BEERI, DAVID (PONGOR BERI KÁROLY)
I was born in Nyírbéltelek, a village in Szabolcs-Szatmár county, on 9 July 1951. We moved to Nyírmihálydi when I was three years old and I lived there until the age of 36. My parents were poor and we had to fight hard for our living. I had to be aware of the curse of poverty even at the age of 8-10 as from that time I could live a child's life very rarely. While other children were allowed to sleep in the small hours, I went to the fields, following my mother's call and that of the rising sun, and worked on other people's land. After school when my classmates could study or play in their free time, I went back to the fields or other places where we were hired and I helped that woman who finally paid with her life for her poverty, her loyalty to her family and her exemplary honesty.
After finishing the primary school I went to an industrial school where I had to work with concrete. The physical load was too much for me, so I had to leave the school after one year. Then I studied playing the violin in the music school, but as month were passing, I felt I did my parents an unjustice. Finally, at the age of 16, despite my parents' prohibition, I went to find work in the capital city so that I could give them financial help. I worked in several places and whenever I had the opportunity, I studied different things like welding or tailoring.
Although my circumstances forced me back, on 5 December 1975 I carried out a long pressing inner command and I started painting. By that time I was sure that my human quality could be rescued only by the paint-brush. After two months I visited a well-known painter in Debrecen. First he did not believe me and I had a narrow escape of being thrown out from his studio.
He soon changed his mind when he saw the work I did under his guidance. I worked with him in his studio and in the ateliers led by him for years, but I also visited internationally acknowledged colonies of artists as well as free schools where my development was supported by famous masters.
My first significant exhibition was held in Budapest in 1979 followed by ones in the country, abroad and in Budapest again. As a result of my systematic and absorbed work and studying I found the individual instruments of my self-expression relatively soon. They helped me to develop a kind of style that incorporates the essential marks of that artistic and mental school which has the purpose of serving as the founder and builder of the third millennium's mentality in every respect.
That is probably why some officials and acknowledged artists with the help of the socialist state police made every effort to eliminate me both as an artist and a human.
Yet the denigration, the made-up charge, the public proceedings and all the efforts to make my moral and financial existence impossible failed to reach the goal. On 7 November 1987 I lived through an exhausting journey with my pregnant wife in the seventh month and my one-year-old daughter to a country where there were no more iron curtains, and where spirit and mind could aspire high and unite with the substance of their suffering dream:
JUSTICE that maintains existence.
Since 12 January 1990 I have been living in Hungary again, in Nyírmihálydi, a settlement surrounded by a mental iron curtain left behind, where I continue developing the kind of painting that is not only a human production any more, but the painting of SPIRIT beyond the frontiers of the physical word created in three dimensions.
List of exhibitions: