I want to pay tribute today to a Romanian artist friend who died earlier this week at the age of 59 – Bogdan Dumitrescu.
He was essentially a sculptor – with the knots of wood as his inspiration. He was Daniela’s closest schoolmate and a penniless alcoholic - whose frequent telephone calls would sometimes lead to angry exchanges…..for his comments could often be cutting.
He was self-taught - his attempts to get into art school in Iasi failed, there were about half a dozen places available for more than a hundred aspirants at the time.....What hurt more was the refusal of the Romanian Union of Artists to admit him to its ranks....
In the 80s he worked for a time at Bucharest’s famous Village Museum.... but his artistic temperament was impatient with the discipline involved….
His flat in Ploiesti was the most unkempt I have ever experienced – the photo is actually of his sitting room (the cleaner part!) but his genius (of which he was all too painfully aware) showed in his selection of woodcuts and strange fittings.
He was also a heavy smoker and had been in and out of hospital so often for treatment for the abuse from which his body was suffering……. He knew he was near to death – but his wry if not macabre humour still showed
The last two photos are of the 2 small pieces we bought on our last visit – just a week before he died….
In the 90s we visited the Sapanta "Happy Graveyard" in Maramures for which a local wood carver created colourful and amusing memorials to those buried.....We need an appropriate ditty for Bogdan....but these wood sculptures of his will, in our various flats and mountain house, remind us of his great spirit....