Igor Eugen Prokop: Through Glass, Physics, Philosophy and the Arts
“[..] an essential element of my art’s whole process and what I use it for is teaching. As a teacher, I have the urge to pass on my art. I want to motivate, teach and make a great impression on the audience, mainly a strong, visual, emotional effect by which I want to show them the world. When it happens, the picture should have such elements that help the viewer find a strong point connecting him to reality and enables him to find relations to nature as mentioned before.”
Igor Eugen Prokop, born in Born 1953 Budapest, Hungary, is a visionary abstract painter from Visegrad. His works are deeply suggestive and embody the whole way of thinking of the artist. Prokop doesn’t shy away from the use of color and captures the essence of the world onto his canvas. Analytic and always in though, the artist seems to decline subjects like humanity vs. nature into movement and expressive strokes, creating his own semiotic language. His thought process easily translates into his work, be it words or images everything seems to have double, triple meaning with Prokop.
One of the most interesting traits of the artist is certainly his mind and how, when asked a question, his ability to connect a simple word with an infinite variety of subjects, reflects heavily into his art. Mathematics, physics, art, music, history…a quasi chaos that melts together to create stunning works of abstract art.
Igor Prokop "God give more power to the nurces and the doctors"
But how does he capture the essence of the world as to fit it in his own interpretation of art?
“The determinate factors are interaction, ecological footprint, the necessity of biodiversity and the fourth one is albedo.”- claims Prokop - “Albedo is important. It expresses the effects of solar radiation on the Earth. The luminous surfaces, like the surface of the seas, simply reflect the light while the dark surfaces absorb the heat of the sun. It is easy to prove with a simple experiment. If you put a black material or a stone on the snow the snow melts under it and around it. This is what is happening on the Northern Pole nowadays where melts and molten areas are getting larger and larger. That is the continental shelf. The rocks in places are basalt and are mainly dark and are exposed. They absorb the heat of the sun more intensely and make the glaciers, already molten, melt faster and the thickness of the ice is halved. Now, this albedo does increase the greenhouse effect and both the pace and extent of the temperature of the Earth are getting higher and higher.
Let's turn back to arts. How can we capture it and why do we have to?
I deal with these issues in my art. I see them through the eyes of a biologist and a traveler who elaborates these issues not just through the experiences of others, although that is also important, but especially when they derive from authentic scientists and authentic sources, they are also rooted in my own experiences as I have traveled around the Earth. It is here where I have mentioned the problem of "the complete and incomplete". This is where philosophy and the philosophical background get connected, and the question of what is most important in arts? Teaching, education, presentation, demonstration, that there is still such a world where we, human beings, can cooperate with nature well, where the air and seas are clean, the soil is fertile and free of chemicals. All these are deteriorating nowadays[...]
This is what is happening to the Earth now because of human intervention. I draw and paint these events and try to signalize that at the beginning there was a very-very active, colorful world and this colorful world is sustainable and must be sustained! This issue is also called the need for sustainable development. As a teacher, I am trying to teach these basic principles and follow them as well. Scientists as indicators have been researching and signalizing the changes of the world. In this change, arts can play a significant role, naturally, in positive changes!”
My first impression of Prokop’s art was that he seemed to see the world through fragments of stained glass. A blurred and colorful vision of objects and scattered thoughts thrown on a canvas. It was only when reading and digging deeper into the mind of the artist that i understood better what i was looking at.
If you look closely at Prokop’s pieces you can clearly see the fractures present in almost all of his work. Maybe his vision isn’t fragmented but rather a realistic depiction of the world and the values he holds beginning to crumble and collapse.
Citing scientists like Heisenberg and Hawking it is clear that many cultural elements come into play as the artist’s inspiration.
“[...]I love the excellent scientists who I deal with in my works, like Stephen Hawking, whose achievements in astronomy, mathematics, and physics are united in his legacy. His wish was to save the results of evolution; nature and its apex, human beings. Anyway, the Earth will fall, at some point, onto the Sun due to natural reasons and will perish. It is already threatened by global warming, too. Mankind needs time to find a proper place to live, a livable planet. The Earth is getting older naturally and will die and this high level, human presence in the Universe, should be carried on. This was Hawking's principle and philosophy. I connect these scientists, authentic scientists in an authentic way with philosophy, with the above-mentioned philosophical trends.”
But besides the scientific approach to art philosophy is also deeply grounded in his work.
Igor Prokop " Ear to live with the Coronavirus in the future"
How important are philosophical elements in Prokop’s work and what are they?
“I have studied Greek philosophy. Aristotle and Plato started dealing with the philosophical elements discussing the most crucial questions, like ‘Where are we from, where are we going, what are we?’, and practically, the whole history of philosophy functions along these principles in exactly the same way as evolution put it into practice during milliards of years when life on Earth started to emerge. The whole evolution is a very difficult, very long, well experimented, well-established system. As a result, the highest living creature of mankind, homo sapiens, emerged. I stress that human beings do belong to this system. They are not separate, they are – according to our current knowledge – on the top of this system, on the top of planetary evolution. This is what philosophy is about. I describe this human, physical and mental evolutionary process and show that at the end of it we are destroying the Earth. I think if I compare the teachings of philosophy, evolution, and sciences with my experiences and the interpretations of artists working and thinking in previous centuries then we arrive at a very good picture of the opportunities. It could show the way to the solutions and it is a kind of criticism as well.
And here comes a philosophical element: the unification of analysis and synthesis. When you analyze, segment something you have to make the task or problem microscopic and observe the elements it consists of and the characteristic features it has. When you piece together these elements again you synthesize them, and you need a greater synthesis that makes them fit into the elements of the system. This is what I do in my drawings and pictures.”
Who and what kind of people have influenced you besides scientists?
“Nowadays I am "making friends" with Basquiat and have painted a picture entitled "Where Are the Angels of Nature, Mr. Basquiat?" I consider the actions of people and artists important who can contribute a novelty to mankind. Jean Michel Basquiat was this kind of person! And I am asking him because he is sitting on the clouds together with Andy Warhol swaying their feet and talking about what are the important things and how important they are in life and beyond it. Andy Warhol said that anyone could be famous for 15 minutes. Being famous is important as the world is composed in a way when appearing in the media or on the Internet, a product, even a work of art, a picture, a painting and its contents, too, gets much more attention when an artist or a celebrity stands by it.”
IGOR PROKOP, “BIRTH JOY DANCE TO EMILY”
Using spots, lines, and colors as the base of all his paintings and graphics, one of the directions of his research and exploration, as explained in a previous interview by the artist, brought him to the use of glass as a medium. A technique he has been practicing for twenty five years by fusing it with nature.
Although a lot of thought and reflection goes into every painting, Prokop’s art is best received through impact and a subsequent discovery of the details which automatically open the doors to a more in depth reading.