In any language known on earth ART is spelled the same. 

In any of the languages ART means the same thing.  Therefore ART has no need for translation, and as its known, it might be the single truly universal word in this world, in any one of the languages on this planet, a word, a feeling that spells and means the same thing.

If ART stands as the universal tool of expression to the whole of us, that means we all have to click somewhere, somewhere behind our language barrier, our political and social differences, once communicating with ART we all understand the same thing. 


Through the struggle of our civilisation we developed ART not as a skill, but much as a medium to expresses human emotion, beauty, suffering, need and frustration: things that characterize us as human beings, therefore we all understand it to a great level, despite our cultural level.

The Ancient Greek society was built treasuring ART, and its fall only came once politics got its tail in it, that is why, all that’s left of it, now a days, is its ART.


Romans built theirs mixing both, ART and politics, and got to the most pornographic hight possible, then crashed, destroyed, went wiped out off the map, until late in the pre-modern society when some blokes with founding discovered their ART , not their politics, that had to be figured out later, and suddenly they wised up our society.

ART united these ancient societies and made them grow, smarted them and helped made us, their siblings who walk the earth these days.


As a society we have to find new ways of interacting, for moving on and come out of our dark age, in order to perpetuate our specie. 

Renaissance, Pop and Abstract were just steps in history, we have to find the next current:

Our society has not yet gotten rid of kitsch, it yet transformed it, accepted it and evolved it, instead of moving it out of the equation.  

We built tools to help us communicate and call it technology. 

Steve Job’s contribution to the computers world was calligraphy, which is a form of ART

There could have never been an invention in this world without the need of ergonomics, and the hand of a skilful artist, who then took advantage of  form, colour and beauty.  

Some say that there would have never been a war in this world if politicians would have tried exchanging money for ART instead, for weapons and petrol.

 ART is the most prized value in this world. 

It is more prized than gold and any currency that man has ever known or used. An ART piece can value as much as it's market wants. In years, even more.  

ART in its pure form is incorruptible and it stand as the best example for equilibrium for any individual in a modern society. 


ART at its pick can lead to madness, and some of the best artists in history were known to have psychiatric problems, but never the less, we prize their  ART to highest levels.

A true artist, is not the best judge of social structures, he never thinks of material profit what ever his condition: Examples are many in the history of arts, as starving geniuses worked for only one reason; reaching spirituality though ART.

Humans learn their siblings to appreciate ART but do not encourage them to take that path, claiming the poor existence of an artists should be a lesson.

They are ignoring the fact, that through time, this is the repercussion: as it is with their ignorance to ART's essentials, they block ART from their system, and then, they came to the decision to ignore ART totally. 

Humans, despite their sensibility, all appreciate ART to a level or other, no matter of their level of culture. Somewhere there is a . (point). All society bends in front of a Mona Lisa.


Some say technology only made society even more ignorant. And it did, to a level. 

Now, people think that they are all entitled to ART because is in their genes. Humans now think, one should turn on his TV set as he is entitled to see a program - he pays cable - no matter how long that program took to get made, no matter how many brains were involved, no matter how much it costed, after all, that’s why they invented the TV: to have things to see on. 

Some still consider painting as the true form of ART ignoring the fact that not manufacturing is the strong asset of ART, but the IDEA.  

The change towards a technocratic society came with the socialist doctrine of “Work sets a man free” where they thought quantity is more important than quality. ART prevailed what ever the medium or the tool.

During the modern times, the artistic attitudes, although socialist orientated, freed half of the world of the early socialism, nationalism and brought society closer into unions. Democracy triumphed as ART pervailed. 

Now democracy brought prosperous times, and some less educated built a commercial market for ART, they resume themselves to ordering, giving opinions and paying for it: And then again ART prevailed.

In fact no piece of form would exist if there wouldn’t be an artistic IDEA in the first place, as we all know that a computer its still not be able to think. 




The Picturesque in Modern Art - (English)

The Picturesque in Modern Art

An essay
By Th. Halacu-Nicon

Although this essay might raise some voices, doubting my observation, from those who claim that art is free of forms, and styles for that matter, (new artists usually) I am claiming that the new age is demanding a new pure form of expression.

I don't intend to talk about the way modern society changed the perception of art altogether but more about how the lack of artistic expression in our modern life is changing our modern society and the future we are building for ourselves and for the next generations, as this looks like a more appropriate description of the subject matter.

Looking into history we see that our society experienced the same phenomenon many times before. Once we fell into the dark ages, then after a long time of distress we came up with the renaissance in order to free our souls of all the ugliness those ages brought on us.

This attitude of ignorance our society has concerning art comes from the lack of knowledge, from poor education, from the lack of art history lessons in our schools, from the ignorance the governments have for art and culture altogether while conceiving school programs.

Freedom has taken over aesthetics, and the line which most use, nowadays, as an argument for their lack of culture is: "Aesthetics is an individual matter of taste". Well, it is not, for taste in art is defined by culture.

Ajanta Fresco

Ajanta (Ancient Shiva site), near Bombay, India
2nd Century BC
This ancient painting shows use of different shapes and curves. The curves are tumultuous.

I was born at the Black Sea, Romania, during the winter of 1970, when communism was at its pick and it didn’t show yet any sign of ever falling, but it did.  I got to live until now almost an equal amount of years under two of the most commun forms of... society, both emerged from democracy: one which got extinct ( communism) and second, the one we call "capitalism".

Capitalism has many faces, and I've seen most as I traveled all my life and kept observing, some of which, in structure, resemble very well the old gone communism, only with a much friendly face. I spent my early years as a painter as I began the trade as a native talent then studied the world of arts and the arts in this world ever since.

My disappointment grew with age, when understanding, that what I was told when I was a child, by almost everyone around me, came to be true: “The life of a true artist is a life of sacrifices and sufferings, generated by a world who is not ready to understand the artist’s sacrifice."

Idealized peaceful communist woman and man by Sabin Balașa

I didn’t gave it much thought at the time, because it didn’t felt as a sacrifice, I thought we only do this as to please our soul. I was young.

My inner beliefs taught me that art is coming from deep inside; And it does.  I thought that all that defines the artist’s true reason for existence and the touch of the creative act will help make the world a better place.

