SchallerIstvan_2I was 20 when a friend of mine brought me to the Hungarian University of Fine Arts. When I sensed the smell of oil paint and turpentine, I immediately knew that I had arrived, that I was at home. I used to work as a confectioner before, so the switch took quite a bit of strength and perseverance. I painted and drew day-and-night for two years – my pictures started to come to life, I felt the power of creation. No day is spent without work ever since: I endeavour to create a new painting every day. I love to observe the reality around me: to break it up like a prism, and to assemble it again.

SchallerIstvan_1I graduated from the Hungarian University of Fine Arts in 2002, and as a recognition of my work I received numerous scholarships, including the Fellowship of the Republic of Hungary in 2000. I use my teacher qualifications to this day: I helped at least 50 talented children in having art to become their calling in life.

It may take weeks or months to create a bigger oil painting, as each paint layer might require a few days to dry. I was in such a waiting period once when the inspiration came: let’s paint pictures in a size small enough to be completed within a day or less!

These „daily paintings” have different themes and were created at different times. Still, whether it be a light study, a genre painting, a portrait or a still life, they all build on each other. They are prints of the stages of my life. I like to regard them as snapshots – which nonetheless form a single complete picture altogether. Thousands of snapshots could be made of a single object, which, as an imprint of time and mood, always create a different reality.

I find new inspiration mostly in the harmonic pictures of Morandi, but I also happily visit Botticelli’s 15th century Italy, or the masters of the Low Countries in the 16th and 17th centuries like Vermeer and Rubens. The paintings of Velázquez also have a strong impact on me.

My friends often say my pictures bring life to their living rooms. I am happy if my creations can start a new life in new places.