Thursday, September 22, 2011

Fejes Autobiography

The following "Fejes Biography" is copied from: The International meeting of naive art,  naivni "70, Zagreb + hlebine, july 18-Sept 20 1970. Published by gelerija, primitivne umjetnosti zagreb, 1970.   I have tried to type it in exactly as it is printed in the catalog although I don't know how to reproduce some fonts such as the o with two dots over it in the name Jeno.  Also, I have no idea how to properly link to or credit Yugoslavian institutions since I don't know what happened to them

My Biography

I was born in Osijek, as a boy of 5 I went with Parents to N. Sad in 1909 and here I was apprenticed, Trade, in 1917, and later craft - that of a Comb and button worker, and as a Tradesman I was in various Places like Belgrade, Zagreb, Osijek, Celje, Maribor, and Finally, when I suffered under the Germans, and with my Late Wife, I was transported to Hungary in 1941, and in Budapest I worked with Katon Jeno and in Nagyvarad.  As a tradesman, until 1945. February 8 I was Novi Sad, with my Late Wife, Here I became a dealer in secon dhand goods, As a merchant, and when the permission was taken away to private merchants my permission was also taken away, After I wante to open a Button Shop in Pula, but after 2 weeks here too the same ban on private Merchants was enforced, then I Returned to N. Sad, Then I got employed. As bottle deler with Flaso-Promet, When the firm closed down I was transferred to Bakar as Scraper, and the sSecond Dsistrict took me out later as Comb worker and I worked with em until they transferred me to Bachelite, at Obor, and There I stayed till 1952 when I fell ill, of Rumatism, Sciatica, Amsa. Catarh, which came gradually, in 1949 I Returned from Pula an since That time I became Painter Autodidact, Like a Painter, But my wife was not very keen on my paintings so I partly Worked, and Practised, my first Work is from Zagreb, Jurisiceva Street and the Post Office in NOvi Sad, Odeon Cinema Grows, and Lazic, Cathedral, and so on Which Tavakovic then bought and Then I got acquainted with Mamuzic, who introduced me to Bosko Petrovoic who is still my Best Freind and Advicor, To Him I show Each Picture First and He bought Most of My Pictures, a REal Expert, he and Other Painters Advised me not to mkae portrits but only Architecture and tha I should not LIsten to Nobody but color only as My First Pictures. I Follow my instinct, and Now I am REtired as a 75 p.c Invalid When the Russian Liberation ARmy cam eot Budapest I Reterned to N. Sad on February 8 1945.

Sincerly yours,
Fejes Emerik

(Emerik Fejes 's autobiography, written in pencil in 1956; Zagreb, Gallery of Naive Art)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Emmerik Fejes Portrait

In addition to our own collection of Fejes paintings, I visited Zagreb in 1979. I made a point of going to an art museum there which had a collection of Yugoslavian primitives.  I met the curator and agreed (and then did) send her copies of all of our paintings for her files.

I bought a copy of a thick catalog:  The International meeting of naive art,  naivni "70, Zagreb + hlebine, july 18-Sept 20 1970. Published by gelerija, primitivne umjetnosti zagreb, 1970. 

There are a number of prints of Fejes paintings in the book which I will reproduce here.

 There is also a portrait of him.  

There is also a commentary and autobiography which I will copy over, assuming that whomever holds the copyright would not mind.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


This painting of Venice by Fejes was bought from him by my parents in the mid 60s.  I'm not sure if they sold or gave away  the canvas.

Its typical of Fejes with the bright fantasy colors. Also, he often had a lot of trouble with perspective and 3D.

Emerik Fejes never traveled, he copied the great tourist sites from postcards that he collected.

Back then, postcards were in black and white.  So he had freedom to figure out the colors for himself. I've often wondered if he would have been disappointed to see how limited the color palette really is of many of these sites.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Mont St Michel

Emerik FejeŇ° (1904-1969) painted famous tourist sites that he only knew from postcards. The postcards were in black and white leaving him free to imagine and add color. He was known as a Yugoslav Primitive or Naive Artist meaning that he never had formal fine arts or painting education.

In the mid 60s, my parents with some friends, after visiting him near Zagreb,  bought two dozen of his paintings.  They sold the physical paintings at one point retaining three. One of them hangs in my living room.

He had an original painting technique. He would wrap wooden matches with thread and use them as brushes.

Fejes Painting of Mont St Michel
Emerik Fejes Painting of Mt St Michel from France
It hangs in my living room.