me and my Art
I am a visual artist who paints contemporary landscape and abstract
paintings and also sculpt.
I was born in Budapest, Hungary and migrated to
Australia in 1958. I started painting in 1970 while working as a Chartered
Architect and in 1997 retired to paint and sculpt full time.
I most admire Van Gogh’s intensity and use of
colour to stir up emotions, Paul Klee’s sensitivity and insight into our inner
beings, Kandinsky’s exuberance and sense of composition, Picasso’s inventiveness
and broad range of interests.
As for Australian artists, I love John Olsen’s
playful and imaginative expression, Fred Williams’ ability to abstract the
essential elements of a landscape, and last but not least, Emily Kngwarreye’s
instinctive mastery of colour, structure and connection to Country.
My main inspiration is Nature, in particular
Australia’s unique wilderness areas, wetlands, the unspoilt countryside, deserts
and seashores. My paintings clearly show my love of this country, especially of
the Sydney Region.
Interpretation and Expression
My interpretation of natural phenomena is
unique, surprising and unpredictable. My paintings not only encapsulate the
essential elements, colours and features of a particular place, but also
recreate the ambience and the feel of ‘being there’.
My sculptures are made from recycled materials
and often based on simple geometric forms like cubes and pyramids. In contrast,
their complex mosaic-like surfaces comprise multi-coloured pieces arranged in
artistic jigsaw patterns.
Typically, my highly original work is
exuberant, vibrant, confident and eye-catching. My artworks are charged with
positive energy, are richly textured and overflow with dazzling colour.
Alternatively, some pieces are soft, meditative and introspective. The
playful, decorative and inspiring images are both optimistic and spiritually
Exhibitions, membership and collections
I have had more than 30 solo shows since 1999
– in Sydney, Melbourne and in regional New South Wales galleries. i have also
participated in countless group shows in municipal and commercial galleries and
other venues. I have been a member of the National Association for Visual Arts (NAVA)
and exhibiting memberships in Mosman Art Society, Ku-ring-gai Art Society, Hornsby
Art Society, North
Shore Art Society, Northern Expressions,
Art & Soul Collective and The Sculptors’ Society.
Apart from Australia, my works can be found in
private collections all around the world, including USA, Canada, Great Britain,
Hong Kong, New Zealand and a number of European countries.
The principles I follow as an artist
As a contemporary Sydney artist, this short manifesto is meant to summarize some of my beliefs
about creativity in the visual arts. These are principles I follow
generally and the points I listed are not meant to be a formula or recipe for
creating masterpieces. They are just reminders for myself
so as to avoid the usual pitfalls artists encounter.
Having found these principles useful in my career as a
professional artist for
over thirty years, I
decided to share them with other interested artists and students.
I believe this list is open for
debate and I invite all and sundry to discuss the issues raised.
Ultimately my philosophy is for my own use and it may be meaningless for anybody else.
So, here are my guidelines I follow:
Capture the essentials and ignore the
Try to capture the essential elements of a visual experience. Ignore the
superfluous bits and eliminate unnecessary details. Focus on the critical
aspects of the subject and capture only the significant and lasting
Never compete with the camera
Reproducing accurately what the eye sees is not necessarily artistic creativity.
Technical proficiency may only produce an impressive illustration. A
musical composer does not merely reproduce the sounds heard in nature, but
creates a composition from his heart.
Be interested in
only creating images which reflect your subjective response to places, or express
your feelings and capture the mood of being there.
Abstract art is
treated like music
Good abstract painters use the same basic principles as composers of music --
balanced composition, integrity, mood, tone, colour, texture, rhythm, harmony, contrast,
balance, tension, counterpoint and so on. The objective is the same: creating a
mood, arousing a feeling, stirring the emotions.
Venture beyond the comfort zone
Do not be content to settle into a commercially successful and 'easy' style.
Refuse to limit your output to 'much of the same'
thus avoiding the use of a tired old formula. Chose to move
safe comfort zone. Search for variety,
revel in the excitement of
discovering something new and unfamiliar; and also learn to experiment with future possibilities.
Express the joy for living
Let colour help express the thrill of being alive. Access your sacred gift
of intuition and honour your creative spirit. Then you will have a wonderful
opportunity to create meaningful and optimistic images to make people
For me as an artist the real achievement is when
people tell me that my artworks speak to them, when my creations touch their hearts and
spirit. When my paintings wash away the sweat and dust of their stressful
working days, I am happy.
