Interview with painter Gabriella Nagy




Real specialty of the Mercure Hotel Debrecen is the local theme based on local values and is built around the world-famous flower carnival. How does this resonate in the interiors?


The carnival atmosphere, the fun, dynamic summer vibe was already a concept while designing the interior and the wallpapers on the walls – made from my paintings – complement it. Some of the pictures are related to the Hortobágy landscape as well as its flora and fauna. I have been making landscapes for a long time. The patterns of the plain landscape appear again and again in my pictures. One of its special features is that I made pictures specifically for the hotel related to the flower carnival and Hortobágy.

As a painter, your favorite subject is the diversity of nature. Did it require a different approach to dream these onto canvas for the hotel?


The pictures made for the hotel are also oil-on-canvas paintings. During the preparation of these works, I also took into account the needs of the customers and the designers. At the same time, they are based on their own ideas and inspiration. Good works cannot be created any other way. It was fun to paint these pictures, I have a feeling it will influence my later works as well.

Printed wallpapers were created based on the flower-themed world you dreamed up – can modern technical solutions be seen as an extension of fine art?


When preparing the works, the dimensions, material, and location of the final appearance had to be taken into account. These were also important aspects. Wallpaper can also be a medium for contemporary exhibitions, in this case it is an applied art solution that brings a fine art quality to the space.

We heard that the hotel also has many of your other works. What are they like?


On the ground floor of the hotel, my earlier paintings are used as wallpaper on the wall and in light boxes in the rooms. These are landscapes with animals (sheep, rose beetle) and plants (apple tree branch). One of the images is a double self-portrait, a jumping figure on Hortobágy. I really like working with the landscapes to which I have a personal connection, such as the great plain, Lake Balaton, the Tisza, the Bend of the Danube. I try to combine traditional landscapes with a fresh, contemporary vision. I use classic oil-on-canvas materials. Observation is a key word in my work. I shape the mental, mythical and visual connections inherent in nature into a sensory spectacle, a concentrated visual world. These are interior landscapes that evoke private stories. He searches for new forms and contents within the traditional genre of landscape. Childhood experiences connected to rural grandparents and adult travels determine the way of seeing, based on which I reinterpret the tradition of landscape painting. The display of natural forces and extreme atmospheric phenomena (lightning, storm) is a recurrent motif since the romanticism of the 19th century. I also admire them. Recently, animals and plants also play an important role in my pictures.