Janos Mesaros [1943-] : Opstanak, 1994.


Janos Mesaros [1943-]
Serbian / Belarus
Opstanak, 1994.
Pastel on board
25 x 20 inches
Signed and dated lower right and back.

Janos Mesaros [1943-]
Born in 1943 in Novi Bečej, Vojvodina, Serbia, in a Slovak family, is a renowned naïve painter known for his vivid and symbolic portrayals of the Vojvodina plains. He began painting in 1970, becoming a part of the naïve art group “Selo”. Mesaros, a lover of horses and life in the Pannonian Plain, has held approximately 270 solo exhibitions worldwide, presenting over 7,000 paintings. His journey into painting was initiated following a severe spinal injury that ended his professional football career in 1969. Oxford recognized his exceptional achievements in art, listing him among the famous and recognized citizens of Serbia. He currently resides and works in Belgrade​​.

Mesaros’s involvement in the naïve art scene dates back to the early years of the last century. He joined the naïve artist group “Selo” in Novi Bečej, formed by Dragiša Bunjevački. His early works, influenced by Bunjevački’s approach to life and art, reflect a deep interest in depicting everyday rural life. He sought to balance content and form, striving for a unique visual expression that characterizes his early phase​​​​.

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Mesaros’s work evolved to include specific motifs of Vojvodina landscapes. These paintings often feature “slices” of the plain, resembling flying carpets, symbolizing the untouched beauty of nature. His works also display a unique clarity and a vivid color palette, creating a distinctive atmospheric quality. The late 20th and early 21st centuries saw a change in his tone, with a focus on ecological issues and the dramatic changes in ex-Yugoslavia​​.

A central theme in Mesaros’s oeuvre is his depiction of slender, strong, purebred colts. These horses, often integrated into landscapes, represent more than mere motifs; they symbolize various thematic elements such as the beauty of nature, ecological concerns, and the cultural identity of Vojvodina. Mesaros’s horses, marked by their stylistic presentation, have become a signature element of his work​​.

Mesaros’s artistry is characterized by a fusion of legend and reality, weaving together biblical and cosmic themes with a masterful use of light and color. His paintings contain a subtle surrealism, making a profound psychological impact. Recognized as a painter of fire and silence, Mesaros has created a unique style in naïve painting that explores the depths of human experience and the beauty of the natural world​​.

This comprehensive look into Janos Mesaros’s life and work highlights his significant contribution to the art world, particularly in the realm of naïve painting, where he continues to be a celebrated figure.

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