I thought we were here acting like angels and our purporse was to help people enrich their dreams with our imagination.  I was taught that sometimes we have to fight against the unfair decisions of this society, with those elegant weapons called: metaphors, subliminal arguments, and symbolism, all given to us by the mighty power of God: HE who chose us from among the others to be the angels of spiritual rightfulness into this world, once He gave us the talent..., and that felt right too, it gave us the reason to be creative and never think at the material side of life. We acted like angels giving our souls for the well being of art....

It was mostly wrong, as my convictions were built behind the iron courtain of communism while the entire world was going differently and was constantly changing. Nevertheless I am one of those left behind as somehow some got a glimpse over the fence and seen how the West was changing art, and builded art markets, and those are the susccesful ones today, although less creative, they are better organised; But now again, history repeats itself... some go mad, some go bust, some give up and some other profit.

In communism we were taught to believe that as an artist one is entitled to a good life, that the system must provide for him.  Most top artists, still alive, from those times, still take advantage of the favors the old system did for them: payed studios, vilas for residence, titles in the union, big pensions etc.

Emmanuel Snitkovsky Portrait of Salvador Daly

The sistem was encourageing everyone to keep creating; Ceaușescu wanted to have the best.

I can still hear my grandma's voice telling me: “Look at how art has been developed thru time, observe just how a handful of artists were successful, during ages of tormented history, don't you see how many of them only got to see success just after their death? Your father isn't a member of the party to build you a secure future!”

And grandma' was not the only one: People close to me, people who knew me, people who didn't know me, they all had different opinions on weather is wise for me to pick up a carrier in art or not.

Most were people who cared about my future, and spoken with compassion, but none of these people were concealing a definite point of view, or a stronger argument, except that of the poor material existence for an artist.

Still Life in the kitchen - THN 1997

I understood that even since, but as an individual with passion I decided I should take that advice as a challenge, I thought of the energy art was generating over me once in front of an artistic act and felt I will be sorry not to try my hand at it. 

I began my training and learned that: to get there, I will have to resume first to observing, study a lot, get inspired and then try to create.

Right after Communism collapsed, people were complaining a lot about the censorship that the old system imposed over those who wanted to express themselves freely, and most blame all that censorship on only one man: Ceaușescu. At the time I thought the same thing as I wouldn’t know better.

Later, long after stronger powers of this universe decided the installation of globalization on our country, we’ve seen an unexpected change into the borders of the free world and so the place I call home became a free land: People got their freedom of speech but lost their sense of beauty, much as the rest of the free world as I could see once I began to travel.

The face of freedom brough on us the curse of the dying dictator: our school system went rotten, our health system got broken, we came fresh on the free market with aids infested children, fleeying the East block, gypsies shook the old continent with their uncivilized way of life as all of the sudden they threw away their guitars and got to stealing: The whole package just makes my home country look like a God Forsaken Underworld, re-discovered by the western conquistadors in the late 20th Century, and once with its growing to age it infested the true civilized world.

The freedom I lusted for so long, brought upon us hatred, racism, strange illnesses, hunger, suicidal tendencies, illegal drugs etc. It seems now as although communism was a rough system, based on strict rules,  somehow keept the streets clean.

The freedom that came after its fall gave the commoner the right to bring kitsch to the state of art, both in the day to day existence of our society and in the visual perspective of artistic expression, raising it now to a high state of value. It is weird, no one thought it will turn out this way...

In the old system, an individual had to make a choice, early in his life, of what he or she would want to be. In a sense, they were forced by law to prepare for life and indulge: the youth could not bail school  before a certain age when work was proper as school was obligatory and free, citizens of different nationalities had to bare each other because they had no choice but living next to each other, the health system could not refuse services to anyone, because it was free and without perspectives of individual enrichment for its employees, people could not envy each other for the difference in wealth, because everybody was supposed to be equal, have the same, so there was none of the hatred starting from possession of propriety that we see today and brings people even to crime.

Back east, underground “manele” gypsy music was played only in closed circles, at gypsy weddings and fairs, so the so called cultivated music had a market and was respected worldwide.

Simple citizens could not paint the façade of their own houses by their own choice, because they didn’t have to bother with that at all as the system was taking care of it.

There were no drugs addicts, mothers could have an abortion only under strict circumstances and not every time they pleased, as corrupted comrades who were performing such abortions illegally for bribes were taken to jail. The system cared about the country's popularization, and definitely none could advertise prostitution, violence, or bad taste on the open streets.

In fact all these and many other laws were not written, they were just implemented into people’s conscience by the fear that they will do wrong and the system will punish them. Or so we thought! In those times the western world was banning more then a kiss on their silver screens as well. I guess the whole world was much civilized.

Back east, the country jails were almost empty comparing to the present days when they are forced to build more.

The population was increasing and flourishing in most parts of the country, there was no such thing as aids infected children, bums on the street, nor as many hookers for that matter. The violence was minimal, the gypsy had to behave, and even though there will be voices who will rise up to remember me about the hunger, it is my observation that most were lucky and manage. 

In fact arts were at their pick during that system. That system, despite its cruel atheist surface, helped reviving Constantin Brancusi into the nation’s memory, inspired Emil Cioran, inducing him all the hatred he transformed into philosophy and got Mircea Eliade begin his quest for understanding religions.

Onto the art scene there were great painters like Corneliu Baba, Ion Salisteanu, Sabin Balasa. The system prized the ones before their time like Grigorescu, Tonitza and Pallady, and even admitted those who exiled themselves for a better life, like Victor Brauner, as they were acknowledged and taught in schools for future generations to be proud and learn from their art.

Corneliu Baba
"Girl Portrait" Corneliu Baba

A young and passionate artist had to study hard, as I remember.  Art was taken very seriously.  One had to begin with preparing himself and learn about universal art from a very young age until time came and he was ready to present himself in front of the examination jury at the Art Academy (as it was called at the time) where he would master all skills of the trade, polish his spirit, and grow into a true artist.

The system was giving you a challenge as there were only a few Art Schools in the country, all of them in the largest cities, and each was opening only a limited number of entries each year; not more than five on each specialty; the competition was tough. I guess the system knew then how many artist each generation really needed, therfore there were no starving artists.

