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02:49    |    19/12/2009

Across Europe's borders, the Romanian cultural space is only represented by Brancusi

Twenty years after the 1989 Revolution, the Romanian reality, through its complexity and contradictions is difficult to express in words. Romanian-born American artist Eugene Al. Pann decided that the best way to define Romania is through paintbrush and water colours. Eugene has recently had an impressive painting exhibition, inside Class Living store, concentrated around a painting measuring no less than 5 meters in length and 1.34 meters in width, suggestively named“Romania as it is”. The artist also presented here a collection of paintings made with...clothes, a new concept in Romanian art.

 B.H.: The center of this exhibition is the painting “Romania as it is”, a painting of impressive size: 5 meters long and 1.34 meters wide. What was the idea that triggered this painting?

Eugene Al. Pann: I used many chlices which we, Romanians, like to believe that they represent us aborad. The reality is different, because the Romanian cultural space, after crossing the borders of Europe is represented only by Brancusi. Moreover we have not clarified for ourselves and for the foreigners the communism issue, although it would have been a proof of responsibility from us to do it. We decided to hide all this trash under the carpet and pretend that it never existed. So I took the vacuum cleaner, which is the center of the painting and I decided that it is time to clean up.  

B.H: Who are the characters in the background?

Eugene Al. Pann: Down is writer Marin Preda, which is the synthesis of the intelectual, the proof that a great intelectual can be born in a village like Silistea Gumesti as well and can launch some extremely deep questions about life. There is also the playwriter Eugen Ionesco, whom France adopted, but whom often forget. I also painted the great researcher and doctor Ana Aslan, the inventor of “Gerovital”, a medicin and a range of cosmetics famous all over the world. You can also see the panpipes player Gheorghe Zamfir, who built himself an international career with a musical instrument less known and less popular, the panpipes. These are very important people for our history and culture, but the names of which are not exploited enough in the country and abroad. Instead we promote some anonymous people, who have not proven their value through resistence in time.

B.H: How long did it take you to paint it?

Eugene Al. Pann: First I made a very long research work, I could write a book with all the notes I made. I worked six hours every day, for two months.  

B.H: What is the price of the painting and how much did you invest in it?

Eugene Al. Pann: I will sell the painting to whoever offers 100,000 RON and I invested 2,500 Euro in it. I bought the longest canvas I could find in the USA and the most expensive paints. It was difficult to find a frame of the same size, because the frames are not longer than 4 meters in general. The distance between two pillars is in general, four meters, so whoever will buy this painting will need a very large space to exhibit it.  

B.H: You have an unusual collection of paintings including clothes. How did you start making such paintings, unusual for Romania?

Eugene Al. Pann:  In the USA, where I live there were multiple attempts of the painters to make paintings using unusual materials. There are also paintings made of matresses. I realized at some point that I can no longer bring anything new in painting. The canvas, the colours, everything is predetermined, elements that anyone can use to paint. For foreigners, painting is a hobby, everybody is painting, you can find a painter at every other house. And I looked for an environment that can only be mine.

B.H.: What are the themes of these paintings?

Eugene Al. Pann: The theme is the human nakedness. In reality we were born frightened. We have been frightened since Adam and Eva, when we covered our nakedness with a leaf and we are frightened today as well, when we wear clothes designed by the big fashion houses. We make efforts to wear very expensive clothes to boost our self confidence, because these clothes label us.

B.H: What technique are you using?

Eugene Al. Pann: It is much more difficult to work with the clothes than with the paints. There is a lot of chemistry and I am using a special mix of acrylic resins. I boil the resins continuously in baine Marie, because they get solid fast, it is a very toxic procedure. I talked to many chemists from whom I learnt how to make the paintings resist in time, without being affected by heat or cold.

B.H: Where do you usually exhibit these works?

Eugene Al. Pann: In the USA I exhibited works in the Contemporary Art Museum in Los Angeles and in other important art galleries. There are intriguing paintings and this was my main purpose, before satisfying my need of doing something unusual. But I do not like the art galleries because they are not the suitable environment for a painting. The paintings must be hanged on walls, among sofas, in a house or in a furniture store. People no longer identify themselves with the classical exhibitions, they want something new.

B.H: Who is buying these paintings?

Eugene Al. Pann:These paintings follow this track: painter’s studio, private collection and museum. The buyers are always people with money, who donate the paintings to a museum.

B.H: Do you live only from art?

Eugene Al. Pann: Of course. It is possible to live from art in Romania and abroad also, but one has to be a realistic, not a bohemian artist. One has to wake up at seven, go to the studio, make the research for the paintings and take care of the marketing as well.


Eugene Al. Pann : Dincolo de granitele Europei, spatiul cultural romanesc este reprezentat doar de Brancusi

La 20 de ani de la Revolutie, realitatea romaneasca, prin complexitatea si contradictile ei este greu de exprimat in cuvinte. Artistul american de origine română, Eugene Al. Pann a decis ca cel mai bun mijloc de a defini Romania este prin intermediul pensulei si al culorilor. De curand, Eugene a vernisat in incinta magazinului Class Living ,o impresionanta expozitie de pictura, a carei piesa centrala este un  tablou care masoara nu mai putin de 5 metri lungime si 1,34 metri latime, intitulat sugestiv  “Romania asa cum este ea”. Artistul a prezentat tot aici si o colectie inedita de tablouri facute din...haine, un concept nou in arta romaneasca.

B.H.: Centrul acestei expozitii este tabloul “Romania asa cum este ea”, un tablou de dimensiuni impresionante: 5 metri lungime si 1,34 metri latime. Care a fost ideea de la care ai pornit cand ai inceput sa lucrezi la acest tablou?

