Interview with artist Eugen-Florin Zamfirescu in The Epoch Times
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“Whispering Civilizations”- paintings exhibition by artist Eugen-Florin Zamfirescu
October 2 – 25, 2013, Toronto, Canada
The idea behind the exhibition ”Whispering Civilizations”
The idea of presenting the history of civilizations through a series of paintings took roots in my mind about fifteen years ago. At the time all I’ve had were questions. Where do civilizations start? How do they develop, collapse and are reborn again? What factors contribute to their evolution as well as to their demise?
More than fifty years ago a few were dreaming of discovering the human genome. Can we decode it? Many laughed, many said it is impossible. Today we have the key to the Human Genome. Is that genome influencing what is going in our world? We know the answer is yes. My idea is that as well as a human genome we have to explore the possibility of a “civilizations genome” made of essential elements of our environment, of our social, economical, political structures as well as of our humanity, with all its good and bad traits. I call those elements “gliding factors”, each with its own characteristics, variable from one moment to another.
I want everyone to see this exhibit as more than a series of paintings, it should be seen as a “thought experiment”. A thought experiment whose fundamental questions are “Is three a Genome of Civilizations? Are we able to decipher it, to measure it somehow? Can art help science and philosophy, can art help humanity find answers to fundamental questions about our stay here on Earth? Can art help in finding solutions?”
The exhibition opened October 2nd. What was the reaction from the public so far?
We’ve had a wonderful opening night followed almost the next day by Nuit Blanche when the gallery was visited by over 1100 people. Some of the comments I received from visitors: “the paintings are hautingly beautiful as well as thought-provoking, “ powerful, strong, a vision of the future that is brilliant and joyous” , “a stunning journey through our existence”, “ I love it! all the paintings seem lit from within”.
I think the biggest surprise was to see the enthusiastic way the art was embraced by young people and their positive reactions to the classical style of painting. They are the new generation, our future, and their wish to find out more about the concept and to engage with the art gives me great hope for humanity.
I go often to art gallerys and I am dismayed at how quickly people move from one artwork to the next, without giving time for reflection on what they see. Having people stop for minutes in front of on one of my paintings, then moving on and going back, discussing with others, asking questions, sharing their thoughts was all very rewarding. I know that many people came back not once but twice, even three times to the gallery to see the paintings again, to have the time to absorb and reflect on the meanings of each painting.
I was glad to hear from people that, in their opinion, the exhibition is built like a film narrative. That’s exactly it! I am also a film maker and chosing for each painting a significant moment in the history of civilizations is in many ways very similar with chosing from a long movie one single frame, the one you consider most charged with meaning.
As a painter I work on my own everyday – a solitary experience, difficult at times – so my only chance to connect with an audience is during a show. While critical aclaim and financial success are important to any artist, nothing compares to being told by a total stranger “through your art you changed someone, me”. I found that comment in the visitors’book, one evening last week. It was deeply humbling and the highest prize any artist could wish for.
How do you see the future of society?
Our civilization is today like a beehive flying without a compass. People and organizations push and pull at the fabric of our society. Some have or crave military supremacy, other want ideological powers and others still, the financial one. The fabric of society is thus ruptured. Is there hope? What should we do?
As someone wrote in the visitors’book I like to think that through my art “out of a long, hard view of the history of civilizations”, I was able to “find hope for the future of humankind”.
Now all we need is to find ways to make that hope a reality. IF we are to have a future.
“WHISPERING CIVILIZATIONS” is showing October 2nd – 25th at Twist Gallery, 1100 Queen Street West, 1st floor, Tue – Sat, 11am – 6pm.
Born in a small town in Romania, Eugen-Florin Zamfirescu immigrated to Canada in 1996.
Art inspired by history, philosophy and science is at the core of Eugen-Florin Zamfirescu’s work. His painting reveal a meticulous craftsmanship and richness of detail. Each painting is an invitation to the viewer to come closer and engage in the unravelling of the worlds carefully woven within.
Presently he lives in Toronto where he pursues his lifelong passions: fine arts, philosophy and astrophysics.
To see more of his art: www.eugenflorinzamfirescu.com
Article published in The Epoch Times, October 17 – 24, 2013