After the examination, the ones who failed still had a choice: they either gave up and head towards a different profession which suited them better, or who ever could afford it, would continue learning, hiring themselves as apprentices under already recognized artists and keep preparing and try again next year.

Most of those were working in small work shops, painting banners and street decorations to make money and pay their private classes and keep learning the skill until the next opening entry.  In fact there were candidates who tried to pass the art school examination for as long as 10 years and failed. I know a few.

Some of those who went so far and didn't make it gave up trying, not because they got tired of it, but even in a strict system like that, after all that time, they were finally acknowledged as artists for their years of study on a parallel market which was there to bring their content to the audience: "The amatory market” as it was called; It had its own galleries and its own suppliers with pieces both artistic and decorative which in fact were more at the reach of the everyday people who needed to decorate their walls.

The system was far from perfect and had its flows as there were individuals out there who passed their examination resorting to acts of corruption as paying bribes to the jury and so, as well as those with high placed relatives. It seems as what ever the system corruption always prevails.

No one doubts that, but most of these subjects were later on rejected by the system and by the public, as they could not face the competition they would have to disappear.  Some would survive by resuming to sell on the amatory market in order to make a living out of the skills they pick up in school, some other delt art (most of whom are the best art dealers of today).

Now, the system was almost similar in all schools, and made the great eastern engineers working nowadays for big companies abroad and the great scientists and the IT developers and so on. 

Freedom brought chaos and it seems as there is no one to blame. As we are taking the course of history, repeating it as humans tend to do, maybe this is our dark age from which light will prevail once again.

But then again, man was always much creative when under control, censorship, or a dictatorial system.

Renaissance came along from under a system where inquisition was killing anyone who even dared to dream to be creative.

Impressionism appeared when artists felt the need of expressing purity under a world ruled by hunger, and modern war.

Surrealism came out of a world dominated by drug and power abuse.

We came to a time where reality is our new religion and we are now in need of metaphors to find hope once again and regain our sense of beauty and lust for life.

Technology is out there as a tool for us all who want to learn it and master it. Computers are, in the world of modern art, as brushes were for Caravaggio, as sand paper was for Brancusi, as acrylics were for Warhol or as Technicolor was for Chester M. Franklin.

Our need for money, to survive, should not shackle our imagination and the true artist should continue to find ways to express himself and improve the art dictionary with new art tendencies for future generations to grow smarter and much more spiritual.


Judith Beheading Holofernes by Caravaggio

The 21st Century artist, should look ahead, and follow the example of artist as Jan Saudek, Annie Leibovitz, David LaChapelle, Tim Burton, Tarsem, James Cameron and study composition, color, symbolism, and all the other tools in order to fulfill the people's need for story, drama and beauty.

Keith Haring, New York (1986) by Annie Leibovitz

For more Annie Leibovitz works and related artists access: artsy.net/artist/annie-leibovitz

The sincerity of a true artist does not come only from his minimal way of expression, it comes from the way he masters the sensitive; shape, color, sound, the way he sends his messages to the world and builds dreams for us all.

Ask anyone who lived under communism and dreamed of freedom and they will tell you that: "freedom is in the colors of the rainbow."  Eventually the Picturesque is the true definition of art, as after long studies, profound artists as Rothko, showed us by bringing out picturesque from the deepness of his colors to the level of spiritual, defining our artistic minimalism in modernism first.

Mark Rothko

So lets just keep learning, then teaching, creating... as for a better world to come, even if some of our children will be starving true artist and others will be wealthy art dealers... for true art does need sacrifices, for the world to keep go on. 

June 23, 2011 - June 10, 2012


17 - O călătorie într-o stare de spirit - (Romanian)

Cuvânt Înainte:

Mini serialul "17-O poveste despre destin" s-a născut ca un proiect în căutarea metodelor ce pot ajuta un regizor să stăpânească și să modeleze expresia dramatică.  

"Ideea de a realiza un proiect vandabil, dar în același timp, unul care poate ține locul planșei de schițe pentru propria-mi pregătire profesională nu este una originală. Venind din lumea artelor plastice, am învățat să mă folosesc de fiecare pânză la maximum. Nu este o noutate imaginea pictorului care trăiește la limita existenței. Situația precară a artistului autohton este generată, ca în toate celelalte domenii, de cerere și ofertă, de prețul mic al artei pe piață cât și de iregularitatea obținerii profitului. Toate acestea duc artistul plastic din România la limitarea sa și a spațiului său de lucru, precum și la scăderea productivității sale pe piață."

Sună tare rău când un artist încearcă să formuleze astfel de fraze, știu... Acest gen de cuvinte își au rostul numai atunci când vin din gura vreunui analist politic sau politician. Frazele de mai sus pot reprezenta un prim exemplu al modului de lucru pe care mi-l propun ca regizor, începând prin a observa o tipologie, prin a îi analiza elementele care o definesc, pentru a le putea transmite mai târziu actorului care le va interpreta și într-un final realiza, împreuna cu toți ceilalți colaboratori, un proiect care să transmită emoție, audienței.   

Acest studiu este un "job description" care se găsește în definiția: "Regizorului".  Nimeni nu neagă că primul rol al regizorului modern este să "măiestrească" actori. Indiferent de specialitatea sa, pe platou sau pe scenă, regizorul este un psiholog care mânuie bine hamurile tuturor departamentelor implicate în proiectul său, pentru ca apoi să își poată etala expresia artistică.


Regizorul modern este o reminiscență a artistului plastic din vremurile apuse. El a apărut pentru început ca o funcție administrativă în industria cinematografiei, dezvoltându-se până la nivelul de autor. Deși procesul de schimbare, definire, a regizorului, a necesitat o perioadă destul de lungă pentru a fi observat;  de la inventarea cinematografiei la începutul secolului XX... până la apariția filmului independent, acesta și-a urmat destinul, dezvoltându-se odată cu societatea și schimbările sale.  

