Hungarian artist Jozsef Szurcsik lost four of his friends in a matter of weeks to COVID-19 and the tremendous pain and grief he feels has transformed his art.
“I have four friends who were important to me, there are four people whose passing away is very shocking… If this epidemic had not happened they could have been with us for a long time,” he said.
He can still hardly talk about his loss. One of his friends who died was little over 40 years old.
Hungary, which has a population of around 10 million, had recorded 4,079 cases of COVID-19 as of Thursday, including 568 deaths.
Szurcsik, who makes etchings, lithographs, oil and acrylic paintings on canvas, and also painted sculptures, said the new imagery of his paintings worked as a kind of therapy.
“I did not want to visualize a concrete figure, far from it… and still there are figures who resemble those whom I will not meet anymore,” he said.
He said society is split between those who belittle or even doubt the seriousness of the coronavirus, and those who believe it is a deadly reality.
“There are those who deny the virus and those who believe in it, experiencing on their own skin and through their losses… staying alive but suffering the pain.” — Reuters