Q+A: Zoltan Gerliczki

Discover an impossibly beautiful world with Zoltan’s Surrealism-inspired photographic works.

How would you describe your style?

I like creating what I call “impossible images,” but I love classic photographs too. I don’t really discern between classical and pop. I love great images. A simple landscape can be beautiful. I love nudes as well. 

What subjects do you enjoy working on?

I really relate to the conceptual aspect of Surrealism. I love flowers, nude, portraits, etc.

What medium(s) do you work in?

Photoshop and digital media, so I really learned a lot.

I use photography as a base, but in the end, I really want to arrive at an image that nobody could actually shoot as a photograph. Photographs are the foundation for my images, so I have to shoot a lot of photographs of the things in my images to use as a raw material in my images. I know exactly what I want to create and I work from an archive of photographs. I really like extremely hi-tech quality because I want to get the very best that I can get out of a picture. 

How has your process evolved?

In my work, everything has to be perfect. It’s like a movie. The light has to be right, everything has to be exactly right – the best quality, the best color I can get. That’s why it takes so long.

I wanted each flower, each piece of glass, to invite you to get closer and examine the image further. Whatever the subject of my images, I always want to give a sense of the image somehow going beyond what is possible in a photograph.  

I always listen to classical music when I’m working. Because each image takes so many hours, it helps me mentally to get really inside the image I want. 

What got you started creating art?

I love the idea of “the impossible image” – the idea of there being no limits and of using the photograph as the basis for an image that’s in my head.

I was born in Nyíregyháza, Hungary, in 1971. I was raised in an orphanage in Budapest during communist rule and graduated from the FOT Arts Academy in 1989. I was a painter.

What artists influence your work?

I was particularly inspired by the work of Swedish photographer and retouch artist Erik Johansson. 

And my favorite painter of all time is Salvador Dali because his images don’t even exist in reality. I really relate to the conceptual aspect of Surrealism. 


"In my work, everything has to be perfect. It’s like a movie."

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