I ! How a Hungarian's Attempt to Â· . . - Troubled Mind by Putting Down His Emotions in Fofm and Color Is Helping Others to Understand * Themselves GREED--A striking example of Victor de Kubinyi's gift of giving form and _ color to human emotion in his "crazy" paintings A LITTLE old ,woman with an emaciated face and deeply set, burning eyes paced back and forth in front of a display o f . weird paintings in the Smithsonian Institution at Washington. She seemed to be excited. "Do the paintings mean -something to you, Madame?" a gentleman of foreign appearance inquired politely. "More than you can appreciate, ^sir;" she answered. "They express things that are in...my soul, and'they give me peace." There were other meetings of the two, including one at the'studio of the gentleman of foreign appearance, who is Victor de Kubinyi, Hungarian artist, and the creator of the "crazy" paintings. As for the lady, she was just another little old -woman, alone in the national capital. A government pensioner. A derelict. "I have lost my husband and son, my . . ' Â· home, all my close relations, and most for persons slightly balmy, which would be doing him and those his work has. helped .a up a tumult in my brain, and makes me grave injustice.. Quite rational, unhappy. But yours do not cause me a and above the average mental- disturbance,, and : they 'give me happi- ly, he 'is doing.-work, that ..is ness." Not to put too fine a point on it, the ASPIRATION -- One of the most easily grasped ^of de Kubinyi's strangely understandable expressions of what werfeel in our minds / The studio in Washington, D. C., where most of the curious emo-Â® tional paintings ware made of my money," she explained to Victor de Kubinyi.. "The-average picture sets ,1 JF J . k i W "* -- - Â· t^J . . calling forth warm commendation from artists and'psychol- little old lady was of the mental class ogists in all parts of the world : characterised by psychiatrists as "a- little bit queer," as a result, of frustration, disappointment and personal misfortune. And contemplation of de .Kubinyi's "crazy" pictures helped to nurse her back to mental ; health. The little old but he takes a special pride in the fact that his ' paintings soothe and pacify troubled minds. "Not minds that are insane," he says, warningly. " woman is-still emaciated, but the light -paintings wo.n't make'a-really in har eyes is a'little more rational and'. restful now, and her mind is at peace. The incident related above is not an isolated one. The experience of de Kubinyi includes many such spontaneous and 'amazing - .tributes. Savants, poets, business men,'erratic geniuses and ordinary tramps have delighted to do him honor for the work he does, which some will call "outlandish." While the de Kubinyi exhibition of paintings was still at the Smithsonian Institution at Washington, another woman, of a class- .somewhat higher in the social scale, began to take a lively interest in them. She -was especially enthralled by de Kubinyi's painting of Jealousy. (It m a y b e explained here that nearly all his paintings are attempted "portraits" of emotions, aspirations, passions, moods or wjiims.) "It is a good picture,'.' she admitted. "But it does not represent my conception of jealousy. I *im a victim of jealousy, and a picture that would represent the real nature of the passion would be of great benefit to humanity. Could you paint jealousy so that the picture would reflect my personal idea of it?" M. de Kubinyi is nothing if not obliging, insane .person normal. -But they- will quiet the minds of men and women baffled .and bewildered and -.confused;-, by the hurly-burly experiment of ' -living--that is,' they will sometimes." And he admits that when he began to paint, he, too, was a little bit troubled in his mind, and took to it to appease some inner urge. Victor de Kubinyi is Hungarian born, a scion of'a long line of noble ancestors. He is a scholar and a .linguist, and came to America twenty-one years ago. He has Â· had his ups and downs, and throughout it all he has preserved his sense of humor. He never-took a drawing or painting lesson, and he -made his' first ^picture while he was employed as a hand on an American farm. He relies on both line and color to produce his seemingly bizarre effects, and rarely, paints a face or a human figure. He goes in for symbolism to the extent that he tries to express graphically- the passions, hopes, fears, whims and foibles of the human Victor de Kubinyi, creator of the paintings that seem to have a ' curative effect on troubled and distorted minds Yet bear in mind, lest pride lead to disaster, That Aspiration of the nobler sort Should ever keep an eager eye on. balance and proportion; The printed word bears out the illusion of- the painted thought, which is a series of spires, some. of them straight up, some of them askew, but each one higher than the one before. His painting of Greed shows a. spider-like m o n - ster reaching out its claws to grasp e v e r y t hing in. sight. And he has written of g~eed: It -wants it all. Yet Greed, the .ugly fiend, W i l l n a u z h t , achieve beyond self Â· suff o c a-. tion. Speed, one of his Ablest a n d m o s t arresting ,- paintings, shows a series of wheels .a n d spirals revolving rapi d 1 y on a piston. He wrote, 'concerning speed: .With g r i m determination JAZZ^Victor de Kubinyi's interesting way of pic- Misled by idle turing. the spirit of moaning saxophones, blaring hopes trumpets, crashing cymbals and thudding drums Speed rushes on , , . . Â· . in all directions ...