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In this months YKRA Faces edition, meet Luca Sára Rózsa, a visual artist, based in Budapest. With numerous solo and group exhibitions under her belt, as well as winning the prestigious Esterházy Art Award in 2021, we sat down to talk about her work, life and where she gets her inspiration from. Read on for more!

Hi Luca, can you tell us a little about yourself and what you do?

I graduated from university as a painter, and luckily, it’s still my vocation and job. Recently, I’ve also started making sculptures—it’s been a turning point—as since then I dare to call myself an artist, so that's my primary occupation.

What have you been up to recently? We heard you received a prestigious art prize.

Yes, last year was a great one for me, I won a few awards, along with some grants, both at home and abroad. To be honest, in this profession, winning awards and grants really boost your perseverance and willpower, it helps a lot.

Otherwise, I've been preparing for various exhibitions, and in the last couple of years I've taken part in individual and group exhibitions on a regular basis—thankfully, there’s been a lot of interest.

I also have a joint exhibition on show with an artist called Kata Tranker at Viltin Gallery. It's an exhibition to celebrate that we both received the Esterházy Art Awardy. The concept is interesting too, as Kata and I are the same age, and she has two little girls, while my daughter will also be born soon—our situation is rare among our age group, or simply among visual artists. I’m also preparing for an exhibition in Austria where three of us—joined by Ádám Ulbert—will be exhibiting as the winners of the prize.

What does a typical day of yours look like?

I’m an early riser, and I always start my mornings with a slow coffee/breakfast. It’s the time I spend on reading the news, answering my emails and planning my day. I also like to dedicate my mornings to some form of sport—running, yoga, or squash—depending on my mood, or if there’s something urgent to do, then I like to get it out of the way before I head to the studio. 

On most days, I arrive at the studio at around noon, where I usually start the day with a massive lunch with my studio mates and friends, and then everyone gets to work. Essentially, I have my own studio, as its entrance opens from one of my friends' studios. It's great because I don't like to be alone for long periods of time, but when I'm painting I get easily distracted if there’s movement around me. We often listen to music together, although certain genres of music completely distract me from my work, so at times it's nice to paint in silence. 

I usually leave the studio at 5pm and after I head home, where we like having dinner and spending time together with my husband, reading or watching films—but a big part of my life revolves around friends and our social life as well. We love ending the day meeting up and winding down with friends.

Do you have any hobbies?

Travelling and seeing the world is my no.1. hobby—if it can be called a hobby—and it’s a super important part of my life, as well as spending time in nature, so we go hiking or on day trips a lot. I like to sew, cook, and do sports, and gardening too—I even have my own vegetable garden! Taking part in opening exhibitions is another thing I do often, although I’m not sure if that qualifies as a hobby either, and I’m into learning languages as well.  

What languages do you want to learn?

There’s a lot of languages on my list! I already speak English and Portuguese, but I want to brush up on the latter. I've studied German too, although I still have a way to go. I understand Spanish, but that’s just thanks to my Portuguese.

What’s in your bag?

Sketchbook - This is my colour sketchbook, and I have one for my black and white sketches as well, but it’s pretty worn down. I keep my colour sketches in this one, I take care of it as much as I can. I like using felt tip pens in my sketches— they’re easy and quick to use, and you don't have to mix them like you do with paint, which for me, is enough when done on the canvas.

Purse - My purse is always full of stuff, and it’s where I keep my staples on me, as I use them to stretch the canvas. I keep a refillable pencil in it as well, which I inherited from my grandmother. Actually, I inherited my whole interest in art from her. She was more into applied arts, and although she never had a degree in the field, she was so inspiring, and created in the field of art. I spent a lot of time drawing with her.

I started experimenting with sculptures 2 years ago, and last year I really found my flow with them, and that’s when I started to make a bigger clay sculpture installation. There were little sculptures inside, residue-like forms, and as I really like hands—I find them very symbolic—and use them in my paintings too, as well as making hand sculptures.

Book - This volume was published by the Rijksmuseum in the Netherlands, and it showcases their relatively unknown collection of fifteenth- and sixteenth-century Renaissance portrait paintings, based on an exhibition called "Remember me". It's such a beautiful book, and it tells the story of the aspirations and motivations these people had in their lives. They wanted to become immortal through their portrait paintings, which I think is very beautiful, and I'm super interested in this subject. 

Pencil Case - It was a present from my husband Botond Wertan, (he’s a photographer and also took the photos for this shoot), and I keep a pack of German-suited playing cards in it..

Tickets / Jegyek - These are tickets from the public transport (on water) in Bangkok, and we brought home a few as a keepsake.

Paint Brushes - They’re my essentials.

Photos by Botond Wertán

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