Mate Bartha by Carole Schmitz

Maté Bartha: Aabstract interpretation

Mattit is Bartha is a photographer and video artist born in Budapest, where he still lives and works. A passion for photography has been with him since high school, but he chose to study architecture first before taking up photography a year and a half later. During his academic years, he already published many photos on local Hungarian websites similar to Flickr. With his master’s degree from the Moholy-Nagy University of Arts and Design and the University of Theater and Film Arts (both in Budapest) he received the Hungarian National Scholarship for Photographers, and self-published his first book, titled Common Nature. (2014). In 2017, his project called KONTAKT, allowed him to be awarded the “Capa Grand Prize Fellowship”, but also the Robert Capa Grand Prize Hungary (2018) and the Louis Roederer Discovery Prize – Les Rencontres de la Photography, Arles (2019).

Early inspired by the photography style of August Sander, he was equally influenced by Eggleston’s colorful, witty, and simple compositions, and then by Gursky’s method of creating abstract images from subjects dealing with contemporary social issues. He also likes painting, he has been fascinated by Rothko’s use of color and Hopper’s compositions.

Very sensitive, he likes to deal with real social problems, trying to interpret them in another, more abstract way, while keeping a link with “reality”, to be able to communicate clearly with a large audience, never hesitating to correct. state in the sense of “wonderful” or “magical”. Ambiguity is therefore a central feature of Máté Bartha’s work. He uses still and moving images as a medium, with a sensitivity to socially relevant subjects. His visual approach is based on the perception of reality, but instead of trying to create the illusion of balance, Bartha tries to create a sense of ambivalence in the interpretation of each image, each story. By addressing issues related to the modern human environment, or to certain underrepresented groups, his works allow the viewer to correct seemingly obvious views.

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Website :
Represented by Tobe Gallery :

Your first trigger for photography?
Bartha’s companion : The light through the window blinds in my childhood room.

A portrait man or woman who inspires you?
Bartha’s companion : Albrecht Dürer.

A picture you would like to make?
Bartha’s companion : “Earthrise” by William Anders, 1968.

The one that impressed you the most?
Bartha’s companion : “The Isle of the Dead” by Arnold Böcklin, 1883.

A key figure in your personal pantheon?
Bartha’s companion : Old 35 mm color photograph of a cardboard box and a bunch of steel wires lying on the street. I took it because they looked like friends.

A photo memory from your childhood?
Bartha’s companion : My father’s black and white photos of trees in winter.

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Without a budget limit, what artwork would you like to get?
Bartha’s companion : Hungarian Parliament Building. I would like to have some ideas.

According to you, what quality is needed to be a good photographer?
Bartha’s companion : Patience.

Someone you would like to photograph?
Bartha’s companion : Someone with good answers to the same questions.

A must-have picture book?
Bartha’s companion : The Holy Bible by Adam Broomberg & Oliver Chanarin.

The camera of your childhood, your beginning?
Bartha’s companion : Some digital compacts borrowed from a friend.

What are you using today?
Bartha’s companion : Hasselblad 500 c/m.

Your favorite drug?
Bartha’s companion : Pickled tomatoes.

The best way to cut for you?
Bartha’s companion : Cooking over a campfire.

What is your relationship with pictures?
Bartha’s companion : I always think that they mean something.

your greatest quality?
Bartha’s companion : I am very good at playing board games.

A picture showing the new note?
Bartha’s companion : Bad picture of my one-eyed black cat, Kukac.

Is it a job you wouldn’t want to do?
Bartha’s companion : There are many of them.

your biggest career splurge?
Bartha’s companion : You may win the Louis Roederer Discovery Prize in Arles, 2019, shared by Laure Tiberghien.

What do you think are the bridges between photography and design?
Bartha’s companion : Good design should be inspired by contemporary art, including photography, not condone it.

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A city, country or culture you dream of discovering?
Bartha’s companion : Siberia.

A place where you never get tired?
Bartha’s companion : A small village in Hungary, on the river Tisza, where I have been spending my summers since my childhood.

Your biggest regret?
Bartha’s companion : That I didn’t learn more languages.

In terms of social media, are you more interested in Instagram, Facebook, Tik Tok or Snapchat and why?
Bartha’s companion : Instagram probably, because of my ability to tell stories through pictures. But commercials annoy me.

Color or B&W?
Bartha’s companion : Color.

Daylight or artificial light?
Bartha’s companion : Noon.

Which city do you think has the most photos?
Bartha’s companion : Majdanpek, Serbia.

If God were there, would you ask Him to take a picture of you, or would you choose to take a picture with Him?
Bartha’s companion : It is enough to take a picture of anyone, or your own selfie.

If I could host your perfect dinner party, who would it be next to the table?
Bartha’s companion : Characters from Mortal Kombat.

A picture that represents to you the current state of the world?
Bartha’s companion : “Tondal Vision” by Hieronymus Bosch.

What is missing in today’s world?
Bartha’s companion : Probably most Marvel movies.

If you had to start over?
Bartha’s companion : I would like to be an expert on birds.


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