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Csilla Orban

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Whilst many contemporary landscape artists have a habit of getting bogged down in over-elaborate detailing, celebrated and highly regarded exponent of the popular genre, Csilla Orban chooses to plough her visual furrow with a less is more pictorial mantra. Although Orban’s familiar cityscape locations remain just that, familiar and instantly recognisable, she steers clear of the illustrative pitfalls of over-egging the compositional puddings. With Orban’s work the emphasis is placed on the atmosphere, and the morphing and fluid interaction of those intense colour saturations and hues, amid the blurring of light and reflections in those oft-rain soaked streets and boulevards that she habitually depicts. This fast-moving, pseudo-animated style of marker visual-slick approximations of specific locations works to Orban’s advantage time after time, and single the artist out as offering a different perspective and altogether fresh approach to an otherwise tried and tested formula.

Orban’s story unfolds in Budapest, Hungary in 1961, or at least, that’s where and when she was born. After a relatively ordinary and happy childhood, where art played a part during her formative years, Orban went down the higher educational route offered in her homeland, and emerged with a masters degree in art, gained from the University of Budapest, in 1984. In the immediate aftermath of this achievement, Orban won a year’s scholarship in Russia, after which she dedicated a large part of her twenties to exploring what Europe as a whole had to offer, travelling far and wide on the continent, before finally putting down roots in the UK.

A host of the sights and sounds and general cultural differences which she encountered on her pan-European travels left an indelible mark on Orban's sponge-like mind, inspiring her to paint what she saw, when she saw it. if the artist was to commit to words her creative creed as such, Orban would doubtless say something along the lines of it being to paint ‘faithfully and with humanity’, as that is pretty much the visual sense and perceived ambience that viewers would take from exposure to her back catalogue of vividly expressive work. In terms of Orban’s favoured locations, or more specifically, those which influenced her most, then the French capital tends to reverberate, and the exact grid co-ordinates as to where her imagination was galvanized. Orban talks of her being emotionally drawn and rendered enchanted by Paris and its quintessential grand boulevards, intimate cafes and all-pervading bohemian culture, as many artists have decreed before her.

During her stay in Paris, Orban became a member and co-secretary of the Parisian Independent Salon’s Hungarian group as of 1996, with her remit being to help several talented young artists gain a foothold on the contemporary art scene, both locally and nationally, with a view to ultimately establishing themselves internationally, something which is very close to Orban’s heart and in which something she feels she can give back to art, and pass on to the next generation of creative. Orban is a veteran of many international exhibitions herself, and in 2004 she was handed the ‘Genius Talent Prize’ in her native Budapest at an exhibition which celebrated Hungary’s then inclusion into the EU. Two years later, in June 2006, and after spending six months living in America, Orban was invited to showcase her work in a joint exhibition of other contemporary painters in Texas, which afforded her valuable exposure to an even greater international audience.