Jóska Soós, Autoportrait, 1995
Jóska Soós was born in 1921 in a little village in Hungary, where he became an apprentice of a local practitioner.
Due to the outbreak of World War II, he had to leave Hungary and eventually moved to Marcinelle (near Charleroi, Belgium). There, he worked in the coal-mines of Marcinelle for about five years. The darkness in the mines turned out to be the perfect location for experiencing altered states of consciousness and quite soon, he started to reflect upon his shamanic journeys by drawing and painting.
In the course of the seventies he started to lead shamanic séances for whoever asked him for help. He gradually incorporated many ritual objects like his painted drum, sound bowls, bells, wind instruments and rattles. His personal motto was: 'I do not heal, I restore harmony'. This was a central idea in his practice as a shaman in an urban context.
His artworks consistently related to his shamanic experiences. The titles, as well as the images and symbols, referred to ecstatic experiences and encounters during his séances. As such, anthropomorphic figures, powerful lines and light effects can be easily recognized in his works.
In 1988, he moved to Merksem, near Antwerp in Belgium. For around 20 years, he lived and worked as a shaman and artist in this metropolis. He passed away in 2008.
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