Arts & Culture

SLO photographer shares "joy and light" at new exhibit

‘Seek & You Shall Find,’ a giclee print printed on rag watercolor paper, is part of Ildiko Laszlo’s ‘Budding Forms’ show at the Haven Properties Gallery in San Luis Obispo, running through Dec. 14.
‘Seek & You Shall Find,’ a giclee print printed on rag watercolor paper, is part of Ildiko Laszlo’s ‘Budding Forms’ show at the Haven Properties Gallery in San Luis Obispo, running through Dec. 14.

Atrocities certainly do not create beauty, but beauty, miraculously, can follow.

Ildiko Laszlo’s parents have seen the worst of the world, yet they taught her perseverance and curiosity, she says. Those traits have caused her to search for beauty, which she often finds and expresses through her photographic art.

Laszlo is aware of the atrocities of her parents’ youth. They were Hungarian immigrants who survived the Holocaust then fled, with her in tow, from the Hungarian Revolution a decade later. They sheltered Laszlo and her younger sister from their experiences, instead giving them a happy, secure childhood in Rhode Island.

“Perhaps the nature of seeking beauty takes its own road,” Laszlo said. “My parents’ experiences definitely influenced me.

When you’re a kid growing up, you’re influenced by your neighborhood, your parents and the people they associate with, but it wasn’t until I was college-age myself and went to university that I took a class on the Holocaust. It gave me an unbelievable understanding of my parents and what they went through to gives us such a good life.”

Laszlo began shooting pictures when she was young.

“From the very first roll of film I shot, I was in love with what I saw,” she said.

She also kept her ties to her Hungarian roots.

Laszlo is featuring 20 of her images representing her recent relocation to a residence in San Luis Obispo in her current show, “Budding Forms.” They are all giclee prints printed on 100 percent rag watercolor paper.

The prints are signed, limited editions of 37.

“I’ve lived all over the world, and luck and love have brought me to my new home in San Luis Obispo, truly one of the loveliest places on Earth.”Laszlo does not take her safe, happy life lightly, she says.

In her artist’s statement, she writes, “The likelihood of my being born at all, of my being here today, is so slight that I know I have a purpose: Spreading joy and light.

And I express that purpose most faithfully in my photography. I am a lover of light and have a voracious curiosity of the enchanting. It is my guide as I continue to work through exploration and experimentation with form, color and the sense.”

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