László Koday


I started working as a label painter at Ganz-MÁVAG. It was well known that the label painters had good manual dexterity, many of the old colleagues were involved in painting, and I was persuaded to join them in the Ganz artists' circle.

That's when my fate was sealed, because I fell in love with fine arts, that was in 1962.

In the beginning I painted while I was working, and I had my first solo exhibition here in 1972. In the meantime I became foreman and then plant manager in a polishing plant where I started.

In the meantime, I went to the János Nagy Balog Artists' Circle at the Patak House of Culture, where I received my first prize for a still life painted in cubist style. At that time I was still looking for my own form of expression, I had no individual style.

In 1963, the first Csontváry exhibition was held at the Museum of Fine Arts, which really impressed me. Later, I came across the paintings of the naïve, the primitive, the neo-primitive, whose sincerity really got to me!

I painted three oil paintings (50×70 cm) that I didn't follow any style, just my own idea, I thought they were good, but no one had seen them yet.

In 1980 I entered a competition for Naive Artists, in the painting category, and won first prize.

In 1981 I was invited by Dr. Pál Bánszky, art historian and then director of the Museum of Naive Artists in Kecskemét, to a solo exhibition, and then he bought paintings from me for the museum.

In 1990 I became an Intellectual Freelance Artist, and since then I have been doing nothing else.

My parents were manual workers, they had nothing to do with art.

I graduated from the Eötvös Gymnasium, Reáltanoda Street.

Dr. Pál Bánszky formulated the essence of my painting in the introduction to a catalogue:

"When László Koday started his career as a painter, he chose the field of naïve art as a path to follow, but he went further, he did not remain in the instinctive world of the naïve. He developed for himself a style of painting which, in many respects, showed affinities with naïve art, but which, on the basis of a degree of consciousness and personal traits, he matured into an independent style..."

Over the years I have created thousands of paintings, which can be found in many countries around the world.

I work on several pictures at the same time, I always continue with the one I have the idea and the mood for.

In 1990, a society of artists was formed, the National Society of Fine and Applied Arts, of which I was a founding member and vice-president for 20 years. In 1990, Pál Bánszky re-launched the Tokaj Artists' Village, to which I was invited, and I was a member for about 20 years, until the village was closed down. Until then I participated in about 200 group exhibitions and 100 solo exhibitions.

My paintings have been awarded several times, in 2005 the then Art. In 2005 I was awarded the Csokonay Vitéz Mihály Creative Award by the Minister of Fine Arts in recognition of my artistic work. I consider this to be the greatest recognition I have received for my work.

I have lived in Monorierdő for 50 years, I have been involved in public life, and in 2018 I was awarded the title of Honorary Citizen in recognition of my work.

I paint every day, I have almost working hours, from 9 in the morning until about 5 in the afternoon.

In the 1980s, at the opening of one of my solo exhibitions, the art historian Dr. István Kerékgyártó said that Koday had achieved with his established style that if you don't sign your paintings, you can still know that he painted them!

I took this as high praise, because every painter strives to develop a form of expression that is unique to him.

I cannot imagine doing anything else than painting, it is my life, painting!

I currently live in Monor, where my activities have been recognised and I was awarded a Monor plaque.

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