Preview Lucy Mallows
THE walls of the Béke Gallery on the first floor of the Radisson SAS Béke Hotel are now covered with high-society ladies and gentlemen enjoying high-society pleasures. The colorful, busy paintings of Erica László transport us to the world of St Tropez where figures - whose images seem to be inspired by such greats as Klimt. Gaugin. Picasso and Beryl Cook - lounge semi-nude on the beach, take their chances at the roulette or pool tables, sip expensive cocktails and flirt with ludicrously wealthy bankers and underworld Mr Bigs. The book of poetry. Hig-h Society by Paul G Gótfalvai. was launched simultaneously at the opening of László's exhibition. This book and paintings are examples of art forms complementing each other. The verses are not meant to be explanations of the paintings, and the paintings in the book are not illustrations of the verse. The explanation reads: "Simply the strength of the pictures called out for a 'story' and Gótfalvai was captured by it. "Gótfalvai's verse appears in both Hungarian and English, and while the English translation is sometimes a little clumsy ("and a swine yokel you are" is not exactly a commonly-heard insult) and riddled with spelling and grammar mistakes, the collection of verse is enjoyable, particularly for those who want to Icam modern, idiomatic Hungarian. Gótfalvai's poetry-, chock full of simile and metaphor, reads like a vivid conversation and the words came to life when actor János Kulka bellowed out two works: "Meghívás" (Invitation) and "Átmeneti állapot" (Temporary State) across the elegant gallery. Gótfalvai said: "The pictures arc very suggestive. I never had the idea to write poems for pictures until I saw these." László's portrayal of clowns, women with cold, hard eyes and sharp, pointed breasts and shifty-looking gamblers convey a world where the superficial beauty hides something more sinister and amoral under the surface. The tone of the poems back up this initial impression. If you purchase the book (available from Fókusz Könyvesbolt, Rákóczi út 14 or írók Boltja. Andrássy út 45). turn to page 23 where it appears that Prince Charles is playing pool with someone other than Camilla.
HÍG-H SOCIETY Erica László paintings Paul G Gótfalvai poetry Béke Gallery Radisson SAS Béke Hotel VI District. Teréz krt 43 Open daily until October I