Constituting the Conceptual with the Societal
Dragos Burlacu, Sins and Virtues. Oil on canvas, 47 x 41 cm. Courtesy of the artist.
I am 31 years old. I am at the beginning of my artistic career. I live and work in Romania. I avoid styles and trends. I consider myself and my artwork free from any “school.” Generally my main mediums have been painting and drawing. I am influenced, to a certain extent, both by classical and contemporary art. It is my personal belief that painting will never die. I believe that certain ideas and feelings can be transmitted by its means only.
Related to techniques, I consider that it is harder and harder, if not impossible, to make important innovations. Today the difference is made by the idea, concept, context, as well as their interaction.
I have experimented, and I continue to experiment, to look for new relationships between the artistic object, the public, and the space. But most of all I seek out new relationships between the artistic, public object and space, and myself. The essential relation is with myself.
Therefore I believe both in the social component of art and its role to bear messages and ideas. Images should have a tension or mystery. They may be contemplative on several layers of perception, or strong with an immediate impact. I consider myself normally interested by both situations, as people should have an understanding for the conceptual and emotional component of art and be able to pass on the decorative function of a painting. (The decorative may happen to be a blue chair in a red room, but this image is not artistically fulfilling).
Most of the series of my paintings were structured around an idea, the last one being Sins and Virtues, which is actually running. Previously there was Understanding History, a series that illustrates the dictator, Nicolae Ceausescu’s, life, and the period of the Golden Age. After 20 years since the fall of the communist regime I can now paint Ceausescu. I have manipulated both known images and lesser-known ones of the dictator. The viewer is attracted by simple pleasures; hunting, billiards, society games, so that if one were to see these things without knowing the history of this place, Ceausescu may be transformed into an icon of the communist society from Eastern Europe. Beyond all these matters there remains the image, the painting, the surface that has to transmit emotions and tensions.