100 Creatives 2012: Radu Runcanu, Painter from Romania
Radu Runcanu was interested in all sorts of things when he arrived in the United States from Transylvania. From an artistic stance, the painter, drawer and sculptor was awfully curious about how his Old World background would intersect with Houston, which must have looked like the newest of the New World compared to Runcanu's native Romania.
The discoveries have been plenteous and the transition has been swift: Runcanu scored a job at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and he recently had his first exhibition, at Box 13 ArtSpace.
He's also at work in the studio, where the finished products, which tend toward paintings, are informed by drawing and sculpture.
"I'm trying to build my message through painting and drawing," says Runcanu. "After a long period, sculpture was my favorite language. From my experience with the big blocks of stone, I kept the tendencies to simplicity and unity of art, leaving behind random accidents and anecdotic frivolity. However, the big, ample shapes and a clear proportion between the full and the empty space still remain on canvas."
What he does? Runcanu's style could be described as figurative abstraction and his artworks are usually realized via some deep thoughts.
Radu Runcanu's Resting Hammer
"I'm focusing on investigating the symbolic dimensions, the complex universe (whatever that would be) hidden behind everyday objects and images. In my art, I am using objects, human bodies, landscapes or media images to build ideas, not to represent them.
"That is, to build individual, subjective histories with a hieratic appearance (if not quite an 'aura'). What I am searching to capture when representing these objects -- being contemporary or historical imagery, still-frames from a TV broadcast or a simple tablecloth -- is their timelessness. More exactly, their status as vehicles for a message with many possible reading levels: a message from the contemporary mythology."
Why he likes it? "Art is the place where all my knowledge, my intelligence and the physical strength get together, find the same path and give me freedom," says Runcanu. "Art is part of my DNA and it enables me to search, to discover and to live in an endless and beautiful abstract world."
What inspires him? According to Runcanu, it's a brew of "present and past feelings, images of places and objects from my personal symbolism; a universe made of thoughts and sensations, fears and desires, my inner world."
About Distance by Radu Runcanu
If not this, then what? "I don't know. An obscure guitar player or a starving writer, but I also could be a very meticulous guy doing organic agriculture somewhere in a small village."
If not here, then where? Two things Houston can't ever provide. (Don't take it personally, Houston.) "Ooooooh, I have to be frank, I miss the cold weather and the old cities of Europe," he says.
What's next? More thoughts, more explorations, more shows, moremoremore.
"Continuing my adventure into this infinite world of ideas, trying to get closer to my expectations and hoping that I'll have the opportunity to show my work to the American public."
More Creatives for 2012
(In order of most recently published; click here for the full page).
Ariane Roesch, Mixed-Media
Sandie Zilker, art jewelry maker
Philip Hayes, actor
Patrick Palmer, painter
Ana Mae Holmes, Jewelry Designer
John Tyson, actor
Jerry Ochoa, violinist and filmmaker
Raul Gonzalez, painter, sculptor, photographer
Roy Williams, DJ of medieval music
Laura Burlton, photographer
David Peck, fashion designer
Rebecca Udden, theater director
Donae Cangelosi Chramosta, vintage designer handbag dealer
Paul Fredric, author
John Sparagana, photographer
Damon Smith, musician and visual artist
Geoff Winningham, photographer
Johnathon Michael Espinoza, visual artist
Jaemi Blair Loeb, conductor
Katya Horner, photographer
Johnathan Felton, artist
Nicoletta Maranos, cosplayer
Carol Simmons, hair stylist
Joseph "JoeP" Palmore, actor, poet
Greg Carter, director
Kenn McLaughlin, theater director
Justin Whitney, musician
Antone Pham, tattoo artist
Susie Silbert, crafts
Lauralee Capelo, hair designer
Marisol Monasterio, flamenco dancer
Carmina Bell, promoter and DJ
ReShonda Tate Billingsley, writer
Kiki Lucas, choreographer and director
J.J. Johnston, theater director
Mary Margaret Hansen, artist
Richard Tallent, photographer
Viswa Subbaraman, opera director
Emily Sloan, sculptor and performance artist
Sonja Roesch, gallery owner
Enrique Carreón-Robledo, conductor
Sandy Ewen, musician
Camella Clements, puppeteer
Wade Wilson, gallery owner
Magid Salmi, photographer
Carl Williams, playwright