Altfel spus, regizorul și-a câștigat dreptul la părere personală în industria filmului, în timp ce civilizația noastră își găsea libertatea, sexualitatea, dreptul de vot și dreptul la liberă alegere. Aceasta definiție poate fi găsită în orice manual de istorie a artei, întinsă pe mai multe paragrafe explicative și apare atunci când istoricii încearcă să definească curentele din artă (sau curentele artistice? Tricky?) (Direcții care au modelat societăți?), modul în care acestea au apărut și ce au influențat la rândul lor societatea.   

Regizorul, însărcinat la început cu bunele demersuri pe platou, a câștigat teren odată cu creșterea interesului pe piață pentru produsul numit film și cu creșterea bugetelor. Odată ajuns "the man in charge" acesta a început să împartă responsabilitățile muncii sale altor asistenți dornici de promovare. Perioada aceasta coincide cu emanciparea societății ce a avut loc odată cu schimbarea de secol, industrializarea și eliberarea sclavilor. De altfel, într-o limbă foarte apropiată nouă, termenul de "régisseur" încă se mai traduce "stage manager" sau "producător"

Atunci când regizorul și-a câștigat libertatea a început să fie creativ. Regizorul a devenit șef și șefii sunt mai puțini într-o companie. Cei ce au prins microbul și și-au dorit să continue au fost nevoiți să devină independenți.  

Aici începe o eră nouă din care va apărea și regizorul autor. Mulți dintre cunoscuții artisti plastici ai timpului au cochetat cu cinematografia. Apropierea dintre cele două activități s-a făcut în timp, mai precis odată cu apariția filmului color când artistul plastic și-a găsit locul în această industrie. Astfel, activitatea cinematografică și-a găsit locul în societate devenind artă. Întradevăr nu toate filmele sunt artă, precum nu toate picturile sunt artă, mai ales că realizarea unui film necesită resurse costisitoare care într-un final trebuiesc recuperate. Aici a apărut termenul de "Comercial".

Comercial nu înseamna de proastă calitate, așa cum s-a obișnuit publicul românesc să interpreteze acest termen, înseamnă "pe gustul publicului", cerință de care regizorul trebuie să țină cont pâna la un punct. Punct delimitat în societate de bunul simț.

Astăzi industria continuă să fie împărțită în două categorii: Filmul de Studio și Filmul Independent. 

Exemple care definesc diferențele de gen pot fi găsite în toate cărțile dedicate studiului cinematografiei, începând de la lucrarea lui John Alton "Painting with light" până la cele ale lui David Mamet precum "On Directing" și "Directing - Film Techniques and Aesthetiscs" a lui Michael Rabiger


Cum omul de afaceri își structurează un plan de business, producătorul unui film este nevoit să își pregătească un plan pentru dezvoltarea proiectului, de la concept și până la profit. 

Omul de afaceri pornește la drum, la rândul său, cu un concept și se va folosi de unelte și mașini pentru a prelucra materialul brut într-un produs finit pe care îl va transforma în profit.  

Artistul urmează exact aceiași cale, singura diferență fiind "materialul" care în acest caz este expresie artistică menită să atragă piața (audiența), dar cu același scop final: Profit - fie el material sau spiritual. 

După un studiu de acest fel a luat ființă compania care a produs proiectul "17", dezvoltarea proiectului ajungând într-un final să își atingă țelurile propuse, unul după altul, mai puțin Profitul Material.  

Prin structura sa, planul prevedea lansarea și exploatarea proiectului până la epuizare. Din plan au făcut parte toate etapele cunoscute: documentarea vis-à-vis de piață și cerințele ei, dezvoltarea scenariului pe tipologii existente în spațiul cotidian, realizarea unui pilot dintr-un fond propriu pentru a crește  interesul  clientului (Canalul TV), realizarea proiectului în limita unui buget și promovarea proiectului la standardele unei piețe moderne.

Văzut din perspectiva unui analist economic, sistemul de lucru al televiziunilor autohtone blochează dezvoltarea pieței pe termen lung, aducând în grila lor produse de o categorie inferioară, cele care nu necesită cheltuieli majore pentru dezvoltare, pentru un profit rapid.   

Din păcate, același lucru se întamplă în mai toate domeniile de business din România: supermarketurile sunt pline de produse ieftine și magazinele de haine vând produse din colecțiile anilor anteriori la prețul celor recente. Ofertele de pe piața locală sunt întotdeauna fie produse nevândute pe piețele occidentale, fie produse la pragul limitei expirării. Cei care controlează piața, o sufocă cu produse de proastă calitate, iar după ce reușesc să monopolizeze piața, cresc prețurile în favorul profitului.  Acest gen de dezvoltare economică contrazice regulile unei piețe moderne. Dezvoltarea unei astfel de economii se bazează pe lipsa de comunicare. Comunicarea generează informație, informația generează interes.  Interesul se definește ca o stare de spirit care reușește singur să genereze competiție.  Hm, și toate acestea le-am învățat de la un mogul, un domn care la rândul său s-a vrut odată artist, dar care a eșuat și a ajuns în schimb milionar.


 ...mi-am început cariera cinematografică ca regizor secund în 1992 și am avut șansa de a lucra cu echipe și regizori de pe piața internațională, mai mult sau mai puțin pregătiți.  Cu aceste proiecte am învațat modul de lucru al producătorilor mari, metodele standard de dezvoltare, programare și organizarea a unui platou de filmare. Am învățat ce înseamnă un buget, ce limite are și cel mai important cum să beneficiezi de el în aportul calității, ceea ce în marketingul internațional se consideră a fi "o investiție pe termen lung".  Eu consider această experiență un Profit.  

În 2002, am primit o primă propunere de a regiza. Proiectul "Râdeți cu oameni ca noi" se dorea un "Saturday Night Live" autohton și făcea parte din ideile directorului trustului pentru care lucram.  Am încercat și mi-a ieșit, în schimb am renunțat după 6 episoade realizate cu sudori; mi-am zis că nu sunt încă pregătit și nu eram.

