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Kalman Radvanyi


See the entire Kalman Radvanyi collection.

Kalman Radvanyi was born in 1976 in Budapest, Hungary, into a family of painters and master craftsmen. The political situation at that time was less than favorable for artists and his family sought for years to immigrate to the West. When he was 11 years old his family was able to leave Hungary and move to Austria. After six months his family was granted a visa by the Australian government to immigrate to Canberra. Kalman found him-self in a new country with a new language he didn't understand. These circumstances brought his family close together and Kalman began to spend more time in the workshop of his father. Back in Hungary Kalman's father had been a master furniture maker. He made two dimensional inlays in his furniture and also worked some with marquetry. Kalman began to study the delicate techniques of fine wood working and became especially interested in creating images using wood marquetry.

As a child Kalman's mother had taken him to the great cathedrals in Budapest and Vienna. After these visits they would spend hours together drawing what they had seen. He developed a particular interest in gothic architecture. Later in his father's workshop, Kalman experimented by precisely cutting small pieces of wood veneers, or timbers, and arranging them like a puzzle to create an image. At this time he also taught himself the theories of perspective and mathematics involved in gothic architect-ture. He developed techniques that, when applied to marquetry, could give his drawings depth, dimension and life. This study led Kalman to collect antique books dedicated to this architectural style. During this challenging time in his life Kalman began to focus more on art to express his feelings and he began to recreate structures of grand beauty in wood. By selecting various timbers with different colors, textures and grains, he could create different effects. At the age of 12 Kalman won several awards in leading art shows.
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