In his paintings this artist is able to communicate both emotions and certain atmospheres by controlling the strokes of the brush and expressiveness linked to the spell of the images disclosing intimate scenes of daily life where his friends are the anonymous protagonists.
These are ordinary people portrayed in their everyday activities and observed with such a lovely attitude as to be able to convey an entire vision of human vulnerability.

It seems that each single painting must attract the spectators’ attention as if they should inevitably be affected by a sense of uneasiness, wether they want to or not, in spite of the softness and tenderness of the images and colors.

At first sight the work is only what it represents quite accidentally, as if fortuitousness is such as to make the careful preparation of the event fade. All this reminds us of a sort of consecration of obsession, desires, the author’s fetishisms obtained by painting with the instantaneous fragrance of inspiration and the pleasure of fulfilling the requirements of ardent stylistic solutions in a magic gesture.

The painting, showing a different concreteness of execution with respect both to aesthetic mediations and the tardiness of the sublime in art, as is able to transform the spectators’ passiveness making them take part in a ritual which has nothing to do with vision or allegory, but only with what it shows.

Istvan Betuker’s canvases do not expect to be read, only seen. They are mostly medium-to-large size, almost life-size like the spectator and they are frontal images, where chromatic tensions are calculated.

These works testify wide observation of the art by cultured authors, refined readings and attentive visits to museums. Moreover, they are created along the lines of past master-pieces so as to put on the stage the expectation of an ideal completeness.

In this exhibition entitled “SLEEPERS” the protagonists of the paintings, all of them new, are sleeping soundly and they may be having liberating dreams. In any case they are enveloped in an atmosphere of silence and mystery.

On the walls of Santa Maria de’Armenis’ church, in the Sassi, Istvan Betuker’s images of the slumberng bodies are gathered in a narrative context which is the background of an illustrative sequence of human conditions and experiences as well as the artist’s own obsessions and yearnings.

Istvan Betuker was born in Satu Mare, in Romania, in 1984 during the communist regime. This the reason why his paintings reveal some ghosts of the past. Childhood memories now combined with a strong desire to escape from tormented thoughts so as to express his own personal meaning of peaceful existence in this world, yet going on living in a Country still influenced by totalitarian reminiscences, wher, however, a ray of hope and encouragement also appears.

Renato Bianchini

Chiesa Santa Maria di Armenis, Matera, 2011