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Jun 5, 2017

Adventure Seeps Through the Tiniest Cracks!

The last night of our Random Gifts of Art Europe tour found us in Budapest. My buddy Garret and I had spent the day with our new friends Norbert and Niki exploring the small Hungarian village of Szententre, just north of Budapest. Later that night we met Niki for a drink at a bar next to a gallery she's told me about where an artist, Kő Ferenc, displays remarkable paintings that look one way in regular light, and completely different in black light. I'd wanted to visit the gallery but both times I tried to, something went wrong. Now we were right next door but being late at night of course the place was closed and my opportunity was gone.

It was about midnight when we left to walk to the subway. Passing by, I glanced at the gallery door and saw a light inside just extinguishing, silhouetting two heads against the glass. I mentioned to Niki that there was someone inside and just then two men emerged from the door. Niki said just the right thing to them (in Hungarian) and to my amazement, they motioned us in for a tour. What transpired was truly amazing.

The artist and his friend ushered us into a dark room where some music played and then a light came on illuminating a painting on the wall depicting a bejeweled crown. But in a moment the light went out and on came a black light, revealing the same crown, but gripped by a hand! (Painted in special, invisible fluorescent paint!) One by one paintings were illuminated in this way, each one more remarkable than the last. Finally at the end of about 15 such works, we found ourselves looking into a roped-off antique parlor, far past its glory days and falling to ruin. But as we were studying it the light changed again and under black light the faded, cracked and peeling walls were suddenly covered in rich, red velvet fabric. A bursting plant stood in the corner, portraits filled the decrepit, empty picture frames and a fire blazed in the formerly cold fireplace. The transformation was astonishing! I'd never seen anything like this and I told the artist so.

We were very grateful for the special post-midnight tour and I gave Ferenc a copy of our book. He in return surprised me by giving me a copy of his book: reproductions of his works showing the incredible transformations. We thanked our hosts and departed with an overwhelming sense of the magnitude of generosity that seeped out of the one moment of possibility––peeled open–– of recognizing that in the depth of a dark building there were living people! The lesson: always remain open to the unexpected potential that lurks in every crack and crevice!


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Tim Holmes Studio

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I'm a sculptor/filmmaker living in Montana, USA. I am using art to move the evolution of humanity forward into an increasingly responsive, inclusive and interactive culture. As globalization flattens peoples into a capitalist monoculture I hope to use my art to celebrate historical cultural differences and imagine how we can co-create a rich future together.

I see myself as an artist/philosopher laboring deep in the mines of joy. I've had a good long career of exhibiting work around the world and working on international outreach projects, most notably being the first American to be invited to present a one-person exhibit in the Hermitage Museum. Recently I have turned my attention from simply making metal sculpture to creating films and workshops for engaging communities directly, tinkering with the very ideas and mechanisms behind cultural transformation. I feel that as we face tragic world crises, if the human species favors our imaginative and creative capacities we can cultivate a rich world to enjoy.

For me the deepest satisfaction in making art comes in engaging people's real life concerns rather than providing simple entertainment or decoration. Areas of conflict or tension are particularly ripe for the kind of transformative power that art uniquely carries. I invite any kind of challenge that serves people on a deep level.