Ágnes Kántor studied painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Budapest. The young artist lives and works in Hungary and partly in Rome, and is a lecturer at the Department of Art and Art History at the University of Szeged (Hungary).
The artist considers her paintings to be a sort of a visual diary; she focuses on relationships between people and objects from her surroundings. Portraying and exploring the space her paintings inhabit plays an important role in her work. When creating, she combines the traditional approach of painting on canvases with new possibilities of presentation. She examines different identities, and in doing so, asks the question: Can complete honesty, or even a non-constructed identity as an entity be taken out of a person's body, allowing the individual to escape their real identity?
Wearable identity, the project created during her residency, was inspired by Maribor’s history and the textile industry, which was once so strongly present here. Using her primary medium, i.e. painting, the artist has woven it into her story, and connected it with traditional roles of women, and the tasks that are considered traditionally female. By combining different aspects, she created clothes as objects of art, which are both the artist's personal expression, as well as part of the collective identity; real-size ''wearable paintings'' that often reveal more than they hide, because they also reveal those parts of our moods or our consciousness, that usually aren't reflected through our image, even parts we try to hide. Classical painting is the basis of this personal and expressive collection, while employing different levels of presentation and perception makes it an area of visualization and imagination.
"In Maribor, I create wearable paintings, which describe my days in the city. Through my work, I try to define the nature of my feelings, my thoughts, and my memories that belong to Maribor. People use clothing as a way of expressing their identity. Like real clothing, my wearable paintings reflect a lot of intimate details of ourselves and our lives. Usually, the personal information we decide to reveal to others is carefully chosen. One wouldn't, for example, wear a T-shirt with an image that reminds us of the worst vacation experience, or some shameful event. However, even such inappropriate, embarrassing or funny moments and things define us, and reveal something about who we are. My work tries to point to this other side; the ''clothing'' I make define most of us, even though we may never want to ''wear'' them.''
Text: Maja Pardeilhan