Artistic Biography of József Marx
Marx was born on the 23rd of April 1914 in Tîrgu Mureş
(Marosvásárhely, Neumarkt am Mieresch). He was six years old when
his family moved to Aiud (Nagyenyed, Strassburg am Mieresch). He
studied there at Bethlen Gábor school. As a prime gift he received
from his father a camera. For a time he worked in his father's grocery,
meanwhile his first photos appeared in Transylvanian magazines of
those times. He entered the law department at university where he
studied for two years until the start of the war. He got married
in 1943. He joined the army and was taken captive of war; he returned
home only in 1948.
settled in his native town Tîrgu Mureş with his wife, and worked
as head of commerce in food industry, but his free time, even then,
was dedicated to photography. He learned the technics and ethics
of photography as an autodidact, which he put into practice in his
photolab made in a corner of the kitchen of his house.
1930 his photos were present at exhibitions. The year of 1933 brought
the first award at an international exhibition. Except for the years
of war and captivity, he took part in 20-30 exhibitions yearly until
his death in 1992.
years in the service of photographic art, presence at more than
1300 exhibitions, rewards at over 200 national and international
exhibitions mean an incomparable biography in photographic art of
year of 1985 brought a big change in József Marx's life. The magazine
''Új Élet'', whose chief editor was Sütő András, invited him to
work with him as a photo reporter. Naturally, he could not resist
temptation, and from that moment his hobby turned into his profession.
It was a profession that he was able to raise to an artistic height
never met before. His job offered him the chance to travel all around
the country and to catch the most diverse moments: people at work,
or rest, views, landscapes, diversity of seasons, monuments in cities
and villages, the traditional, and the new.
outstanding talent was bound together with the sense of responsibility
for his community, and with an extraordinary organizing talent.
1953 on his initiative and under his leadership the first photoclub
of the country was born in Tîrgu Mureş. The photographic movement
did not stop here, through his dedication to photographic art photoclubs
were founded in many factories, concerns, schools: The Sugar Factory,
Mobila, Metalotehnica, Imatex, The Projecting Institute, The Bolyai
Farkas school, and The Agricol school. With his professional and
moral support photoclubs were founded in all of Transylvania from
Oradea to Brasov, and from Lupeni to Sfîntu-Gheorghe.
was the initiator of the international photo exhibition organized
every second year in Tîrgu Mureş.
was in the leadership of the Photo-Artists' Association of Romania,
and the vice president of the Transylvanian Photo-Artists' Association
till his death. He took part with great enthusiasm in a lot of exhibition
openings, or was a member of the jury at several contests. "Jóska
bácsi" as everybody called him, became the symbol of the photographic
art in the whole country. The Fédération Internationale d'Artists
Photographes gave him all its awards: AFIAP, EFIAP, HonEFIAP.
the many photos which were rewarded we will mention a few: Harvest
In The Mountains, Misunderstanding, Holiday, The Mirror, Black And
White, Fishermen, Nude 1, Nude 2, as well as many others.
His creed was that the essence of photographic art is best expressed
in artistic photo reports, in which the main factor is man, men
on both sides of the camera. Human reality has to be given back
through the artist's sensitivity.
1980 he began to work with colour photography. He said in an interview:
As it is well known I work with the same enthusiasm in landscapes,
portraits, and black and white photo reports. Now I feel attracted
to colour photos. It is fascinating to see everything in colour.
The study of the colour photos convinced me that one cannot work
in both territories at the same time. The spontaneous can be caught
only in black and white, colour pictures are the language of landscapes
rich artistic activity of more than sixty years and more than 100.000
negatives left behind are waiting to be revised. His works can be
grouped in different categories;
- Artistic photos
which won different rewards at photo exhibitions on national as
well as on international level.
- Photo reports
which appeared in different national reviews and newspapers, as
well as in an album ''Mureş County''.
Citadels and monuments from which some appeared in Szépréti Lilla's
book Régi és Új Világ as well as in Vita Zsigmond's book
- Photos with ethnographic
subjects between 1930-1992.
- Photos with theatre
subjects. He was the photographer of the National Theatres in
Tîrgu Mureş, Satu Mare and of The Drama College in Tîrgu Mureş
above mentioned are just a few territories in which he worked over
a time longer than 60 years. The more than 100.000 negatives contain
the history of the peoples of Transylvania between 1930 and 1992
in the most diverse fields.