András Kapitány's pictures are usually referred to as three-dimensional
images. This is in itself a rather strange definition, as by three
dimensions, we mean space. One might think that András Kapitány creates
bodies extending into space.
It is an absurd definition: we see images that appear in a plane, despite the fact that the images appear on a computer monitor. It is planar, however, as is the paper of graphics or the canvas of paintings.
The computer monitor is made of glass, or is perhaps immaterial, yet we can state that its surface is comprised of different points, pixels of different - mathematically governed - light intensity and light values.
Why do we think, then, that András Kapitány's pictures exhibited here are three-dimensional? Because we see objects that seem to appear in space; our experience with physical environments, and our movements in space, have taught us that an object closer to us is bigger than the one farther away. We also know that if the light comes from the right, then the shadow of an object is cast to the left. This method, termed perspective, was re-invented and brought to perfection during the Renaissance. From the time of Alberti, the creation of perspective, in fact, belongs to applied mathematics. The computer, which András Kapitány employs, merely performs the necessary mathematical operations.
A Renaissance painting is composed from one viewpoint, and should be observed motionless, optimally with only one eye open. There are various methods to represent the whole in planar form. One of these methods is perspective, which has again several branches. The aim of perspective is to create a homogeneous space with homogeneous lighting conditions, governed by a homogeneous mathematical world.
Within the virtual spaces of his creation, András Kapitány is able to change the viewpoints. If, with the help of compasses and rulers, one is able to construct, on canvas or paper, a space corresponding to a homogeneous system, as was done by the Renaissance masters, then one creates a stable work of art. András Kapitány, instead, creates a virtual space with 3D computer programs, and the only thing he adds to it is to constantly change the viewpoints from which the viewer observes the space. The different series of pictures we see here represents the same space, shown from altering viewpoints.
András Kapitány, in an earlier work, studied Piero della Francesca's painting, "The Flagellation," a painting extensively analysed by art historians exactly owing to its perspective. Many have tried to draw the cubic space from different viewpoints (from above and from the sides), in which the flagellation of Christ takes place. What is happening here? Piero della Francesca made a two-dimensional art work that represents a three-dimensional environment, i.e., actually created a virtual space. András Kapitány takes this virtual space and via movements – animation – places it into a different - more realistic - representational situation.
András Kapitány's works based on the graphic works by M.C. Escher, however, conceive everything from a reversed standpoint. The space painted by Piero della Francesca could be easily and precisely modelled from sticks and cardboard, conforming to the rules defined by the Renaissance perspective. The situation, however, is different with the impossible buildings drawn by Escher, as their very essence is that they can only be imagined and seen in two dimensions.
When András Kapitány attempts to realise Escher's (SR) forms in three dimensions on a computer, he actually creates an absurd situation. He tries to show spaces that we could only experience if these spaces actually existed. In short, it is a double pseudo, a triple twist -- the virtuality of the virtual.