Eugene Al. Pann Am folosit in tabou multe clisee care, ne place noua sa credem ca ne reprezinta in strainatate si ca ii impresionam pe straini cu ele. In realitate nu este asa, pentru ca, spatiul cultural romanesc, dupa granitele Europei este reprezentat doar de Brancusi. In plus noi nu am clarificat pentru noi si pentru straini problema comunismului, desi ar fi fost o dovada de responsabilitate din partea noastra sa o facem. Am hotarat sa ascundem tot acest “gunoi” sub pres si sa ne prefacem ca nu a existat. Si atunci am luat aspiratorul, care este in centrul tabloului si am hotarat ca e timpul sa facem curatenie.

B.H: Cine sunt personajele care apar in fundal?

Eugene Al. Pann: Jos este scriitorul Marin Preda, care reprezinta sinteza intelectualului, dovada ca un mare intelectual se poate naste si in satul Silistea Gumesti si poate lansa niste probleme de o profunzime extraordinara. Apare si dramaturgul Eugen Ionesco, pe care Franta l-a adoptat, dar de care noi uitam de multe ori. Am pictat-o si pe marea cercetatoare si medic Ana Aslan, inventatoarea “Gerovitalului”, un medicament si o gama de crème cautate in toata lumea. Se poate vedea si naistul Gheorghe Zamfir, care a facut o cariera internationala cu un instrument mai putin cunoscut si popular, naiul.
Sunt oameni foarte importanti pentru istoria si cultura noastra, dar ale caror nume nu le exploatam suficient in strainatate. In schimb promovam niste anonimi, care inca nu si-au dovedit valoarea prin rezistenta in timp.

B.H: In cat timp ai pictat tabloul?

Eugene Al. Pann: Intai am facut o munca de documentare foarte lunga, as putea scrie o carte cu toate notitele pe care mi le-am facut. Am lucrat zilnic sase ore, timp de doua luni.

B.H: Ce pret are tabloul si cat ai investit in realizarea lui?

Eugene Al. Pann: Tabloul il vand oricui ofera 100.000 de RON si am investit in el 2.500 de Euro. Am cumparat cea mai lunga panza pe care am gasit-o in SUA si am folosit si cele mai bune vopsele. A fost greu sa gasesc o rama pe masura, pentru ca in general ramele nu au mai mult de 4 metri. Distanta dintre doi stalpi este in general de 4 metri, deci cine va cumpara tabolul va avea nevoie de un spatiu foarte mare sa il expuna.

B.H: Ai o colectie inedita de tablouri realizate din haine. Cum ti-a venit ideea de face astfel de lucrari absolut neobisnuite pentru Romania?

Eugene Al. Pann: In SUA, acolo unde locuiesc, au existat tentative multiple ale pictorilor de a face tablouri folosind materiale neobisnuite. Exista si tablouri realizate din saltele. Eu mi-am dat seama la un moment dat ca nu mai pot aduce nimic nou in pictura. Panza, culoarea, totul reprezinta elemente prestabilite, pe care oricine le poate folosi pentru a picta. Pentru straini pictura e un hobby, toata lumea picteaza, gasesti un pictor la trei case. Si atunci am cautat un mediu care sa fie numai al meu.

B.H.: Care este tematica acestor taboluri?

Eugene Al. Pann: Tematica este goliciunea umana. In realitate ne-am nascuti fricosi. Suntem fricosi de la Adam si Eva, cand ne acopeream goliciunea doar cu o frunza si suntem fricosi si astazi, cand purtam haine de la marile case de moda. Facem eforturi sa purtam haine cat mai scumpe, pentru ca ne ajuta sa fim siguri pe noi, pentru ca ne imprima o eticheta.

B.H: Ce tehnica folosesti?

Eugene Al. Pann: Cu hainele e mult mai greu de lucrat decat cu culorile. Este foarte multa chimie si folosesc un amestec special de rasini. Rasinile se fierb tot timpul in baine Marie, pentru ca se intaresc repede, e un procedeu foarte toxic. Am stat de vorba cu mai multi chimisti de la care am invatat cum sa fac tabolurile sa reziste in timp, sa nu le afecteze nici caldura, nici frigul.  

B.H: Unde expui aceste lucrari?

Eugene Al. Pann: In SUA am avut lucrari expuse la Muzeul de Arta Contemporana din Los Angeles si in alte galerii importante. Sunt tablouri care intriga si acesta a fost scopul meu principal, iniante de a-mi satisface nevoia de a face ceva inedit. Dar nu imi plac galeriile, pentru ca nu sunt mediul potrivit pentru un tablou. Tablourile trebuie sa stea pe pereti printre canapele, intr-o casa, intr-un magazin de mobila. Oamenii nu se mai identifica cu expozitiile clasice, vor ceva nou.

B.H: Cine cumpara astfel de tablouri?

Eugene Al. Pann: Traseul acestor tablouri este urmatorul: atelierul pictorului, colectia particulara si muzeul. Cumparatorii sunt intotdeauna oamenii cu bani care doneaza lucrarile unui muzeu.

B.H: Traiesti numai din arta?

Eugene Al. Pann: Sigur. Se poate trai din arta si in Romania si in strainatate, cu conditia sa nu fi un artist boem, ci unul realist. Trebuie sa te trezesti dimineata la sapte, sa mergi la studio, sa faci research-ul necesar pentru tablouri si trebuie sa te ocupi si de partea de marketing.

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