Art was his only real center of interest, dedicating every atom of his heart and soul to his mission with such energy, determination, and an unequaled capacity for concentration. He worked night and day to conceive his creations and to impose them to the world. He was infused with a perception of the future, which he expressed in different writings, from the upheaval that would provoke the evolution of technology with its benefits and consequences. Fascinated by nature, its mystery, its complexity, his central preoccupations, like his lectures, were oriented towards the realm of science in all of its detail, from infinitely miniscule to infinitely huge. Galaxies, cosmos, atoms and molecules were the subject of many of our conversations. He was aware, and complained sometimes, to be born a century too soon. Man of an abstract and codified future, he nonetheless lead a traditional existence, enclosed in his studio and his thoughts.
In the 1950s he began to be preoccupied by the artist’s role in society. Convinced of a profound aesthetic ambition in man, he never stopped advocating for a social art, accessible to all, rebelling against the notion that art must be inextricably linked to power and money. He was the first artist to create editions to allow the diffusion of his work, not to be reserved for the elite but available to a greater number of individuals.
He was very conscious of living in a pivotal era, preaching the gospel of an all-encompassing inter-disciplinary collaboration, “...all architects, painters, sculptors must learn to work together. It is not a matter of negating the masterpieces of the past, we should instead admit that human aspirations have changed. We must transform our ancient way of thinking and conceiving art, particularly in the cities. We must share it, make it accessible to all. Art must be generous.”
After years of work, sacrifices and efforts, the artist found himself in the forefront of the international cultural landscape and became the “Vasarely” whom everyone knows, this great visionary, this magician of human emotion, this charismatic artist so ahead of his era. A man who dedicated his life to his art in the most exalted of manners, leaving a timeless legacy of dreams and illusions, comprehensively embodying the speculations and anticipations of a century, opening a limitless space of exploration for generations to come.
It has been a great privilege to have approached and known him so intimately despite the aggression I have since endured. But, after all, isn’t suffering always a part of the journey?