Thirty-six-year-old Anton Varga from Geteni didn’t use to enjoy drawing at school. His love of art was born only in 2000. Back then, having a theological education and the rank of a brother- monk in the Roman Catholic Church, he visited an exhibition of Joseph Shandor in Seget (Hungary) and got interested in the grandeur of his icons.
– I approached the artist and asked him to take me as his student. He wrote icons, but had no theological education, and for me it’s not just art, but another way of serving God, because one must paint images of the saints with pure thoughts and special reverence in his heart, says Anton Vasilievych. – I also took courses in wood carving, pottery making, fine art and graffiti.
In Italy, I learned the language and now I am engaged in translating of the book about iconography from Italian into Hungarian. I believe that the more languages a person knows, the spiritually richer he is. I am fluent in Hungarian, Ukrainian, Russian and Italian. I also understand German and Romanian …
I have visited Germany, Italy, Slovakia, Romania, Hungary, Belgium and France. Another hobby of mine is the restoration of ancient icons. I also collect rarities.
– To make an icon I take a linden without knots, which has already been drying for three years. Then I cut out a form for a picture, which is later covered with cotton fabric, and then I put lime on top. When it gets dry, I draw sketches of an icon using a pen or pencil, then put glue again and attach a sheet of special foil made of 4.5-carat gold. And finally, I paint with egg-oil-based paints on a gold basis. I buy gold in Budapest. It takes a whole month to draw one icon of 32×40 cm, and it costs 1,600 hryvnia.
Not everyone can afford "golden" icons. Therefore Anton Varga makes them basically as a gift to friends and relatives.