Gabor Urban was born in 1946 in Subotica. Already in his youth he was committed to the arts. In 1964, he began studying painting at the Teacher’sTraining College in Novi Sad. After the college years he became a student of a well-known painter, Mr. Balazs G. Arpad. From 1983, he is a freelance artist.
In the early nineties, he denied to participate in a Balkan war, so he had to leave his country. Then he moved to Hungary, but meantime he lived and worked on the island of Hvar, in Dalmatia, as well. Currently, he lives alternately in Budapest, Hvar and Palic. Faros, founded by the ancient Greeks, today’s town of Stari Grad and its inhabitants often appears in his paintings of mythological themes.
One of his motto is from Apelles: ”Nulla dies sine linea”- “No day without a line”, what means that, no one day can pass idly, without a stroke. He is working continu-ously for more than four decades, taking part in the life of art – a work of art chosen as a profession and a way of life.
He had individual exhibition in Subotica, Senta, Horgos, Kanizsa, Novi Sad, Osijek, Sombor, Szeged, Budapest, Gödöllő, Etyek, New York, Wallingford (USA) and Stari Grad (Croatia), and many shared exhibition including Budapest, Vienna, Osijek , Moscow, Doral (United States).
He made illustrations on poems of Dezso Kosztolanyi and Laszlo Nagy, but he is often inspired by the countryside he lives, too. He says of himself that he is a child of the endless plains and sea. His attraction to the Mediterranean life and culture is constantly ref-lected in his works.
Recently, he is mainly dealing with figurative painting. Vivid colors, pictures of the conscious placement of elements which cre-ates rhythm in his works.
Urban paints in a conservative-academic way, by keeping (as far as is possible) the old master’s technology, but he puts his mo-dels and objects in a surreal situation. The manipulation of space and even more unusual lights makes a false reality to be seen real.
In the last ten years, he more and more accepts the principles of neomanirism, partly because he recognizes himself in it.
He is a lyrical figure, his works reflects a deep humanity and philanthropy. Most of the time his rich world of imagination, nature and human life becomes alive by his hands. He often paints com-positions of many figures.
In his paintings we can often see a surrealistic dream world. His symbolic way of painting is often paired with traditional tech-niques. He had painted several times sacral themed paintings and also church frescos with “al sec-co” technique. He used to deal with monotyphia.
The main objects and inspirations of his art are: the man himself, the human face, the human body, figures from the Greek mytho-logy and legends (Dionysos, Silenos, Helios, Pegasus, Bacchi-as, Nereids), the rich and varied themes of wineries, musicians, horses and not at least, visions of apocalyptic.
He likes to paint in an allegorical way. “The real value is the hidden truth behind the external beauty “ – Dante. If we ignore trends for-ced on us, we can find everything on Gabor Urban’s pictures, the beauty and the pillars of art, what means: the talent, the skill, the virtuosity, the creative power and a work of unique art in a trans-cendent character. “Consistent and tough man, an artist. He has always viewed the society from the outside, he does not want to participate directly in the life. But this isolation only serves to protect himself, not indifference, even more the sensitivity of the man. Everything that happens around him is present in his art.
His figurative way of painting, vivid colors were dominant for him to become an artist. He is working with the memories and associations from the material world, where the main character is a human figure. He get rid of the bleak world of human existence and fights against the metaphysical loneliness. He is lo-oking for human values.
The effort to create naturebased abstract representation of the conceptual, moral and philoso-phical approaches to the subject is very important to him. His main ambition is to form continuity between past and pre-sent or furthermore the explo-ration of discontinuity, what is one of the most frequently raised concerns of modern art.
On his works a slow, but contino-us motion can be seen – the only exceptions are galloping horses. In fact he wants to show us a permanent and enduring picture of humanity, conversation pieces and human faces. He tries to keep together the disintegrated Whole with faith and empathy.
He knows to draw, what is a big thing nowadays. Even in his dramatic visions he also pays attention that the spacetime continuity has to be the main thing what makes people to think about, not the reality. There are no confused people standing in front of his pictures, without knowing what he wanted to say and to whom … With the need for completeness and unwavering faith he tries to connect the past and present in human life, searching for relationships bet-ween human values and the world around us, as well as future possibilities. “