The essential ingredient
As my abstract artist friend Ted Knerr reminded
me, there is another crucial element to creativity. This is not something
you can just conjure up from your head. To paraphrase him: real art comes from
inspiration, and valid art-appreciation comes first from a gut reaction which
in turn comes from one's spiritual condition.
Great art can come from the
uneducated but quietly enlightened, and bad art from the highly trained but
disconnected from the soul; so education can be a plus or a minus, but soul
connection is an indispensable prerequisite for an artist's creativity.
I am driven obsessively to create artworks which
nourish the human spirit, celebrate the wonders of Nature and provide enjoyment,
stimulation and a touch of magic to our lives.
I believe that for a
meaningful existence we human beings need more than just the basic necessities
of food, shelter and security. Once we have made sure that we have
these necessary material
possessions, we then must look after our intellectual curiosity, express our
aspirations and nurture our emotional and spiritual wellbeing.
That is, we need to rise above
the mundane, the ordinary and the daily drudgery of survival. This is where the arts
become a necessary factor. Engagement with
literature, theatre, music and the visual arts provide great opportunities to
satisfy our creative urges and at the same time we can find lasting enjoyment.
painting series and periods
Whilst I like to explore vastly different 'styles' and approaches
in my artwork, there are obvious recurring 'themes' which I pursue. Examples of
my themes as expressed in my landscape and abstract paintings are water, desert,
wilderness and flora.
Examples of these series are:
'spectrum colour shifts',
patterns and minimalist colour-fields.
"When considering which artists influenced him, Gerzabek says he
most admires Van Gogh’s intensity and use of colour to stir up emotions, Paul
Klee’s sensitivity and insight into our inner beings, Kandinsky’s exuberance and
sense of composition, Picasso’s inventiveness and broad range of interests.
Australian artists, he loves John Olsen’s playful and imaginative approach,
Fred Williams’ ability to abstract the essential elements of a landscape,
and last but not least, Emily Kngwarreye’s instinctive mastery of colour,
structure and connection to Country." -- (quote from exhibition
Orchid, photo by Ernie Gerzabek
My favourite quotations about art and creativity
Art is much less important than life, but what a
poor life without it.
Creativity is that marvellous capacity to grasp
mutually distinct realities and draw a spark from their juxtaposition.
In a successful painting everything is integral –
all the parts belong to the whole. If you remove an aspect or element you are
removing its wholeness.
Art. Its definitions are legion, its meanings
multitudinous, its importance often debated. But amid the many
contradictory definitions of art, one has always stood the test of time, from
the Upanishads in the East, to Michelangelo in the West: art is the perception
and depiction of the sublime, the transcendent, the beautiful, the spiritual.
Art is a window to The Infinite, and opening to the goddess, a portal through
which you and I, with the help of the artist, may discover depths and heights of
our soul undreamed of by the vulgar world. Art is the eye of the spirit, through
which the sublime can reach down to us, and we up to it, and be transformed,
transfigured in the process.
Art, at its best, is the representation of your very own soul, a reminder of who
and what you truly are and therefore can become."
Pro Hart's art is like MacDonald's - an invented
product that no one needs.
It's got to be said that they're the ugliest things you've ever seen. They
are visual pollutants.
They reflect the averaging of Australia that has become so much part of John
We have sunk to such a low sate of self-esteem that people have been celebrating
the fact that he made a s---load of money from paintings that are totally
Now Ken Done has come out in support of Pro Hart, which is the blind defending
leading Sydney art dealer,
as reported by the Sun-Herald 9/4/06
painting I want to say something comforting
in the way that music is comforting.
Vincent Van Gogh
Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday
is an extension of man's means of communication. As such, it's pure, difficult,
Art is a marriage of the
conscious and the unconscious.
painting has a life of its own. I try to let it come through.
Art is not what you see, but what you make others
No great artist ever sees things as they really are.
If He did, he would cease to be an artist.
Art is not made for anybody and is, at the same
A work of art which did not begin in emotion is not
Never trust an art dealer who'll sit in a room for
more than ten minutes with a crooked picture.
Art should be something like a good armchair
in which to rest from physical fatigue
Art for art's sake makes no more sense than
gin for gin's sake.
W Somerset Maugham
Creativity takes courage.
The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational
mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honours the servant
and has forgotten the gift.
Do not copy nature too much.
Art is an abstraction.
Vincent Van Gogh
Jeans (Hans) Arp
Nicolas De Stael
© Ernie Gerzabek 1999-2017
Abstract Landscape Paintings Gallery