Dan Constantinescu – Walls of Memory

Fildas Art Foundation sponsored Dan Constantinescu’s retrospective album, entitled “Walls of Memory”.

“I’ve been painting for 30 years, and for the cycle” Walls of Memory “for 16 years. This cycle was born in Venice. In 1990 I had a dream when a voice commanded me: <Paint the walls of memory! Paint walls memory!> I was a little upset by this command and although I am a very proud man, I said that I must be humble and respect this command very interesting through its complexity. I sat and wondered if this issue has ever been addressed by others. Thus, I began a very deep research, a trip to the world of the signs of our space up to the Far East.
I say with modesty that an artist should be placed in a cultural perspective, he is a guide and can not guide his admirers to dangerous places, although art offers you many pitfalls of success or language. .We have to be informed.
I consider myself a painter writer. We,  who are concerned about the culture, walk about the same cultural trails, with small differences. Besides books, the libraries were my museums.

I have traveled worldwide and visited many museums where I have lingered long enough to understand precisely what was the mystery of things, the wonderful things created by the great painters either on walls, wood or canvas. I tried to be a man entering a huge convoy of artists that I consider very important, because each brings his contribution, and then only very few to come out on top. This state should not disturb us and  revive useless ambitions because, as Brancusi said, values stratify, they are in a pyramid and are placed in layers, so that on top get only the elect ones.

Venice is a state of mind, like all my creation. Many colleagues did not understand him because they see only the commercial, tourist side of this wonderful space. Time passed very hard over the walls of Venice, where the oriental renaissance cultures combine perfectly, and then my obsession with the inexorable passage of time overlapped perfectly with a state that fed me tremendously in achieving a big cycle. The novel of my life, maybe before the walls of memory cycle. I would not have been here if I have studied thoroughly traditionalist art.

The relationship with God is wonderful and I owe Him a lot. He was more generous to me than I could be me with him, that is to make a gesture in order to balance as humanly as possible the balance of the gifts that He gave me. I hope that until I get in front of Him to manage to sediment in my soul those spiritual values, the mystery of prayer that must have not only in hard moments, but permanently. There was a time when I used to go to monasteries and painted the portraits of monks which automatically conveyed to me a good feeling and peace of mind. In this world I lose myself in non-essential things. Not all the things we believe are essential are also important. In church, when you create a state of mystery, I do not see saints like people on the walls, but I see their spirit.
With the support of Mrs. Anca Vlad I have managed to realize this dream of mine: on December 12th  I released the album “Walls of memory”. I thought this album as a retrospective exhibition, which has a certain coherence and fluency: from the walls of Venice palimpsests, icons and pseudoicons were born… I waited 3 years  for this album to be published, it was a test of patience and time.

I have always painted since I 5 years old. By the age of 15-16 years I wanted to show my “left-handed’ attempts to a great artist. And I got to Corneliu Baba whom I showed my portfolio. He saw my paintings and I thought he was going to laugh at my foolish paintings, but he said “you have to study painting at the faculty. I moved to Tonitza where I had exceptional colleagues, among them Silviu Purcarete. When I gave an exam at  the Institute of Fine Arts “Nicolae Grigorescu”, the competition was fantastic, there were 15 for the same place and I was almost convinced that won’tmake it. I told my father I won’t give exam at this college even though I was well prepared. I came second after Mircea Ciobanu, another great artist. In year two we had Corneliu Baba as teacher, an extraordinary man, of great depth. All the time he said to Mircea that he is an ocean of talent, “Mircea you are a genius”, which made me extremely jealous. I started to destroy my all my paintings and no longer show him anything. I did however an abstract work. He asked me how I painted it and I showed him: I burnt it and then I put off the fire with rags. He got very scared and asked me why I did that. I asked him if he likes it. Master Baba looked and said it was interesting, it was abstract work. I have always been attracted to gesture expressionism, but I am still attracted to spirit. I painted with fire the material of Rembrandt’s Esther dress. I do not have the genius of Rembrandt to paint with a brush, I painted with fire. Master Baba said “this guy has something in his head. And then he realized that he had seen me somewhere. And I recalled him the episode in adolescence. He didn’t love me as much as he loved Mircea, with me it was a professional kind of love, a similarity in spirit, more important.

In college I was fascinated by portraits, by faces. Maybe this was a gift from God too because I couldn’t explain the coincidence of the fact that I had as a maestro Corneliu Baba himself, who also loved portraits. There was no other artiust to love them more, make them more dramatic, troubled by what is happening. He saw the map that had hundreds of portraits including a special one. An expressionist profile, but very synthetic with very little means. It was a sad woman dressed in bag clothes. Master Baba noted her and made some corrections on it, as he did with the majority of the works he liked. But then he took a cloth and wiped what he did and admitted that what I did was great and should remain so.

Teaching is another profession. Now it is very difficult to be a teacher. I appreciate those who succeeded in being both outstanding and important artists and teachers, but this rarely happens. Usually is either one or the other. I can communicate, but I would talk too much in metaphors, something abstract. For me creation isn’t something concrete, it is a trip to the world of ideas and if the student does not receive this state, profound knowledge, it is in vain. Among the young artists, the students of today, there is a great personality crisis. Most of the works resemble one another as two drops of water. But that does not mean that who has something to say, does not say it. ”