Laborers at the Opera
|Medium, technique||fibreboard, oil, application, glued, decoupage, collage, coat, banknote, glazed porcelain|
305 × 342 cm
|On view||Hungarian National Gallery Building D, Third Floor, Shifts – 20th Century art after 1945|
Sándor Altorjai’s large, 3 × 3.5 meter painting created from mixed materials and using a variety of techniques is one of the major works of 1960s Hungarian pop art. Its style bears elements of realism and expressionism, as well as conceptual art, which expresses artistic concepts in a complex way.
Let Me Sink Upwards consists of two parts: on the left is a portrait of his artist friend, Miklós Erdély disguised as a poor Jew with side locks, whose friendship played a decisive role in Altorjai’s life and art. Erdély is wearing a black cap and jacket, of which his hand, shining and sculptural, originally protruded from in a waving gesture. In choosing a paradoxical title Let Me Sink Upwards, Altorjai refers ironically to the ephemeral nature of stardom. The duplication of mundane articles of consumption is an essential element in pop art. Altorjai, too, applies objects from everyday life, such as coats and hats, to his work.
This record is subject to revision due to ongoing research.