Towering over the historical village of Tata, Hungary, painter István Jenő Kovács contemplates the wonders of creation from his imposing castle. From a very young age, Kovács displayed a sharp inquisitive mind, which led him on solo explorations of his natural surroundings. There he would collect objects, listen to the sound of the wind, and observe animal life. Kovács’ fascination with the natural elements stems from a love for the esoteric powers of the cosmos. Virgin soil and sand were used by alchemists who sought the formula of the legendary philosopher’s stone, a substance capable of turning base metals into gold or silver and granting immortality. Kovács believes there is a mystical essence to all things, which he distills in his work. He sources materials from five continents, either gathered during his travels or gifted by friends: sand, leaves, seeds, shells, feathers, stones, and even spices. His paintings are mirrors reflecting his cosmopolitan and expansive view of the world, inviting us to appreciate the infinite diversity of our Earth and its intrinsic magic.
Kovács attended the Secondary Grammar School of Fine Arts in Budapest. After taking part in the 1956 Hungarian Revolution, he was denied access to university. He then forged his own path as an artist, riding the wave of his intuition and unique sensitivity. Kovács participated in residencies in Mexico, Austria, Spain, Switzerland, and Portugal, where he presented a series of paintings made with marble dust. He exhibited in Hungary, Germany, France, the Netherlands, and Portugal and is a member of the Association of Hungarian Fine and Applied Arts.