Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Theodor Baciu

I bought this painting a few years ago when I was in Iasi, Romania. We were walking around near the National Cathedral (where we learned that in the Romanian Orthodox church, mass is more like an open house) and came upon a group of artists selling their "art" in a nearby square. I put art in quotes because most of what they were hawking that day was more akin to an airport hotel art sale, advertised during reruns of Sally Jessie Raphael. Anyway, amongst the knock-off Monets and Thomas-Kincaid-paints-sunny-cottages -with-sunflowers, was this other stuff. It was dark and somewhat abstract, and by my book, amazing. Thankfully, an interpreter was nearby to facilitate. Theodor Baciu (Bah-chew) said he painted this piece during a difficult time when he felt the world was coming down around him. He asked where I was from and we chatted for a few minutes. The interpreter brokered the deal, and I paid Mr. Baciu the $15 US he asked for. He said,"I give you this deal because I want my art to go to America." Consider it done.

Since then, it has been in America, but packaged in cardboard until yesterday, Valentine's Day, when Ray subtly unveiled it, beautifully framed. Thank you Ray!!!

And thank you Theodor Baciu. I'm finally making better on my end of the deal.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

awesome v.day gift. points for Ray.
can't wait to see it -- and you guys. It has been too long. Jana

miss d said...

what beautiful art. and what a beautiful story. happy valentine's to you both (although a little late).

Hariolf said...

In 2003, I bought a painting by Baciu called "The Beginning" on a public square in Brasov, Romania. I didn't meet him in person, though, someone was selling the paintings. Ever since, I've been trying to contact the guy. Do you have any contact information?

Cheers from Germany,
Hariolf

becca said...

Hariolf,

Unfortunately I did not get any contact information when I met Baciu, in September 2003. As the post mentioned, I was in Iasi...possibly where he lives. Good luck in your search, and please let me know if you've posted a photo of your painting online. I would love to see it.

Rebecca

- -rxndr! said...

this brought tears to my eyes. i don't know if you're still posting on this blog, i just found the post. this is what i wrote yesterday about theo baciu! i find it amazing and it made me so happy that he got appreciated by so many people. thank you for this! and i'm really happy you have a picture of him. his image was starting to fade in my mind.
http://rxndra.tumblr.com/post/5354875497/the-man-with-colors

Cezar Aanicai said...

Everyday I am amazed by the force of the internet, and always repeat to the people that the only one virtual world you can find is in the books. The internet is a fascinating real world.

My daughter, Ruxandra, deeply touched my heart posting on her wall a very nostalgic echo of her feelings. She also knew my friend, Theodor Baciu, and quite each weekend when we get across the downtown we met him around his paintings, offering to all the people an unforgettable smile. Theo is a genius, and, unfortunately, like many geniuses, was forced to fight for survival. After the divorce, he lost his flat, and finally he get very sick and depressed. I really couldn’t help him at that time, I didn’t know what and how to do it. Or probably I was a coward… I don’t know what to say... But I felt a deep painful break of my soul when I realized that the Theo’s public disappearance is real. Since then (6 or 7 years ago), quite each weekend I am walking around the park in front of the National Theatre hoping to meet him again, with his magnificent and untouchable joy.

After less than few months after his disappearance, I was shocked and hot tears blow my face and my heart, understanding that something very wrong happened with Theo: another pseudo-painter tried to make a fake painting, and to fake the Theo’s signature. I was shocked to see someone trying to imitate his art, and to fake his signature. I saw the guy. He also saw me. He stopped painting the cardboard. We stand face to face just for few seconds, in very deep silence. I didn’t spoke a letter, but he felt. He probably felt the weight of the entire world pushing his brain. Next day, and several weeks I specially get accross the park, seeming completely voided, to check „the market”. He never tried to make fakes, and I am quite sure that nobody bought the fake paintings, because Theo has an unique fingerprint. Like all the geniuses.

Two or three months ago, I was in a car, in very crowd traffic and I think that I saw him in the downtown. Yes, a sudden tear burn my face. I really hope to be him, because I read few minutes ago that he was in a psychiatric hospital in the last five (!) years. I hope to be Theo, and to be recovered and healthy.

Cezar Aanicai

P.S. 13 or 15 years ago I paid for 11 paintings more than half of my income (I was university assistant!) for next 3 months. It was the most difficult summer of my life, because even the income was so insignificant, I „lost” quite all the money for food on some cardboard paintings. But I will never regret, and I will try to post them as soon as possible on my blog for everyone, but especially for my friend, the genius Theodor Baciu.

Cezar Aanicai said...

Amazing! Immediately after I finished the above message, I had to ran to the classes (at around 4 p.m). In the downtown I was forced to stop the car at a traffic light, exactly in the front of the park at the National Theater. And I turned the head to the left, as I always do. And I was astonished to see... Theo sitting on a bench, with several paintings around him! YES! THEO BACIU IS BACK! HE SEEMS TO BE HEALTHY AND QUITE WELL, BUT VERY POOR. I will post some news with him as soon as possible, with pics and more.

becca said...

Thanks for your messages, Ruxandra and Cezar!

It's exciting to hear about Theo Baciu from people who know him and his work. I look at his painting every day, and it still makes me stop and think. It's also interesting that everyone who sees the painting either "gets it" and loves it, or doesn't understand it at all. In my mind it's a beautiful, intimate and thought-provoking work -- the very kind of art I like best.

I'm glad Mr. Baciu is in better health and still painting. His talent is a great gift. I would definitely love to see other pieces of his work and I hope you have a chance to post photos online! Please let me know if you do.

Rebecca

Cezar Aanicai said...

OK, Becca, I'll let you know.