István Cene gál is a painter living in Hungary and his name and pictures appear in international art publications more and more frequently. He and I have been friends for several decades. I was able to follow the progress of his art and saw the main phases of his work and how amazingly quickly he advanced along the road of this wonderful, but not easy profession.
In the beginning was the picture. The picture conjured up reality, perpetuated it and manipulated it in a magical form. That is why it has to be what it is: what it actually contains or what it ought to be to fulfil your desires. Representational art reached its zenith in romanticism and in the representation of idyllic scenes – in the quest for harmony which tried to counterbalance the shock experienced by human beings when they realised that the world is basically unjust. It is unjust to small nations, to men in the street and to children, even if once in a while it gives them some phony concessions. In vain did the Utopians of the period hope, believe and proclaim that technological development and the interests of the masses would bring about some kind of equality. Injustice only increased because the powerful continued to hold power, so they were the ones who profited most from technological development and they were in a position to protect their interests. Only in the world of painting could harmony be achieved on canvas. Pictures also offered the chance to leave reality behind.