M-am întors la secundariat iar în 2005 am încercat din nou: Băieți Buni - o idee colectivă, alte sudori, mai multă experiență. De aici, am luat-o pe drumul regizoratului. Trustul pentru care lucram a început să pompeze spre mine toate ideile noi, în general idei de tranziție și nu din cele mai bune.  Am început să lucrez la proiecte pe care nu le-aș fi ales în viața mea, încercând să le dau un iz de proiect serios. Aceste proiecte au văzut lumina proiectorului și au adus trustului profit, am înțeles că lucram în sistemul de studio, adică la stăpân.  Aceasta este încă singura metodă de a intra în lumea filmului românesc, asta dacă nu ai vreun tată bogat sau vreo rudă care a lucrat în trecut ca proiecționist.

Am acceptat sistemul până când am realizat că am învățat tot ce puteam învăța de la el.  Apoi am decis, la fel ca pionierii cinematografiei americare de acum 80 de ani, să o iau pe un alt drum, care deși anevoios are ca țintă găsirea vocii personale în film, găsirea stilului personal, așa cum am învățat eu că trebuie să facă toți cei ce vor să se detașeze de mase și să își aducă aportul la crearea unei concurențe pentru a stabiliza piața. 

Chiar dacă pot fi luat în râs, am decis să continui lupta mea Don Quixot-iană cu morile de vânt, perfecționându-mă pe o piață privată inexistentă, cu gândul la vremuri mai bune. În altă ordine de idei, după o anumiă vârstă e greu să îți mai schimbi năravurile și, dacă nu aș fi ales acest drum, care altul ar mai fi fost liber?  Aici m-am reîntors la lumea mea: expresie, culoare, estetică, stilizare.  Așteptam acest moment cu sufletul la gură.  Eram sătul de a juca rolul corporatistului în lumea corporatiștilor. 

Mi-am spus că arta plastică este primul generator de stil din această societate.  Nici o altă formă de artă nu are tupeul să i-o ia înainte.  Ați auzit vreodată de balet modern înainte de impresionism?  Sau de sculptură abstractă înainte de... Picasso? Curentele artei plastice influențează societatea și modul ei de dezvoltare. Influențează trendul anului în modă, în arhitectură, design, dărâmă guverne și crează noi ideologii.  
Pentru prima dată în istorie o altă formă de artă a reușit să îi ia locul.  Acum toate schimbările sunt făcute prin intermediul filmului, fie el comercial, documentar, propagandist, corporatist, cooperativist... sau artistic.  Filmul s-a dezvoltat beneficiind de regulile și descoperirile făcute în toți acești ani de arta plastică. Reguli ce au devenit canoane când au demonstrat că stăpânesc forța necesară mulțumirii audiențelor, informarea acesteia și manipularea maselor. 

Ca pictor, fiecare artist semnează un fel de juramânt al lui Hipocrate, un pact în care își jură că indiferent de ce se va întâmpla cu el, indiferent de situația în care se va găsi, artistul nu va folosi aceste "tricuri" ca pe o armă împotriva semenilor săi, ci numai în ajutorul acestora.  Fenomenul, deși nu mai mult de o înțelegere între artist și constiința sa, apare în nenumărate lucrări ale creatorilor vremurilor trecute, probabil de fiecare dată când acesta a ajuns să îi fie frică de puterea pe care o deține. De obicei toți acești artiști au ales simbolismul pentru a își ascunde secretul și majoritatea lucrărilor tratează ideea semnării unui pact cu diavolul, care aici simbolizează constiința: "Phantom of the Opera" etc... De ce ar trebui crezuți acești artiști că se vor ține de cuvânt?  Pentru că "arta cere sacrificiu" și cu toții știm că replica asta nu se referă la sacrificiul financiar ci la cel spiritual.  Artistul trebuie să fie sincer pentru a putea genera artă, cealaltă cale se numește plagiat.

17 - Întotdeauna există o: prima dată

Cu "17" mi-am propus să studiez narația senzorială și metodele prin care aceasta poate fi transmisă vizual,  folosindu-mă de toate celelalte tehnici inventate la rândul lor ca unelte ale regizorului pentru a-și putea atinge un astfel de țel.  

Aș minți să spun că m-am gândit la toate acestea înainte de a realiza mini seria "17".  La acea vreme  cochetam cu câteva dintre aceste idei, cunoscut fiind faptul că îmi desfășor activitățile artistice de mai bine de 30 de ani prin pictură și fotografie,  dar nu avusesem încă șansa de a le pune în practică, în film. Mai toate întrebările pe care le-am avut pentru arta plastică își găsiseră deja răspunsul.  Acum deschideam un nou capitol: Întrebări despre cum și ce în film.

Deși menționam mai devreme că "17" nu a adus un profit, personal pot spune că mi-am atins țelul final; profitul meu constă în ceea ce am învațat din "17", din dezvoltarea unui astfel de proiect independent, din reacțiile audienței ce mi-au întărit convingerile sau mi-au demolat dubiile pe care le aveam despre cum generezi expresie, senzație, despre culoarea în imaginea mișcată, modul în care culoarea, profunzimea, efectul sonor și muzica de film influențează percepția audienței; toate elemente studiate și stăpânite de marii regizori la modă și prea puțin împărtășite de cei din domeniu publicului larg, elemente ce nu pot fi descoperite decât prin studiu.  Am folosit "17" ca pe o planșă de schițe pentru propria-mi pregătire, încercând sa închei cu un produs bine definit, artistic, comercial și în primul rând original; țeluri demne de orice artist.

2007 îl petrecusem lucrând la un scenariu de film la cererea unui producător independent.  O idee originală, scenariul "Maria și Dolly" a devenit ușor o poveste de care m-am atașat enorm.  "Maria și Dolly" este povestea unei fetițe de 7 ani ce se pierde în subsolurile Bucureștiului și își întâlnește moartea. Experiența unică îi schimbă destinul. Este un film ce ilustrează o asfel de experiență direct din perspectiva copilului, folosindu-se de metaforă și simbolistică pentru a nara inocența, copilaria, dragostea părintească și pozitivizmul infantil generat de toate aceste stări și definește într-un final speranța. Maria și Dolly este drama reală traită de copiii secolului XXI într-o societate putredă, schițată cu ajutorul unor elemente fantastice demne de o minte inocentă ca aceea a unui copil ce nu s-a întâlnit încă cu greutățile vieții. 
Pe lista mea de casting a apărut Mugur Mihăescu, actor "menit" (în concordanță cu fantasmele imaginației mele) să joace un rol foarte controversat din film: "Regele Șobolan".
Cred că la rândul său a fost atins de forța dramatică emanată de acel scenariu, ceea ce l-a făcut să gândească mai departe. La un moment dat, finanțarea pentru filmul meu de lung metraj a căzut. E greu să pui un proiect independent de 1,5 milioane euro pe picioare în România. Mai greu decât își poate închipui orice producător occidental pentru care această sumă reprezintă cifrele unui buget pentru filmele de clasă B.  Mugur a fost inspirat de povestea mea și a creat "17".  În ciuda celor ce încercam să îi împărtășesc, a reacționat ca un român de bine și s-a aruncat cu capul înainte, semnând un contract ce avea să îngroape încă un produs de succes și să nu se aleagă nici măcar cu un profit. 

