Alia Bakutayan&Daniel Tufiș / Bucharest

We've got the last series of images from Alia Bakutayan and Daniel Tufiș, two artists who share their home-studio, based in Bucharest. Alia, what are you currently working on?

ALIA BAKUTAYAN: There are new works with a new approach for me, but I feel very inspired and I work with a lot of desire. I am preparing for a solo exhibition that will take place at the Brâncovenești Palaces in Mogoșoaia. It will be an open-hearted exhibition with deeply personal works, along with objects and photographs from the past. The whole project revolves around the relationship among body, spirit, memory. An analysis of memory that serves as reliving and clarification, embracing and acceptance to metamorphosis that becomes mass, matter-volume, structure that we perceive, this time with the help of our senses.

Daniel, tell me 3 artists that you like, motivate you and put you to work.

DANIEL TUFIS: I am inspired by Per Kirkeby, Chihuly, David Hockney, Cy Twombly, Pat Steir.

What are your sources and topics?

A.B.: I am the source of my inspiration. The theme is closely related to my evolution as a human being. I have no other tool to work with. I create according to my inner flow and how I process external, but also internal experiences, so that things metamorphose on their own, so it connects thoughts about vulnerability, loneliness, openness and detachment. It is a therapeutic process through art!

Daniel, what about your sources for your painting?

D.T.: Nature, with all its “instruments”, plays the main role. I always felt that I could explore the landscape more and that’s why I didn’t abandon it, I felt I could express myself better through it. It is a tool, an extension of my body, which compensates for some of my physical and mental limitations. It is not just a pure rendering of a landscape, but the core of the personality of a mood accumulated through experiences. It is, in fact, a way of preserving experiences.

Is there an element / symbol / theme that recurrently appears in your works?

A.B.: THE CIRCLE – the first thing you see is the shape of the circle. Symbol of balance, eternal return and cyclicity. An Initiatory Journey, the Self. A source of energy, beauty and spirituality. Atoms of matter.

And how about you Daniel?

D.T.: The symbol – “The Universal Tree”, “The Family Tree”. Hieroglyphic trees, in which the infinite vibrates! A silent element, a connection between the visible and the invisible, between Heaven and Earth, a metaphor for life itself, regeneration and immortality, as a possibility of passing from one state to another, as a call to meditation, to rebirth.


How much does your art depend on the location / space you work in?

A.B.: After the first year of renting in Bucharest, we were convinced that we needed a studio, but also a house where we could work as artists, without rules or enclosed spaces… So we moved 15km from Bucharest and we built a studio house, an open space in which we got deeply assured that we were freer and more fulfilled the less we had. A simple space, full of light with a garden and two dogs.
Art for us is a way of life, we cannot separate our personal life from artistic and design activities. So yes, we depend a lot on our environment created exactly for our needs, a space that, over time, undergoes small changes depending on our projects being very versatile. This year we are building a small workshop behind the house, where we can make a mess, especially me, because I work with industrial materials on larger surfaces. I even have a water hose and a drain in the floor, so you can imagine what’s going to happen there?!… I hardly wait !!!

How do you feel in isolation? What are the pleasant and unpleasant parts of this period?

A.B.: The word isolation frightens me, I don’t like it… How do we feel? I think we all have a tension, a concern in us, but not because we are forced to stay at home. HOME is good and beautiful, we have a lot to do, from art projects to gardening… The tension comes from a lack of trust between us, the isolated, and the decision-makers, and vice versa.

An indispensable thing for you in the context of social distancing? What do you miss?

A.B.: I miss the SEA a lot! Socially, we miss artistic events and here I generally refer to art exhibitions, galleries, conferences, beautiful people you get to know at such events.