We had the good fortune of connecting with Peter Polyak and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Peter, can you tell us more about your background and the role it’s played in shaping who you are today?
Our origin is the micro community itself that we were raised in and by. I believe we were born with our own characteristics that specify the person we are. However, the way that person copes with Life that is deeply affected by the “tribe” that gives home to the person. I had the chance to hear about all corners of the Globe from my Father who traveled and lived in all Continents except the Antarctic. He raised me with disciplines to follow the rules whatever happens. I was also lucky to have my Mom teaching about unconditional love and limitless dreams. It was (it still is) difficult to release the deeply burned in behavior of adequacy to all Life and each fellow human in it, but only when we start trying to be good enough for others we start discovering ourselves. Most of my decisions that felt great and set me free were made by me going against some or a lot of disagreements and advices. Asking opinions are natural, may feel safe and definitely smart thing. We must learn though how to listen to our gut and emotional vibrations that make us feel good about an upcoming choice we have to make on our own path. Leaving Hungary, my home, felt natural knowing my father’s past. He was against it. Moving to Florida I felt at home immediately, and reminded me how my Mom let me go with hidden fear and encouraging smile. For some it’s easy, for some it’s very difficult to keep reminding ourselves to the smile we carry deep down. I had to recognize, that as much I can remember that smile which means this unconditional love and the moment of brave life, as much freedom I experience in Life stepping forward by my own will. This I thank for both of my parents, since I probably needed the chains of my father to slowly learn the power of bravely embracing life. I know this well already, yet learning each day from zero how different is to know the way, and walking on it.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
As a fine art student, I had the chance to paint brand new seccos (like traditional fresco but on dry wall) with my 67 years old master Laszlo Patay when I was 19. In 2 summers a small group of 3 or 4, we painted over 500 m2 (5381.96 SqFt) new murals in numerous churches. I thought that my whole life will be about painting, but I was already doing photography, mostly for painting preparation, that led me to learn about the digital world and videography as well.
Meantime my own music became an album, and in 2004 I directed my own music video. By that I learned editing and color-grading – which was quite easy as a fine art painter, and I learned about myself that I have been driven by discovering new territories of art, mostly visual art forms. I early had the chance to calm down by the fact that some of my brush marks will stay on the wall for the next some thousands of years, yet each and every of upcoming project of mine frustrated me to proof that I know what I’m “talking” about. I needed to hear some great artists and directors talking about some of their great projects that they had no idea how to make it happen.
Somehow I’m still not able to lose the urge of seeking perfection I don’t even believe anymore, but I think this urge makes my work better than the previous projects. I stayed with my octopus-kind drive of growing to different directions, and discovering new pathways of art and life. So the last years I became a luxury real estate production director, winning some international awards as real estate videographer on behalf of LuxHunters Productions by Zoltan Present. I won a couple of awards for a music video I made for my extremely talented singer and pianist wife Fanni Sarkozy. I still paint for some commissioned pieces when my time allows me.
In the meantime, I’m learning a brand new field of business by opening a restaurant with three partners, including Peter Engert Director/Producer, Szilvia Gucsi and my wife Fanni. As I mentioned before, I always thought my whole life will be about fine art painting. Moving to the States, in Key West my works were in multiple galleries, working together with Art Group International, Gallery Derubeis with great artists like Guyton Patrick. Later I worked with Adam Scott Rote in his own gallery also on Duval Street. My paintings were welcomed next to artists like Bill Mack, Peter Max, Michael Godard… Long after those years I learned not to plan too far ahead, but focus only on the next some steps we are able to take.
A couple of years back in Europe led me to Fanni my wife, then a whole feature documentary I had the chance to direct, shoot and edit with my friend Gabor Kvalla and only one pro help at post production, our friend Gabor Varga “beatbybit”. And those years led me back to Miami, where I met Peter Engert through the documentary I made. Most I learned out of my unpredictable ways in the past is that I should let myself discover Life. It still is hard work but much more fun than sweat every day that goes against the “plan”.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
It’s joyfully difficult to show all favorite spots of Miami to my friends. Even the reasons are limitless just like Miami. As an artist I would definitely show the Wynwood Walls, maybe with some local Brewery nearby. Heading North next stop should be the Design District, choosing one of its famous Restaurants. Personally, I like to show small places that become everyday parts of life, like the Buon Pane bakery in South Beach that opens at 7Am but serves the customer even at 5:30AM if we happened to walk by.
Also South Beach the Fuji Teriyaki small Japanese restaurant with always fresh and delicious food, and if Japanese food, than let me mention that I’m one of the proud owners of the Kinoko Sushi Bar and Asian Cuisine in the peaceful Bay Harbor Islands. On the other hand I would show the Faena Hotel of course with its amazing paintings in the lobby and golden mammut skeleton between the pool and the ocean. Although Miami is not about surfing, but this fact makes it even more comfortable for a nice paddle boarding from Key Biscayne or near Downtown. So much to show. Miami is great.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
“If I can do it…” Based on my parents I did have a couple of superhero images in front of me. My Father was an internationally known martial art and security expert carrying over 20 Dans (master degrees) of 8 different martial arts, My Mom was the first Hungarian professionally trained stuntwoman, possibly the first female judoka who trained with men, also a talented flute player… I was told to be a great young sportsman, a very talented artist and young musician, yet struggled to believe that I deserve to be able to become really great at anything until I met Dru Blair.
After over 25 years of Fine Art Studies I had fundamental questions that made me believe that I am limited at a certain level of understanding and capabilities. Dru Blair in South Carolina is one (if not THE) best photo-realist airbrush painter of the planet. He makes it look easy and then he playfully shows and teaches how to make incredible things happen, while he keeps reminding his students: “If I can do it, anyone can do it.” We all heard this from someone, but did we listen?! For me it was him to help me out of self-doubt and free my mind. He is my Morpheus.