to nature.
What are your top 3 studio essentials?
Silence, solitude and light.
How do you know or decide when an artwork is finished?
I ask myself “Do my feelings coincide with my thoughts?” If yes, then the painting is ready.
What do you like to do to unwind after a day’s work?
Every day I hike in the mountains with my wife.
What’s your overall favorite aspect of the creative process?
I have many favorite aspects. I like experimenting, playing a part in global cooperation to move our planet to a brighter, more sustainable future, and the opportunity to continue teaching.