Ákos Major, Dad's walks - untitled, 2020
Stampa a pigmenti d'archivio / Archival pigment ink print
Dimensioni / Size: 50 x 40 cm
Edizione / Edition: 1/5
Courtesy: TOBE Gallery & Ákos Major
While this series is embedded in the visuality of past series, by adding an emotional thread it also extends those with an important layer. The images were taken in and around Paks, at locations that recall childhood memories, and which remain to play a significant role in the artist’s personal life as well. Being someone who remembers his childhood years as happy and well-balanced, the artist attaches meanings of safety and serenity to these places – to the places to which he can still return to. Importantly though, he makes sure not to aestheticize the landscape: an outside, a lay observer should not perceive more than a once lively industrial environment that somehow exudes senses of peacefulness and melancholy. The anthropomorphic houses and the dried flowers which were collected on long walks evoke childlike perspectives and games, but also the image of a floodplain that occasionally even adults enjoy wading across or wallowing in.
All memories continue to live on in those places, and yet they also reflect the black and white minimalism of adulthood. Covered in pigeon grey instead of a pink haze, Ákos Major invites us all to this extremely intimate setting; to the scenery of his childhood.
Ungheria / Hungary
Ákos Major is a landscape photographer who uses his photographs as a kind of meditation. Shooting both deserted and urban places with a unique perspective and a crisp intensity despite the overcast weather, he manages to conduct a sense of appeasement in us – like a real therapy.
Landscape photography is about waiting for the right circumstances – the lights, the wind, the clouds,” he says. “I often find beautiful scenery but have to leave and come back another time because of the weather conditions. I visit my favourite places often because you never know when you can get the picture you really want. Sometimes it takes months.”
Major says he’s influenced by the photography of Michael Kenna, particularly his Tree Portrait, Study 1, Wokato, Hokkaido, Japan (2002). “You can take a photo of a tree. You can take it in a fancy way, like minimalism or whatever stylish manner. I have seen hundreds of ‘lonely tree in snow’ photographs (and have even done some myself!) but this one has the spirit. It has the ‘Shibui’ – a simple, subtle beauty – I guess. I love Kenna’s photography, but what I do love more is his state of mind. He indulges himself in imperfection. I started my work as a kind of escape from everyday life and it has brought a kind of inner peace to my mind, so I intend to take care of it.”