I Already Felt it Then That Who I Love is Not for Me. 2000
Oil on fibreboard, 60 x 90 cm
Mara Oláh started painting at the age of 43, after her mother's death. Parallel with her autobiography, she was painting major traumas in her life, in chronological order, using art as a therapeutic tool to come to terms with, and overcome, humiliation, the grief felt over losing her mother, the anguish of alienation from her daughter, the physical pain of her cancer.
Since 1992, all her pictures have been completed with inscriptions. (...) Painted in various tones of blue and complemented with textual explanations and words of wisdom, the "Blue Pictures" are confessions about the artist's most important, personal experiences, her relationship with her daughter, her ordeals as a Roma and a woman. The inscriptions not only verbalise the story of the narrative pictures, but also relate the time of the event, and contain reflections that show their relevance to the present and the future. A good example is Mara and the Policeman: the story of young Mara, who refused to stand with her bicycle behind a policeman in the line waiting at the railway crossing, because she had arrived earlier; despite there being several eyewitnesses, the policeman beat her almost to death. (...)
When it comes to representing the interests of the Roma, Omara does not confine herself to the visual arts: she speaks out through actions and statements she makes on television, in printed and electronic journals. She visits prisons to talk with the inmates and tell them about the life of the Roma on the "outside." Though she would probably refrain from using such words, hers is a politically conscious, activist art.
All texts and biographies
© Large Photo: Barnabas Toth
Photos right above: Haupt & Binder
* 1945 Monor, Hungary. Lives in Szarvasgede, Hungary.
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