Art and Artists
Here we wish to profile artists, as we have with Ceija Stojka. Biographical information for each artist is extracted either from their websites, whose links may be reached by clicking on the artists’ names, or from the following sources:
Die vergessenen Europäer: Kunst der Roma. Roma in der Kunst. Ed. Kurt Holl. Köln: Verlag des Rom e.V. Köln, 2009.
Hancock, Ian. We are the Romani people/Ame sam e Rromane dzene.Hertfordshire: University of Herfordshire Press, 2002.
If you have an artist to suggest, please leave a comment below.
Daniel Baker was born in 1961 in Great Britain. His work addresses the tradition of ornamentation in Romani culture. One medium of his art is paintings on glass: flowers, animals, and iconic motifs of the Romani culture, such as the caravan. Some pieces of his work highlight recurring issues, such as illiteracy in Romani culture through symbols in his artwork. He believes that these symbols “link individual consciousness with collective awareness.” He has earned a master’s degree in Sociology and is currently working on a doctorate at the Royal College of Art. Daniel Baker currently lives and works in London.
Eva Ohlow was born in Cologne, Germany in 1940. She is a painter, computer animator and sculptor who specializes in Romani symbolism. She has studied art and architecture in many places, such as a work school in Cologne and Wuppertal, a mansion in Ramona, Florence, northwest India, the Congo in Central Africa, Mali, and Greece. She has had exhibits in even more places, such as South Korea, Miama, Athens, Liverpool, Tilburg, and all over Germany. She is currently holding exhibitions in Germany and creating new artwork.
Katarzyna Pollok was born in Kiew in 1961. She lived for 22 years in Poland and then moved to Berlin, Germany. She believes in the Romani tradition of “nomadizing” her art, and embodies this tradition by exploring all realms of art medium. Katarzyna often utilizes Romani symbolism in her artwork as a way to identify with her Roma heritage. She identifies the purpose of her artwork depicting the Holocaust as a memorial to those who endured it, and a reminder to the world that the Holocaust actually happened. She believes in incorporating vibrancy and intensity into her artwork, as well as traditional Romani ornamentation. Katarzyna includes bits of every culture she has experienced through her extensive travels in her artwork to highlight the nomadic qualities of traditional Romani artwork.
Nihad Nino Pusija
Nihad Nino Pusija is a Romani photographer living in Berlin, exploring the two separate worlds encased within one city. He believes that the faces of the people living in Berlin become a testament to the events that the city has endured, and that the photographs of individuals become defining documentaries for entire groups of people. Pusija and captures these emotions with his excellent and moving photography.
Gabi Jiminez is a Romani artist who deeply identifies with his Roma roots. He creates paintings, graphics and illustrations coded by vibrant color. Jiminez states that his work concentrates entirely on portraying a meaning to the observer. Much of his art closely resembles traditional stained-glass windows, with vibrant colored sections and thick black lines. He incorporates traditional Gypsy home-life into his work, believing the unkempt style of a vagrant home (and artwork) not to be looked down upon, but celebrated as life, family and self-identity.
Lita Cabellut is a Romani painter who was raised in an impoverished Roma environment. Her artwork is closely entwined with memories of growing up as an orphan in the streets of Barcelona. At 13, Cabellut was adopted and discovered the work of such artists as Goya, Velazquez, Ribera and Rembrandt and began creating her own fusion of artwork, incorporating all of her favorite aspects of those she most admired. Cabellut is famed for the illustrative stories conveyed through her paintings and sculptures. She desires to communicate the Romani ideal that all people are connected to one another and that we all share common traits. Her artwork is exhibited all over the world.
Thomas Fischer is a Romani artist who works mainly with photography. He travels all over the world, capturing images he believes to be important to the culture they reveal. His most current project is called “doors” and is a collection of photographs of doors from cultures around the world, including Japan, India, Turkey, Kyrgyzstan, Spain, Mexico, Morocco, the United States, France, and Russia.
Judit Horvath is a Romani woman from Budapest, Hungary. Her photography is highly textural and rich in its simplistic beauty. Her work often features cultural foods, people and nature, as well as architecture. Horvath’s work is varied breathtaking, and includes both stark black and white images that reveal a sense of purity in nature and people, as well as the bright, rich colors typical of Romani art.
György Stalter is a photographer from Hungary, living in Budapest, who attempts to capture the spirit of the city and its people through film. He believes in using formal film techniques with a blend of Romani flair to present the viewer with vibrant colors, dense emotions and a rich history of Budapest, specifically the “8th District” neighborhood, where the Roma have a strong presence. Stalter’s photographs focus entirely on people and their surroundings, sometimes using stark black and white film to highlight contrasts, and other times with extreme and fluorescent colors that grip the viewer with intensity.
Janosz Balasz ist a Romani painter born in Hungary in 1905. He is famous for his Romani-expressionist paintings, which symbolize a true Romani originality. His paintings have been widely presented; the most famous exhibition was with other Roma artists in 1979 in Budapest.
Sandra Jayat or Sandra Jayat
Sandra Jayat was born in Italy to Roma parents, eventually moving to Paris, France to begin her career as an artist. She writes literature and poetry and paints colorful expressionist-style pieces. As a self-taught artist, she throws aside the rule book to create her own flavor of art. She self-exclaims that her artwork is “surreal”. Her Jayat’s paintings are bright, colorful, and full of movement.
Bruno Morelli was born into a Romani family in Italy in 1958 and is known for his portraits. He is a self-taught artist, and highly motivated, organizing the first and second Mondiale d’Arte delle Zingari exhibitions.
Antonio Solario, “Il Zingaro”
Antonio Solario was a Romani artist who went by the name “Lo Zingaro” or “Il Zingaro,” which means “The Gypsy”. He was born in 1465 in Italy and lived and painted until 1530. He started his career as a smith and expanded his career to painting, through which he became famous. Solario did many frescoes and portraits, with special attention given to the heads and landscapes.
Harald Klemm was born in Mönchengladbach, Germany in 1960. He studied history and philosophy in college, which later became the focus of his artwork. He became a freelance artist in 1989 and lives and works in Köln. His paintings use intense colors and dramatic shapes, keeping with Romani traditional artwork. He uses digital manipulation of photographs and paintings to create entirely new, exciting pieces of art. Klemm’s art is inspirational and thought provoking, highlighting Romani culture in today’s society.