Așa a început "17" pentru care, la început m-am angajat doar ca supervizor al poveștii, dar pe care într-un final am ajuns să îl îmbrățișez ca fiind o stare de spirit, pentru că a devenit al meu în aceiași măsură în care era și al lui Mugur.  Ajungând să îl scriu cu Mugur, să îl regizez, să îl filmez, să îi gândesc decorurile, să îl produc și să îl montez. Așadar, "17" a devenit un proiect personal sau cum altora le place să numească un astfel proiect: Un Proiect de Autor.



A Trip to Vienna 2 - (English)

Chapter II


We checked in, the EuroStars Embassy Hotel. Booked in advance, 0.5 Km away from the location of the hospital where my Aunt was suppose to come to get cut. Four stars and well reviewed on the net. Lucky, we checked in before going to the doctor as we were set to. After a phone call to our link to the famous Viennese Private Clinic we found out that that was not it, and that was just the hospital he was working in as a Anesthesia Doctor, during the mornings. We also found out he spends the rest of the day in another Clinic which was truly private, but located on the other side of the town, and that was where we had to come later in the day, 6 hours after our flight landed, for my Aunt physicals. The whole story came down on me like an avalanche. I felt stupid and I guessed I played that way for the rest of the trip. You see: My plan was ruined, and it didn’t stop there, destiny continued to tear down my plans one after another till the end of the trip. Maybe I should’ve consulted my horoscope before and guide myself from it; I would’ve definitely had a much more organized and cheap trip.

I think is the money’s fault; you see whenever I see money I tend to change and act stupid. I guess every one of us does that to a certain level; I’ve seen it happening around me, and you gotta take my word: For the last 40 years I lived in all environments, beginning with super poor to filthy rich and back to misery a few times and I think the circle did not close yet.

That’s where from the attitude and the wardrobe, which didn’t help much during this trip either. The first impression is that Vienna is a large town. As you drive in, through the complex archipelagoes of motorways and tunnels that brings one from a distant world into the core of the city, you pass by the huge OMV refinery, mostly ugly, industrial, shiny, mechanical… as a prosthetic heart of the city, left aside to pump blood in the what was once the capital of the Hungarian – Austrian Empire.

As you drive in, the city’s slums disappear under the highway and you end up right in the city’s core,  Central Vienna, that blows you away at a first look. I say "at a first look" because if you live next to it for an entire week it kind of shows you the other faces of it. It is all like the first EuroStar Hotel we checked in. My girl who came later described it perfectly for a native Romanian who shares our age range: “It looks like Ceausescu never died to them.” I know is somehow complicated for the English reader, but the definition of this is based on long feeling that my generation had that Ceausescu will never die. Somehow my generation understood that subtle phrase, and still know that even though the glamour is there, the shiny cupolas, the Famous Brands streets, the Kartner Strasse, the bumbles streets, the old vehicles driving down the center, the poorly dressed people, the roughly Mozart boys selling opera tickets in front of the famous edifice, the huge Imperial palace that gets nowadays a clean out, back to a sweet tone of ochre from a very dark black, that one wonders how many centuries nobody bothered to clean it… And further on, the other side and over the Rosensteing towards the factory that makes the most famous Austrian beer; Ottakringen, in an immigrant inhabited neighborhood, where laws of parking do not apply, where at the entering corner, eastern European hookers display in the window of the Pussycat Piano Bar just like the ones in Amsterdam, where coffeehouses are places where no native Austrian would dare to adventure himself; opposite which I got us a room, the other day into a second Eurostars Hotel called Eurostars Vienna and solved the internet restrictions for hotels to pay back an internet reservation in desperate causes. Got another room in the right area at a hotel... under the same reservation...

The first night we spent at the Embassy, I got hooked to the net. Not wireless how it was presented in the Internet ad on booking.com, but by cable. We arrived at the hotel and as I checked in I presented myself, and my Aunt as being Mother and Son, for skipping the misunderstandings, and with the same family name that thing was easy. I told the nice receptionist, that we are here for her operation and they checked us in, in room 666.

I am not a superstitious guy, but I didn’t see that as a very comfortable door to open. Although still holding my insides with one hand and pulling on the luggage with the other, we went in. The room was exactly like in the picture, but uglier: Again one of those looks: “Like Ceausescu didn’t died yet.”

I found out later, or so I think I did, that this was a Spanish own business that we just happened to burst into. The first night at the Embassy, I only spotted a couple of Asians, perhaps as lost as I was. We went down to the restaurant, not hungry, mostly because my Aunt had to take some pills which required that her stomach has some food in it. In the absolute cold pop environment we were presented the menu: Sandwich, Shnitzel, and gulash soup. I had the sandwich, my Aunt the Shnitzel, both plastic frozen and reheated dishes on a bill of a four stars hotel. Next morning for breakfast we've seen all kinds of tourists and especially Spaniards. We had a poor breakfast, as especially made for those who are suppose to get caught in the trap, and right on, I stand up to put my next plan in motion. I was ready. I went to the receptionist counter and told the story of my operatible “mother” once again. The lady understood every word of it and even felt for it. With truly sorry eyes she told me that if I leave the hotel they will have to charge me for the whole 7 days of booking, with no refund. Later, my girl, who has hotel experience, told me that they are supposed to do that because I mixed up their plans and they could’ve give the room to some one else and not lose the money. That was a moment I felt stupid again and later I tend now to believe that most of the people live in that state and it doesn’t hurt.

