'Tanmesécske' (Kretén #2, 1995).

István Fujkin is a Hungarian painter and cartoonist, whose body of work is devoted to the translation of music into visual arts. From the 1970s to the 1990s, he worked for Eastern-European music, sci-fi and humor magazines such as Rock Magazine, Galaktika and Kréten, before turning to animation and visual arts in Canada. Since the early 2000s, he makes paintings inspired by musical compositions and Native American culture.

Early life
Fujkin was born in 1953 in Horgoš, a town nowadays on the Serbian-Hungarian border, but at the time part of Yugoslavia. The Fujkin family was part of Horgoš' Hungarian population, and the artist refers to himself as Hungarian. Self-taught, István Fujkin has been working as a graphic artist since 1974, exhibiting in both solo and group expositions.

In 1983 he was one of the founding members of the Q-group ("Q-csoport"), a collective of spiritually oriented graphic artists operating on the fringes of amateur and professional art. Group leader was István Török, with the other members being Franjo Mačković, Imre Kothenc, Ede Pósa, Gábor Urbán, István Mészáros and János Nagypásztor. The team had their headquarters in Hajdukovo, near the shores of Ludaš Lake, where they organized exhibitions, workshops and lectures on art and folklore.

'Vörös Rébék' (Galaktika #110, 1989).

Comics & music
By 1985, Fujkin's first comics appeared in the Yugoslavian music magazine Rock Magazine, where he illustrated songs by Tina Turner, Stevie Wonder, John Lennon and several local groups. He simultaneously contributed to the Hungarian science magazine IPM, as well the sci-fi monthly Galaktika, for which he made a graphic interpretation of János Arany's ballad 'Vörös Rébék' (issue #110, 1989).

Laser Theater
In 1990, Fujkin moved to Hungary, where he became a visual designer for the Budapest Laser Theater. Known for its programs with artistic interactions between light and music, Fujkin enhanced the venue's technology by developing a new method of multi-visional panoramic projection. He additionally designed covers for sci-fi books as well as musical records, further establishing his dedication to both music and visual art.


Comics in Hungary
While in Hungary, Fujkin continued to operate on the comic scene, experimenting with multi-page pantomime comics such as 'Kapcsolat' ("The Relationship" in Hepiend Képes Regényújság #6, 1990). He took part in the first Hungarian comicons, first in Tokaj (1992) and then in Nyíregyháza (1993), where he was elected as "Visual Novel Artist of the Year".

In 1994, Fujkin was one of the original contributors to the groundbreaking Hungarian humor magazine Kréten, which was modelled after MAD (USA) and Fluide Glacial (France). The early issues were largely filled with material from Fluide Glacial, but local artists were also offered a spot. In the early issues, readers could vote which original production should continue: 'Dállász' by Zoltán Varga and Zsolt Führt Pál or a 'Szekfű Sanya' story by Ferenc Kiss and István Fujkin. 'Dállász' won, but Fujkin remained present in the magazine with several sci-fi parodies. 'Szekfü Sanya' was later revived in two new stories by Ferenc Kiss and Livia Rusz in Kis Füles magazine. Fujkin aslo designed Kréten's logo.

'Gomba' (Kretén #4, 1994).

Move to Toronto
In 1997, Fujkin worked for the children's comic magazine Dörmögő Dömötör (named after the Winnie the Pooh-like bear by novelist Zsigmond Sebők), but moved to Toronto, Canada, later that year. Until 2001, he was employed as an associate character designer by Super Sly Film, a Toronto-based studio headed by Hungarian animator Ferenc Rófusz. He additionally had his own cartoon column ('Grimasz-Fujkin sarok') in the weekly Torontói Magyar Élet ("Toronto Hungarian Life"), and served as art director and illustrator of the Toronto-based Hungarian literary periodical Pythagoras Füzetek ("Pythagoras Notebooks"). He also illustrated poem collections by the Hungarian poet Ágnes Simándi (in 2004 and 2006).

Comic inspired by John Lennon's 'Imagine' (1993).

Blue Owl paintings
In Canada, Fujkin dedicated himself even more to paintings inspired by well-known musical compositions. With his so-called "Fujkin's Music Vision" style, his imagery creates, in the artist's own words, "the techno-surrealistic metamorphosis of the world of music into visual arts". Fujkin also became captivated by the culture and tradition of the Native Americans. He was especially inspired by the spiritual elements in the musical work of Robbie Robertson (The Band) a rock musician who is of Cayuga and Mohawk descent. Fujkin's inspiration led to his series of 'Blue Owl' paintings, in which he captures the culture, history and music of the Native Americans in Canada. The artist sees it as his mission to create a bridge between Western culture and Native American traditions. This is also reflected in his work as art designer for the Metronome Canada Music Museum, for which he has designed several musical sculptures.

Later-day comics
István Fujkin has only sporadically returned to creating comics, contributing stories to Ferenc Kiss' self-published magazines Profil (1994) and Kalóz (8 issues, 2004).

Books about István Fujkin
Sándor Kertész and Ágnes Simándi published a book about the artist's life and work, called 'Fujkin' (2011).


Series and books by István Fujkin in stock in the Lambiek Webshop:


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