Silvester Makai – an artist through and through

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Vojvodina has no shortage of wonderful Rusyn painters, photographers, writers, journalists… Silvester D. Makai is yet another one. A native of Kocur, who spent his whole life there just because it was his home and he loved it, is an accomplished sculptor, painter and writer. In February 2017 already the 36th solo art show was organized, this time by The Cultural Center of Kula, a testimony to his quality and popularity as an artist who is able to bring his own artistic vision to life not for anybody else, but for himself, as he puts it.

Makai was born in 1941. After finishing his studies of technical drawing and metalworking, he briefly worked in that vocation only to realize it didn’t give him enough creative freedom. So he went on to study art where one of his teachers was Eugen Kočiš II, from whom he learned a lot and with whom he later collaborated.

Back in Kocur, Makai was commissioned to make sculptures and memorials for the victims of the fascist regime, which was a commission on a large scale that took up all of his time, but in which he could use his technical training as well. Later, he got interested in making sculptures from scrap metal, and his metalworking skills came in handy. Makai was also an art teacher – and all the art forms he was supposed to teach to his students had to master first himself.

The creed that he holds as prerogative for all his art projects is this: follow your original idea through till the end. It requires an immense effort, but it’s worth it.