Ok, I understood to charge you for the first night, if you didn’t show up, but next day you rent the hell out of the bloody room, the first time you get a chance. My response to that was: Did they get themselves into the church business? Shouldn’t they take a risk like every one of us living in this world and trying to run businesses? Well it seems they don’t take any risk, none of them, not even the taxi drivers who display all over their expensive leather seats, yellow stickers announcing the passenger that if driven to the airport the costumer has to pay an extra 12 Euros for the Taxi fair back. Don’t get me wrong, my girl was not happy with the Austrian traditions either, we were just observing together.

Money run out fast in Vienna, faster than I experienced anywhere else in Europe, and despite their poorly, cold, communist look, where everything is in its place but not quite, the place is more expensive than London, Paris or any other big capital of the old continent.
Armed, as I am always in this situations, I came up with the back up plan: The EuroStars Corporation has another hotel, bearing the same name on Ottakringer Strasse, a district much closer to the clinic I had to take my Aunt in for her operation. (All researched by myself on the Internet, the night before in the room 666, where the wireless signal didn’t reach.)

She said yes, and we got ourselves a taxi and drove to the other side of the town to the new location. Vienna is big, but not so big, and the taxi fairs will kill you. Even though we moved closer to the clinic the bill was not much lower, almost insignificant, but the idea that I moved out of room 666, made me dig in all of it.


A Trip to Vienna 1 - (English)

Chapter I


I just came off a plane from Vienna from a quick run, planed as hell, with the knowledge of a guy who discovers a new territory. The proclaimed territory wasn’t Austria, or Vienna what so ever, was Neurosurgery, the reason I traveled and knew not much about the situation I was about to go fencing for the next week. About a year ago on a trip back from Mexico, my Aunt, the only living blood relative I have left from my mother's side of the family got her back frozen instantly and thought it was a cold or something she caught from the change of temperature while traveling across the continents. She came back home and by some doctors advice she began physiotherapy, working out the soaring muscles. For the following months she got worst and worst and heard lots of stories about what that could be, until she finally found out it was a double hernia on the back disks at the base of her spine.

I for one, told her to take action every other time we spoke on the phone, and finally she decided to take it one year later when the thing got to her so far, as to unable her to step on her left foot which felt as an electricity conductor, under a triceps muscle who fought hard for holding her uncontrolled weight from the right foot which was beginning to crack as well. In fact her right leg lost control too a few times in what was to be her last week of severe suffering, and convinced her it is time to get under the knife.

On the 26th of September, last month I got the call I was waiting for the last year, and promised myself, once it came I should not ignore it, no matter what other business plans are waiting me. On the opposite, I “Mobilize” myself and jumped into action as an action hero. "Mobilize" as understood here out of the Romanian meaning it had as I grew up: "In times of war the Romanian tropes were mobilized by the order of who ever commanded them, first the Germans then the Allies, and that was the term young soldiers’ mom’s, sister’s remembered it was called, when they were packed up and sent to open each battle as the first line of raw meat. Well, as a much simpler definition the term stoke to the Romanian vocabulary as “come back to reality and give yourself into the action”, and my bread use it when someone close to you needs your help, and you are not suppose to think back for a second, even if the power that is needed, overwhelms you.

Back in my family we were all like that, as the attitude is based on an old lesson of my grandma' who once tried to put the bases of a new family she was trying to create, after loosing most of heir’s in the war; 9 brothers on the first line, then a broken hearted father and a overwhelmed mother who left the knots loose, at the instauration of the communist nationalization, not far after the strike of the 23rd economical crisis.

On the 28th of September I was booked to fly off to Vienna with my Aunt and get her to a private hospital, operated, recovered as good as jumping back in the plane for the trip home and back to Romania in 7 days, today.

The trip reached its purpose, as my Aunty is well back on her feet, but nevertheless left a strong impression in my mind with its atmosphere, adventures and blank ending; with me sitting and writing about it at 5 AM, when the film of it still rolls in my mind, making me not sure if I am home in reality or my spirit is still there.

I realized I learned many things in my life, from hard experiences, angels who come my way to help and a little study on psychology that I picked up doing my later years of film directing. Perhaps the need to tell this story comes from the same place; the love for adventure set in a different environment from the one I am used with every other day. Much like a film itself.

Therefore I think this chapter can begin with receiving both my uncle and my aunt the night before we had to fly away. What followed was a serious lesson of patience and self control, for I am a man who knows what my powers are, next to considering the hernia I got on my belly from a former story some years back; So I got served with the Aunt I haven’t seen to be as worst as the hardest pains began a week after I visited her last in my hometown, Constanta.

As we settled on our way to the restaurant down the back alley, over of the parking lot in front of my block we stopped several times and walk the 100 meters in about 30 minutes: My Aunt trying as hard as she could to keep up her smiles, and sounds of lion yowling coming out of her twisted face each time she stepped further. I thought he future looked bright with handling her away to Vienna, and driving was out of my mind right away, as I knew she couldn’t bare the ride and a night stop with that thing eating out of her spine.

Next day in the morning we took the plane and got there quickly, Vienna is not far off Romania. Once you cross Budapest you are already there. The first interesting scene happened as we got to The Vienna International. The airport there is weird, old and very badly managed. It reminds me a lot of "Baneasa Airport" in Bucharest, a small halt mostly for internal flights, of course at a different scale. We came right out of the terminal and walk, our walk, towards the check out like everyone else, when a young Austrian wearing an orange jacket with the word “Services” on his back; a kid of about 20 years of age, with the look in his eyes as coming from a long bread of airport workers, encountered us with a question, making sure my Aunt was not faking the walk.

He asked if we need a wheelchair and we said: Yes! I froze still for 3 minutes as he went off to get the chair, balancing on my arms: My Aunt, My Camera bag, My Laptop bag and a plastic bag containing my Aunt’s radiographies from the doctors back in Constanta. He came quickly and sat her down. He disappeared for another minute asking permission in the same time as bumbling some harsh German in his walkie-talkie, dialogize with someone else from the Airport’s premises, and once back, he pushed the chair with the sick lady up to a counter where we had to wait for another 20 minutes to ask permission to use the chair.

