I spent my childhood in a small town in southwestern Romania along the Danube River. I revealed a talent for drawing when I was very young. My mother relates that I preferred staying at home to draw rather than going out to play with other children. At school, my artistic abilities were recognized, and my future career as an artist was set into motion. Teachers offered to give me private lessons in painting, and my initiation into oil painting began at the age of nine. I am told that I never painted like a child. Rather, I tried to emulate the styles of mature painters. I sold my first oil painting — a copy of a classic landscape — when I was eleven.
When I was fourteen my family moved to Bucharest, primarily to give me the opportunity to attend special art schools. A shock came in my development when I suddenly encountered the realities of modern art, for which I was unprepared. In the middle sixties, Romania began to open up to Western influences and my adjustment to this artistically was hard and long. It was during this period that a conflict began expressing itself in my work that lasts even to this day — the conflict between my inner feelings and the contemporary pressures and influences of the outside world.
In high school, and later at the Grigorescu Institute of Fine Arts, drawing was taught with an emphasis on classic principles. Because of this, I always had a preference for drawing and felt at ease in this medium.
As for painting during these years, I was never satisfied. I remember that I rarely managed to complete a painting—I repainted a canvas over and over again. Looking back, it’s hard for me to say whether special circumstances explain this or if this is just the natural way every artist struggles to develop his own style.
Eventually, my explorations in painting during those years ended up in abstraction. My style today, as strange as this may seem, actually proceeds from abstraction. So, in their origins, my present compositions are abstract signs. I develop them little-by-little and gradually build up a realistic looking image which I never imagined before. This permits me to sound my unconscious by developing the signs into harmonious structures, mirrors of my present state of mind. I try to keep my logic from interfering, and slowly convert these signs into figures as late as possible, when a strong suggestion appears.
Later, the process continues consciously and my final purpose is to create a space and an atmosphere around the figures. At this point, it is very important to have perfect control over technique — which, in fact, is never perfect. So during this process there is often a conflict between my will and my possibilities. The result depends on whether that conflict is resolved positively or not. Certainly, everything is more complex than that, but generally this is the basic diagram of my creative work.
My work is included in the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Denver Museum of Art, Tucson Art Museum, and many more internationally.