Dan Măciucă

Hello Dan, first of all: Are there things you do not want to reveal about your art?

I’m honest:)

What are your paintings about?

For few years I have been dealing with a topic based on urban peripheral landscape. I try to express the expressivity of the abandonment, neglect, and disadvantages of certain social strata. I seek neither political truth nor to do justice, because it is not the case and I am not the right person for it; I do not want to protest or criticize the socio-political system using this language. I believe that my role is only to poetise, through color, gesture and composition, the moment in which and the place where I survive, as well as to convey the expressivity of these events, parts of my life.

I would add that I am a being, only here for a moment, having the opportunity to express his space and time by interpreting certain events. On the other hand, I strive to reflect the reason, the character or the destination of each building, the purpose of its position in human order. From my point of view, in our order, buildings are not only meant to be nests; they are also supposed to fulfil and undertake certain daily tasks and occupations. Each building has its specific shape and character, depending on its utility.

Another crucial point for me is to capture the evolution of their utility in time, including those that over the centuries have changed their destination; whether because they have become insolvent, or because their services no longer meet the requirements of contemporary society. It is an aspect that allows me to build a transitive space, like a dilemma caught between transition and evolution.

What are you working on at the moment? Are these works part of a recent project?

This ongoing project is conceived as a continuation of previous projects. I focus on the character and shape of buildings, which always challenges me to seek out new forms and architectural volumes. I am interested in finding new expressive, structural or gestural solutions for this purpose, and from a technical point of view, I hope to reduce the coarse layer of color, to let the canvas breathe through the color film.

Tell me three essential things about art: the good, the bad and the ugly. It's a question I like :).

The good: Art has become unbound, it has expanded its horizons, postmodernism gives us maximum freedom of expression through various media, languages and artistic trends. The avant-garde yielded various styles, building up into various forms of symbiosis, generating innovation. Transfers from one artistic language to another and from one artistic environment to another are established. New galleries, biennials, fairs, museums emerge and develop.

The bad: the entourage of avant-garde is gone.

The ugly: Post- …, fasting, posting. Afterwards, diet/abstinence, showoff.

Techniques: stolen, learned, applied? How do you relate to this eventually imperative aspect of painting?

That’s right, like any apprentice I have learned, stolen and applied, but the personal context in which I use them also matters. Beginning with the Renaissance or even with Antiquity, art as a craft had to be stolen, learned and applied, each of us learns something from the distant or near past, by visiting libraries, museums, galleries, schools, in short, we educate ourselves. It is an exchange of information, of experience, like any other field of activity. On the other hand, I think that beyond all this baggage of accumulated knowledge, some small or great innovation is needed. Even though modernity as an epoch is gone and so is the avant-garde, I still believe that innovation makes the small or big difference between x and y. But before all these aspects, I think communication through artistic languages or environments is much more important :).

Are there any recurrent elements, symbols or themes in your works?

I have long been interested in urban architecture symbolizing or suggesting the idea of a habitat, a space dedicated to services of common interest within society or the transitive space where intercommunity services ensued, and of socio-political doctrines of contemporary society from communism to post-communism. It is a Balkan feature, in my view, affected by the slow transition from communism to democracy. I remember here an industrial landscape by Ciucurencu, where the industry seemed to be thriving, as if it was laying the foundations of a modern strategy in the development of Romanian civilization. Today, it is impossible for me to travel and not notice all those factories in decay, in line with the poetics of Bacovia.

How do you see the relationship between intention, image, execution, and final work?

I sometimes start from images designed to establish the message and the dynamic or the gestural and compositional trails, at other times there are overlaps of elements reflecting the same meaning. Meanwhile, changes, re-paintings, re-compositions occur, until my work satisfies my aesthetic and emotional claims.

Do you have any color preference?

I couldn’t say I have a favorite color in my painting. I like all colors, and in nature I find endless shades and chromatic tones, they attract me and I strive to experiment with them. For example, I took a trip a few years ago, in autumn, to Mount Negoiu, and, on the plateau, I noticed that rocks were shades of gray-green while the vegetation had autumn shades of ocher and sienna; it was a moment when the panorama fascinated me by its chorma, creating the illusion of a chromatic interchange in nature.

On the other hand, I think pink is a very interesting color of dramatic harmony, because it expresses happiness, fulfillment, joy, and in the context of a dramatic harmony it becomes exciting by its way of fulfilling this role, opposite to its primary expression. I admit that I rarely use it. :))

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

I find no reason why my activity should be constrained to or influenced by any particular place. I’m interested in composing novel and as good as possible works. However, minimal comfort matters: it should neither snow nor rain.

Tell me three artists you like, who motivate you and put you at work.

There are many artists I appreciate, modern and contemporary alike, from among whom Gerhard Richter motivates me through the technique and various pictorial structures he developed throughout his career. Another contemporary artist is Joe Bradley, but I also must mention the oeuvre and aphorisms of Constantin Brâncuşi.

How do you put yourself in a creative state in moments of no inspiration?

I admit it is a difficult moment, but I try not to back off, I just know that “Appetite comes by eating”. I’m looking for solutions.

What do you think about the local artistic community, how do you relate to it?

The local artistic community is very important to me and there are local artists I appreciate and I trust for their work and their way of being. I am also delighted by the city live in and the people I meet 🙂

How do you relate to the international artistic context?

This is a rather difficult question that haunts me all the time and I foresee it as a scenario to which I also belong. I think the world of art is a huge bundle in which structural or pictorial resemblances can be easily spotted, willingly or not. From the high school student all the way to the artists I have just mentioned, I cannot say where exactly I belong, but I am content with the idea that I am able to communicate in a language I wanted to use for a long time.

How do your works "reach the world"?

I had the opportunity to collaborate with galleries and artists who helped me in this process, which is why I am glad and thankful to them!

Ask yourself the question you wanted to answer but did not get it :)

Q: Why do you express dramatic aspects of events?

A: It’s just a lyrical category meant to invoke an aesthetic and emotional delight in my being.