*, and he offered to try. First, of 'race. Yet he -is not a conventional sym- course, questioning her closely to find bolist, any -more than he is a cubist, al- out what queerly distorted ideas were seething in her brain. A little bit later he actually did try to put in form and though his works delight the cubist enthusiasts. Take a glance at the titles of some of color that high class "crazy" woman's Â· his paintings, and you will have an idea idea of jealousy, and succeeded so well of what he attempts to do: God, Faith, Â·that she got mental relief just from look- Inspiration, Aspiration, The Soul, Grati- JEALOUSY -- C o n " - tentment shattered and torn between the fangs of fear and the thorns of envy. t h e satisfaction of , knowing that such men as Dr. Minnigerode, director of the Corcoran Art Galleries In Washington, D. C., appreciate his work. P r o f e s s o r Holmes, director of the National Art Gallery, .also located in the- Capital, hung the Hungarian's collection in-'his exhibition r o o m s for five weeks. And he told'those w h o questioned In. the. paintings reproduced on this page, and others which cannot.be reproduced for want .of'space, de Kubinyi struck out boldly to express what was in his own heart and what certain emotions mean to him. Not long ago he took a collection of his newer works to the Central High School of Washington, D. C., and showed them to forty-two s t u d ents. And thirty-nine of the students, sh o w n the pictures-without the titles, immediately s u g - gested the titles he himself had Pursuing madly goal* it does not see. Making a sorry mess of peaceful life. The examples cited, serve to show the highly individual- and. courageously expressed ideas of the painter from Hungary on. some phases of modern'life that more pretentious artists admit baffle them. . ."The difference Â· between de Kubinyi and the average artist," as one admirer put it,-"is that both are bothered by certain phenomena of living today. But the old-fashioned artist tries to forget by looking at rainbows or golden sunsets, and .de Kubinyi actually .tries to do something about it." When de Kubinyi turned artist, he was so poor he was living from day to day, and band to mouth. For the matter of that, he is still an amateur, and paints primarily to satisfy himself and help others. ' Much- of his income he obtains by secretarial work. At first he began to nig at it, and paid him a handsome price for it. So long as she saw jealousy only in the distorted forms taking shape in her own brain, she was a little bit "touched", on 1 " the subject, but as soon as she could see her idea concretely she lost her morbidity, and returned, to normal. tude, Purity, Purpose, Ambition, Determination, Speedi Â· Greed, Joy, Fear, Obedience, Conceit, Vanity, Guilt, Slander, Gossip, Patience, Jealousy, and Death are some of the intangibles he has tried to put on paper. M. de Kubinyi . cares little for the SPEED--A "crazy" picture that effectively catches the rus'h and roar and. ceaseless activity of the modern American life" him that he thinks ; . : ' . " - ' Â· ' Â· , ' - . , ;y are excellent art, and remarkable mind touched with genius." And such 'men as Drs. Miller, Benedict and Casano- witz, all of the Smithsonian Institution, have been lavish in their praise. By a glance at the illustrations . of this article, the reader will have convinced himself that the paintings and- documents of Â· human- thought an'd experience. ' . ' Â· ' ' ' ' Â· Â· ' . Â·Dr. Ales Hrdlicka, world famous anthropologist, ''sees great' promise" in':the Â·pictures, and has advised the painter to keep- on ^expressing himself. Dr. Strat- caustic criticism of those-.who. say. his ton of the National: Research Bureau, drawings of the enterprising-Hungarian are at the very' least original, even if the artist's friends object .to the adjec- that M. de Kubinyi paints exclusively his tiny studio 'in New York City, he has- Â· festation of a; very -high mentality; a tive "crazy.-' , ' " Â· Â· ' ' From the two incidents relr.ted^at such Â· masterpieces are'a'-little bit'mad, and;.do .one of the country's"'foremost'psychia-' 'length, one might readily geL the notion . not represent true.art/for as he toils in trists, characterizes -them. as "the "mani- pleted-.his painting, of an emotion, a passion, or a foible, he writes a little verse --usually "blank verse"--to make his meaning even clearer. When. -he. completed -the painting of Aspiration,-; for 'instance, he wrote the" following lines:' ' : ' A very noble wish is to achieve All that seems grand and-wondrous, And whereby one might help and do for 'others. chosen. Proving , , . ., . , . .,. . , ,, put down his ideas of -such things as Love, Fear, Hope and- Charity by the simple expedient of cutting up strips of colored paper and pasting them together ' in weird Â· combinations. : "Why don't. you-'paint ihem?" somebody asked him, and he -replied that he was not a painter^ But the" seed of en. couragement fell on fertile soil,' and a 'month'..' afterward 'he 'had begun his career-as'a painter'.- '-. -One surprising .thing about the Hungarian's-work, is that educators who. have never "laid; claim to artistic discrimination-vie with-artists of. world wide re- .nown in acclaiming him a genius, and his pictures masterpieces. Katherine S. Dreier, president of the Societe Anonyme of New York, said.that.no end of good would come of them, if they were given general circulation-'and used in an educational way. Dr: von Miller, founder and owner of the National Museum at Â·Munich, Germany, sayc .the . pictures '"talk and sing." " ' that M. binyi's pictures a r e n o t a s "crazy"- as they might be; or that thirty-nine out of forty-two school children. in a high-class p r e - paratory school are .crazy,, which ' is unthinkable. , \When..de- Kubinyi has com- Copyrivht. 7327. by Central Press Association, Inc.
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