Kármán Dániel: Every Morning
Dániel Kármán was born in 1991 in Jászberény. He graduated from the University of Fine Arts in 2019, majoring in graphic art, in the class of István Madácsy. In 2020, he started to build a studio with Márton Gresa under the name Birdhouse, which has already hosted four exhibitions. As a creator, he is part of the experimental artist collective Birds of Cool, founded in 2022, which has since presented collaborative works in group exhibitions at two institutions, including Q Contemporary. His solo exhibition 2two was on view at BarabásiLab Showroom in 2022 and his work Interrealism was displayed at the Tornyai Museum in 2021. Currently on view at Einspach Fine Art & Photography, the exhibition Every Morning features the artist's most recent work.
The content of Dániel Kármán's paintings is a combination of past experiences and his personal vision of the present. His figurative works are deeply personal, lyrical works, about the nature of memories and passing away. His compositions reveal a delicate balance between digital design and manual execution on the one hand, and painting and printmaking on the other. The technical structure, although purely painterly, refers to the visual nature of rhizography and screen printing. His graphic thinking and vision is also reflected in the juxtaposition of different layers. The backgrounds of the images often show details extracted from old etchings.
The title of the exhibition, Every Morning refers to the important ritual that this time of day represents for Kármán. Morning is the self-reflective time of the day for him when he can reflect on himself, his tasks ahead, his past and present. This is a central question for him, and the content of the images is based on this kind of introspection and contemplation regarding himself and his environment.
The painting Idea is one of a series of three, it is a kind of self-portrait of the artist. In each of these paintings, Kármán portrays himself as a painter with a particular character. The works reflect on the ideal of what the artist imagined being a painter would be like. Although the reality is of course different, the continuation of this idea is an important point of reference, a guide for Kármán's present and future.
The exhibition includes two floral still lifes, one in a vase and one cut. In recent years, Kármán has made it a regular practice to buy a large bunch of flowers at the end of spring or the beginning of summer, put them on his desk at home, and then spend a month observing, drawing and photographing them. The moment they start to wilt, and well beyond. He dedicates several paintings a year to this theme, as a kind of reflection on vanitas paintings, a centuries-old motif in art that explores the vanity and decay of earthly goods, a central theme in Kármán's art.
The Flower cut with a knife has further layers of meaning. These flowers are torn from their bodies, their aesthetic visuality itself isin the foreground merely, by which the plant is doomed to wither quickly. Kármán works with templates, drawing his image designs on a computer and then cutting templates from these drawings with a machine. These templates are also cut out by a knife, thus the image also reflects on the technique used by the artist.
The painting entitled A Swallow, is a reflection on a work by Hungarian poet Jenő Dsida, the poem A Swallow Passing. Kármán grew up in a small village in the Hungarian countryside, where there used to be a lot of swallows sitting on the wires at the end of summer as they prepared to move to the South. For the artist, this is a defining childhood memory, their sound, their sight, their flight. In recent years, however, they have disappeared and seem not to be returning anymore.
The painting Inhalers and Angel refers to the artist's asthma, a disease that causes breathing difficulties. Kármán became asthmatic at the age of three, and his defining memories are of evenings spent with his grandmother at this time, who would take him outdoors during his seizures, where she would tell his blanket-clad grandson about stars and angels under the starry sky. The painting is a visual projection of this complex memory. After graduating, Kármán worked as a restorer in Székesfehérvár, in the Cathedral of St Stephen, whose frescoes were painted by Austrian painter Cimbal in the 18th century. There he came across a fresco depicting an angel, which had a great influence on the artist. He reworked this angel's head in this work, making it even more personal by merging the two memories.
The painting Clouds are actually as they used to be shows Kármán's father and grandfather watering in their old garden. The depiction of the previous two generations reflects a process that has been going on in the artist's mind for years. When you are young, it is natural to dissociate yourself from your parents, but over time, as you come to understand them and yourself better, you begin to discover similarities and transcend this. You start to see their mistakes in a different way, and understand their vulnerability as human beings.