Is Laszlo in the United States? A bizarre e-mail message was sent to numerous users in 2002 suggesting that Laszlo had scraped up enough money to visit the United States, where he had given up printmaking in favor of poetry! Read Laszlo's e-mail.
While that message could conceivably have been penned by Laszlo, it seems that someone else decided to use the name and mimic the weak command of the English language to play a trick on a Nigerian 419 scammer: Laszlo Novotny on the Barrister Jubril Project
Several people have suggested that Laszlo Novotny is a very unusual name for a Czech, particularly "Laszlo" which is virtually unknown in Czech, but common in Hungary. Could he be the offspring of a transnational union? Although it seems unlikely in the days of the Iron Curtain, one reader posited this unusual theory:
I heard about a Hungarian woman who, before the war, was enamored with an Austrian gent by the name of Nowotny. To their love-child she gave the surname "Novotny", after her lover whose name she did not even know how to spell. During the war, he tried to join the Hungarian army, but was deported to Czechoslovakia due to his Czech surname! This man would certainly be too old to be your Laszlo, but perhaps he is Laszlo's father—a Hungarian stuck behind a Czech border?
Laszlo's inspiration found? An acquaintance of mine, a visiting student from the Czech Republic, immediately recognized Laszlo's style as being derivative of Czech author and printmaker, Josef Váchal, and in particular advised me to get a hold of a reproduction of Váchal's 1924 novel Krvavy Roman, which he illustrated with his own frantic black & white woodcut prints, such as this gruesome piece depicting an axe cleaving a man's skull.
I have not yet obtained a reproduction of the book—please e-mail me if you know where I can obtain one.
Download the Laszlo Novotny True-Type Font! This font will also be available at the premiere of "The Life of Laszlo Novotny", a short black-and-white documentary film made by some college film makers at the University of Michigan.
The following work was sent to me anonymously, without any sort of note at all.
I feel that it is an original Laszlo Novotny print, although it surely shows a new direction for his work.
For example, his name is much more prominent, a visual element in the piece itself. Has he experienced some sort of small success and has developed an ego?
This is his first work to involve a multiple color print. His previous foray into color was the monkey print, although that merely involved a well-placed splash of red. His printing techniques are clearly becoming more complex as he becomes more and more familiar with the process.
This piece, which I call "Drunk", also is more abstract than previous works. I think that this trend can be seen in many artists...I feel Laszlo has become bored by merely depicting something realistically (well, as realistically as he ever did).
Please be aware that not everyone agrees with me that this is an original Laszlo Novotny print. Nim Wunnan, a scholar in the area of art history, has suggested that this print was made by an imitator.
My response to Mr. Wunnan is this: who in their right mind would imitate Laszlo Novotny, whose work is only known for how gloriously awful it is?
In my mind, there is no doubt. "Drunk" is the work of our favorite Czech ragamuffin artist, Laszlo Novotny.
If you are a first time visitor, or are not familiar with the funny story of how we found Laszlo Novotny, please read his story now.