The girl at the counter was good enough to mark the event on her computer screen and I was sent with the chair into the elevator where the young Austrian excused himself for leaving me alone, for he had to attend other important business on the arriving floor. I found my way on the complicated alleys, got my Aunt through the disabled people check-in booth and sat on to look for the luggage. Time did passed and all this little adventure to the pick up baggage rolling band got us more than a half of an hour as I had to guess after laying my eyes on the empty room. The spinner drove soundless with three lonely bags that quickly caught the eye of the security guys who announced that they are ready to pick up unattended luggage for security reasons. Me, action! Kept pushing on the wheels of the crying wolf, who got pains now even sitting on the chair, with my other eye looking for a trolley and trying to move the bags a little so they see is not unattended.

I wore a classic jacket, well cut as a short military trench with double rows of buttons, shiny strong booths and a cap to protect the brain from the weather change I knew I’ll have to go thru after checking the internet the day before. I guess as seen on a wide lens I looked like one of the Marx Brothers running from the chair to the spinner and back to the exchange office to ask for 50 eurocents coins so I could unlock one of the airport’s trolleys, that I already knew I wont be bringing back to claim the cents. The image was almost black and white, as airport lighting is best set to light the metal walls and the advertising panels bringing people to simple spots of contrast on the cold surface of the shot. I guess it looked funny. It was much funnier once I gathered the luggage and came close to my suffering Aunt and asked her to stand up and try to walk the rest of the way out to the taxi cabs on the street. All this because it was impossible for me to push a trolley with bags at the same time as I would push her chair. She understood and “Mobilized” herself out of the chair, got her weight into her cain, to the street and into the back seat of the first Airport Taxi Cab in line, while I brought in the bags. The ride in the cab was smooth, as the car was one of the latest models, an E Class Mercedes, and as I got a break, I thought: How good is to know to do that when ever necessary, not blaming no one, and on the path of reaching your final goal.


THE 40th BIRTHDAY 3 - (English)

Chapter 3: Great London

Morning was as usual in London. Some might think it’s moisture or foggy. No way Jose! I haven’t had better winters than the London ones ever in my life. And people here are very worry: if there is a centimeter of snow they immediately close that main airport; Maybe they know what they know?!

The sunshines followed us out to the Holland Park and where the English dig every other week: to change the grass, or the paddles… or just for the sake of having a beautiful city: That’s where every other mid-afternoon, Miruna takes her crap; Lately big piles of shit resembling human excrements. She’s eating a lot: actually at her 10 years old she’s eating as much as you give her, and we are trying to keep her alive for more, but we love her like our own sibling.

Well the day suddenly turned up side down as a disco night in the 80’s; as you were a rocker and end up in that joint; hate the music, but love the booze: then end up dancing Latino: La vida loca, etc… with a blonde cheek, who ever was she? That dance would stay on for months in your mind, actually, as long as the summer lasted… then back to black and white.

Holland Park was as we know it… a back alley that takes you to a summer theatre which is open only in the summers. That’s where Miruna takes her crap. We provide plastic bags ‘cause the fine is 500 pounds for those who let their dog crap on the street and don’t clean after.

17th of February, but the light was warm… we felt so good that we decided to take the dog back home and set for a longer walk. Miruna liked mid-day walks as well, but because she got blind and old… she takes her walks shorter these days.

High Street Kensington was full of people; like any other day actually. We walk fast to the bank to see if we could’ve afforded my special day. We could. Although in the middle of the world economic crisis, we could manage that for ourselves. And that was our best decision: By ourselves. Well, at least that afternoon.

Kensington can offer much of anything. Anybody who lived in London knows that. There might be Portobello for tourists, Piccadilly and lot’s of malls, but…. Kensington High Street offers all without you needing to get anywhere farther…

If going anywhere else in London, and then come back to Kensington… your heart slows down. For us, because we are home, for any other, because it is the most secure place in London; so secure in fact, that sometimes might even scare you. It is a wonderful red brick world peppered with a few brits left overs and lots of better-paid emigrants amongst whom cops with machine guns to their chests keep mingle in. Wonderful democracy. We like it there, because is secured. And if you keep blank, don't bother anyone and look at the terraces… one could go a long way if one could afford it.

Sad, isn’t it… Well!

To be Continued…

THE 40th BIRTHDAY 2 - (English)

Chapter 2: The hurly-durdy mind of an early morning man.

She loves waking up next to me. She doesn’t take the dog’s pee as for a dog’s pee. She looks straight into my eyes and I get the whole holiday thing.

I lay there imagining Me driving like nuts on the German Highway and my girl next to me, reading some cheap magazine and sending me the idea that she is not scared: Actually she’s not, although I like thinking that she might be… She’s done that road thousand of times before me and for as many times as I mentioned, with me. Well the music was different, but then so was she.

I was different too, if that’s the matter: I was there, where: calling “gorgeous” any girl I would meet on; My friends girlfriends, my cousins… just to make them feel good, after all, what did it matter? I didn't know what gorgeous means, and I thought: If they had a heart, it could’ve been sweetened or broken. I was best, all my life at doing that. Breaking hearts was my thing: I would break every women heart as long as I was not finding my happiness. Where did that thing I knew nothing about stood in my conscience? Don’t ask me!

Got to be a dreamer, all my life. Once again, don’t ask me if that's okay! I have no clue about it either! Got to put on dreams like… business, commercial and lots of moneymaking mixed with art deals.

Actually that’s all I tried to do all my life: See how you can cheat the money guys to put some art into it: Got my dream going… got my story out. What do I want from what I do? God knows…. Great projects?! Chopin’s works heard by Van Gogh? Like, what If…. real fantasy is made of…. dreams...(It works there, where time does not count).

We got dressed up nicely, as for a special day. Not much more than what we are wearing every other day, but… nicely.

I did that because I decided as for lunch I was to take my girl out on this special day. Narcisa did it for she was, now in her every day glamour, but she felt she needed to take it a notch up and mark it down with a nice pair of flowery - knocks-on’s. That cheer up our day… just by walking out of the house: They were flowery.

And THERE - our day properly began.

To be Continued….  That's a nice sound for it!