This is Tibor Spitz

By Gwylym Owen

Tibor Spitz (born 1929) is a Slovak-born artist and a Holocaust survivor. After escaping from communist Czechoslovakia to the West he lived and worked in Canada and the United States. He currently resides in Kingston, New York.

In 1929, Tibor Spitz was born in a little town called Dolný Kubín in the tall mountains of northern Slovakia, that epoch part of Czechoslovakia. His daddy was a cantor for the Jewish community and mother was a teacher. He survived Holocaust at age 15, studied chemistry in Prague and in 1968 escaped to the West to bring to life in Canada and innovative in the United States. After his career as a scientist, he became a professional performer and lecturer upon Holocaust.

Tibor Spitz was born in a Slovak part of Czechoslovakia that kept changing from democracy to a fascist Nazi regime followed by the Soviet style communism. Because of his Jewish origin, between the ages 10 to 15 he was not allowed to attend public schools and for three years he was doomed to be either murdered on the spot or deported to a death camp in nearby Poland. He was 12 similar to almost all his deported associates vanished without a relish in Nazi Death & Labor camps. After merely steadfast the Nazi time he wanted to psychiatry art as did his older brother. However, the already customary communist regime arranged for him to breakdown chemistry. After graduations he worked as an engineer, Ph.D. scientist and glass technology clever in Czechoslovak glass industry Research and spread institutions. In 1968 he was returning to final his two years assignment in Cuban glass industry next he and his wife Noemi (during an airplane refueling End in Canada) escaped to the West. Nine years sophisticated they moved from Canada to the United States. 30 years in glass industry had followed 14 years enthusiastic as a scientist developing hi-tech magnetic recording heads for computers and VCRs.

Suppressed memories of his tragic childhood required an outlet and no-one else art could thoroughly provide. Communist country where he lived for two decades would not allow it, while diplomatic freedoms in the West fully supported his free artistic expressions. Next to his scientific and complex profession Tibor Spitz became simultaneously an active artiste as well. The unusually creative artistic mood in both Kingston and open Woodstock, New York gradually turned him into a professional artist. As his engagement in art continued growing, besides painting he has been moreover sculpting, making ceramics, wood carvings and wood burnings. When he discovered that impressionists have not abundantly exhausted anything their artistic possibilities, his painting techniques gradually gravitated toward pointillism and neo-impressionism. Besides initial hounding faces and symbolic scenes united with Holocaust, Judaism and Jewish mystical teachings Kabbalah, he also bonus fishing scenes, musicians, horses, still-life and landscapes. College courses as competently as directions from his mentor Meyer Lieberman were good help in developing his artistic skills.

His art was exhibited in many solo and work shows. Galleries, museums, schools, colleges as capably as cultural, scientific, religious and public institutions were avid in both his presentations and exhibitions. During last decades, solo exhibitions of his art were held numerous grow old in New York State, New Jersey, Canada, in his indigenous Slovakia, in Prague, Art Society of Kingston, HCT, Gallery SEVEN21 and many others.

In 1997 an American art historian Matthew Baigell included his biography and reproduction of his painting in his book “Jewish-American artists and the Holocaust”. In 2008 a Canadian interim director V. Toth used his paintings in her book “Shalom” issued in both Canada. His achievements were described in dozens of media reports published in several countries. A documentary movie titled “TIBOR SPITZ – Portraits of successful Slovaks abroad” (2015) was shown in both Slovakia, Canada and upon Slovak Television.

2. Valeria Tothova: SHALOM. Kanadska zakladna pre umenie a divadlo. Toronto, Canada, 2008 (book)

3. V. & D. Toth: TIBOR SPITZ – Portrety uspesnych Slovakov. Documentary film. Toronske Slovenske Divadlo, 2015 (documentary film)

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