The perfect cut

The Romanian art scene has successfully treated its rheumatism and got out of an overlong phase dominated by an esthetic and managerial dogmatism, at times provincial, slightly ridiculous and sometimes straightforwardly… lame.

Accessing finances from various public and private institutions has become a much more democratic and transparent process and its efficiency can be occasionally praised.

In the last few years, the cultural or intercultural-educational events have extended and enriched the public landscape, making room, at the same time, to all sorts of experiments, but mostly to a certain openness at the manager`s level. The project called “The perfect cut” is included in this series of events that brings artists and inter-textual experiments together, but mostly artistic and intellectual forms of expression that are still at the border of emergence.

“The perfect cut” was built as a dialog – experiment between three artists who, at a first glance, appear to have different paths, but at a closer look their paths are quite similar: painter Ștefan Câlția, fashion designer Valentina Vidrașcu and Marian Pălie.

The later has mediated the artistic and theoretic dialogue between Câlția and Vidrașcu in the conference organized by UNA Gallery, within the National Arts University of Bucharest. We spoke about all these, but mostly about the hidden shades of the project, with Marian Pălie himself.

Why “The perfect cut”?

Since 2004, when I started working in the fashion industry, I was drawn to its most beautiful side, the most artistic side and perhaps, unfortunately, the most hidden one: haute couture. Nowadays, the public sees fashion – especially in the global landscape – as a dystopian demon, in particular in its most “visible” part, the trivial and commercial side of fashion.

But fashion, as any other system, includes an extremely elevated “aristocracy”, who is prepared to change the present, but mostly the future, by producing esthetic concepts that organize and archive a collective memory. The project had several phases. The first event was the varnishing of your collages exhibition, on the October 15 at Galeria Posibilă…

The varnishing was a challenge for me, in particular because I had to convey my inter-disciplinary messages into an artistic language. I chose the language of collages.

The exhibition contained a series of new collages, where maestro Câlția`s characters were associated, defragmented and rebuilt with other works of belonging to fashion artists like Alexander McQueen, Tim Walker, Acnes Studios etc.

Then, I had discussions about my artistic undertaking, but mostly about the entire project, at the UNA Gallery, within the National Arts University of Bucharest; here, painter Ștefan Câlția and Bessarabian designer Valentina Vidrașcu had some very beautiful and colorful interventions.

The project continued with a third phase – that took place this time at Valentina Vidrașcu`s showroom – where she presented a capsule fashion collection, inspired by Ștefan Câlția`s paintings.

Yet, what is the connection between Ștefan Câlția`s paintings and fashion?

The fact that the fashion industry has always been looking for surprisingly marketing forms is no longer a secret for anyone. The novelty is the fact that the image of the artist has changed – he is not a romantic anymore, isolated in his own system of reference. The artistic areas and not only have started to realize that if they support each another, they shall obtain a much more obvious effect.

But, coming back to your question: the clothes worn by the characters of Ștefan Câlția`s paintings represent themselves, in my perspective, a character. The clothing is a form of communication, an essential element on which the entire economy of a painting is based on.

I believe that, before seeing the elements that do not exist in an artistic work, we should see, with our physical eyes, the concrete elements that exist on that canvas; almost in a reductionist way, if I may say so. The first thing you see, the things that strike you when looking at Câlția`s characters, is the clothes they wear – ceremonial clothes created to the smallest detail.

The clothes are not there by accident or due to a nonconformist chance, as late modernism is teaching us. The cloth is a physical ritual, the material that prepares us for a spiritual ritual.