Living Catholic artist, Ladislav Záborský was sentenced in Slovakia for treason to seven years imprisonment in 1954 but was released on Christmas Eve 1957. His crime? He painted Christ as a worker in 1949. His other religious art was labelled corrupt.
While imprisoned, Ladislav felt as if his hands were nailed to the cross because he could not paint but only seek God in the depths of his soul. He felt as if he was crucified because he could not walk where he wanted to. In poems written after his release, Ladislav expressed the deep spiritual transformation which occurred during his imprisonment. The result of his inner crucifixion meant he no longer fulfilled his own desires but only saught God and His desires.
The following poems are found in The Walls Behind the Curtain: East European Prison Literature, 1945-1990. edited by Harold B. Segel, University of Pittsburgh Press, 2012
Thus I was likened
to Your Son
so in me might be born
a new person
who will not fufill his own desires
bur who seeks Your desires.
Hence I am suspended on this cross
bur salvation quickly approaches me.
I even have a radio in this empty cell of mine,
when the voice of God reads in my soul and awakens feelings with open arms
because heaven broadcasts continuously throughout the entire world
you merely have to listen and know how to understand.
Each painting is an attempt to discover God, eternity because Ladislav Záborský is a painter of spiritual light.
“The substance of my work is the experience of God transferred into my heart (…) Art that seeks truth and beauty is the anticipation of eternity.”