Darius Hulea is a young contemporary artist born in 1987 in Alba Iulia Romania, the city were 100 years ago on 1st of December 1918 King Ferdinand I and Queen Mary were coronated as the King and Queen of big ROMANIA after the 3 small countries where Romanian ethnics lived were united under their command at the end of the 1st World War.
“I have followed Dariu’s career and exhibitions since February 2017 when I first noticed him while he had the “OUTLINE, sign on the face” exhibition of metal sculptures portraits at Elite Art Gallery , a Bucharest Art Gallery that I have been admiring, followed its exhibition and artists and acquired art from long before I have opened my own Art Gallery. As in the last 2 years Darius’s works were focused on the Romania’s big unification, portraying the personalities of that time through his amazing metal sculpture I felt the need to talk about him and his work in the OZB magazine issue of Artist of the month article as I feel this way I can bring my humble contribution to Romania’s centenary celebration”- says Oana Visoiu, owner of Renaissance Art Gallery.
Throughout the 2 years since I follow, admire and work with Darius I have learned that Darius Hulea is the artist who started his artistic vocation as a student at the painting section in Alba Iulia, at the Queen Maria Art High School, and then continued his journey to the higher studies of the University of Art and Design in Cluj where he entered with a dream that will become reality – “to be a sculptor”.
But he did not become just a sculptor as I knew from books, art history courses and museums, as his tools used for his metal sculptures are a bit different to the classical tools we can still see exhibited in the studio in Paris- close to Centre Pompidou – of another’s great Romanian sculptor, Constantin Brancusi.
If you visit Darius’s studio in Bistrita and watch him working you will be surprised as he looks more like a welder than a sculptor, but the result of his work is amazing.
In order to make an analogy with Brancusi and his innovative art, Darius decided that in his “OUTLINE, sign on the face exhibition” metal sculpture exhibition of metal portraits measuring from 1,60m to 2,50 m height , the persons Darius Hulea portrays are at the crossing between well- measured “time of the ego” and an inestimable “place of memory”. Therefore the person, around who the whole exhibition was created, is Brancusi.
For Brancusi as well as for the young Darius Hulea, the turning of the foremast forms and springs, the way to kindness, the spiritual dimension of the pure form, the dialogue with people in seeking the absolute assure the universality and his sight are deeply opened for the future.
The place is of a personal memory, that is forgetful and continually rewrites the speech about himself and the world we live in.
The portraits are not human figures but are historical individuals that where related to Brancusi, friends, culture figures, royals that promoted art in Romania but also the man that refused Brancusi’s offer made to communist Romania while living in France, as Brancusi wanted to donate his life long work to his own country with one condition: “ to have a museum consisting of his own studio in order for future generations to be inspired by his work and vision of modern art”. Romania, via Mihail Sadoveanu ( writer and the Minister of culture at that time)- REFUSED Brancusi’s offer.
Going back to Darius I feel that everything created by the sculptor Darius Hulea is nothing but his fascination for drawing from high school, which is now becoming a three-dimensional drawing from metal wires.
Asked by Oana Visoiu – Renaissance Art Gallery- how he started to move from painting to sculpture and then to move from traditional sculpture to metal sculpture Darius Hulea answered:
“Every time the teacher with whom I did the drawing hours, Tuculescu Diana drew my attention to the drawing in perspective and the way it has to be built in order not to have a disproportionate drawing. The torment was so big on a sheet of paper that I wanted to cut the sheet in the deepest part of the perspective and draw it on the back support. So I hope that I will get some kind of perspective. In fact, such drawings become more perfect once we deepen the problems and understand the ease with which you can give a perspective.
The second exercise that led to the construction of new works was the armature of modeling that I had to do in my first year of college. I always saw them as possible works, especially as I read about Modern Art in parallel to Art History. Seeing Calder or Picasso’s works as three-dimensional drawing techniques in various pieces of metal or scrap metal now belonging to the great museums, the artistic self was growing trusting.
The third element that reveals the concept of works is how to process the metal. Metal becomes the preferred material once university studies “forced us” to go through all the traditional and non-traditional techniques: stone, wood, metal, resin etc. The desire to move from a two-dimensional drawing to a 3D one, to render a pencil line through a wire, through the techniques taught in the university’s workshops, along with the Art History, with all its artists and the Greek thinking about art and what the remains of it today brought to the welded wire drawing I’m trying to construct or deconstruct in the common space of everyone, the public space.
Until he expose his art to public space, sculptor Darius Hulea spends most of his time in his studio, welding about 8 hours a day, contemplating its sculptures expansion into space.
After the first prize “Grigore Bradea” won in Bistrita at Arcade 24, the audience started to know the tension of the metal threads, which now hailed the portraits of some great Romanian personalities.
The public’s reaction as my reaction, says Oana Visoiu, became more and more appealing to the artist, encouraging him on his way to develop this technique that they never seen before. All the impulses of the public made it possible in the shortest time that Darius was awarded the prize of the Union of Romanian Artists for the youngest sculptor at Dales Gallery in Bucharest. Then there were requests from other galleries in Bucharest, or Art Museums in Romania, where the works drew in the interior space fragments of 19th century history. Recently, three-dimensional drawings of Darius outline the space of the Petrila Planet by three works permanently exposed in the public space, Brancusi and Ion D. Sarbu; the Savior Minier (the Savior of Culture).
Recently, due to Renaissance Art Gallery’s efforts and promotion Darius Hulea’s statue of Mircea Eliade– the greatest Romanian philosopher, symbolist and traveler, who was also a professor of the Chicago University in US in his last years of life – was bought by one of the biggest real estate investors in Romania , the Israeli company HAGAG in order to be exhibited in the lobby of their future luxury residential development in Bucharest located on Mircea Eliade Street.
So my advice to you as a contemporary art collector and Gallery owner is: “Support Darius by buying his work but also consider his art a good investment in you and for the future as I’m positive that Darius will follow Brancusi’s footsteps and soon he will be internationally recognized”– says Oana Visoiu, owner of Renaissance Art Gallery.
2012 – prezent Institution: University of Art and Design from Cluj-Napoca Specialization: PhD student in visual arts
2009 – 2011 Institution: University of Art and Design from Cluj-Napoca Specialization: Sculpture. Master.
2006 – 2009 Institution: University of Art and Design from Cluj-Napoca Specialization: Sculpture. License.
2017 – Renaissance Art Gallery, “Mircea Eliade and his contribution to Romanian art”, Bucharest RO
2017 – Personal exhibition, “Principalis”, Urania Palace, Cluj-Napoca RO
2017 – Personal exhibition, “The sign on the face”, Central Square, Bistrita RO
2017 – Personal Exhibition, “Outline, Sign on the Face”, Elite Art Gallery, Bucharest RO
2016 – Group Exhibition, “Bronze Age”, Art Gallery, Alba Iulia RO
2016 – Group Exhibition, “Bronze Age” Arcade 24, Bistrita RO
2016 – Group Exhibition “Corpus”, Gallery 45, Cluj RO
2015 – Group Exhibition, UAP Awards, Dalles Hall, Bucharest RO
2015 – Group Exhibition “Bronze Age” Group Exhibition at the 18+ Festival, Cluj RO