The most enduring and, arguably, the greatest form of fine art known to man, sculpture has played a major role in the evolution of culture. We are truly happy to highlight a Bucharest-based sculptor, Bogdan Nicolae Imurluc. He started art school early at 13 years old at the Nicolae Tonitza Fine Arts Highschool of Bucharest. In 2010 he finished his Master degree at the Universitatea Nationala de Arte Bucuresti in Bucharest. Delve deep into Bogdan’s sculptural imagination and learn about the conceptualization of his artistic process.
Hi, Bogdan! Tell us more about yourself, did you always knew you were going to be an artist?
I started as a child and frankly I didn’t know back then what Art was, or what an artist is. For me at five is the oldest memory of me sculpting something from the wet soil after a short summer rain it was an elephant’s head my mother said at 3 I was making crocodiles out of the wet clay when she took me to the lake at our countryside near Bucharest in Scrovistea Snagov).
I’ve always been driven to break and remake stuff like my toys, I was dexterous enough to make new ones out of old ones and when my father started keeping bee hives I discovered beeswax and it totally got me, it was the perfect sculpting material I played a lot with it! I literally taught myself to work with wax. First I made toys out of it then in the 4’rt grade I made a Triceratops skull, a Cave Lion Skeleton out of wax a tooth picks and a T. Rex from the pictures of a science magazine they gave us at School.
I spend some time on them and especially the T. Rex came out like the picture then I realized I am different from the rest and my Imagination can resonate trough the work of my hands!
How does the actual sculpting process work for you? How long does it typically take?
The process, well it depends on the sculpture itself like it’s size material used and the thematic of it! Some creations take from days to weeks (depending on the size and complexity) and some to months and even years like „the Ecorche” (a skinned man miniature sculpture) it’s a 30 cm tall colored wax sculpture (I colored the wax to make the bones, flesh and tendons more realistic) that I am still working on it for like + 10 years!
First I wanted to make an academic anatomical sculpture but now I’m to modifying it to a more classical Greek posture, and this is true for the most of the works I made for myself! I take my time when I sculpt my ideas, for the other commissioned ones I work way faster!
There are these wonderful elements of fantasy within your works; what draws you to this style?
My style represents my imagination! I’ve been a day dreamer all my life! I was always fascinated by biology, besides the critters I found in the forest and ponds as a child and later at school the Atlas Journal of Biology (especially the paleontology part), the first book I read on my own was Jules Verne’s Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. I was captivated by that type of literature and later I crossed to Mythology and History .
When I see your work, I think about not only the creepy creatures but also myth, and how the two come together. Can you elaborate at all on the topic of myth, and how it’s connected to your work?
The topic of myth can be explained better after we look on history! The history of the place, where the myth comes, what was the context of that particular culture etc… We all know that Culture comes Etymological and semantically from cult, to understand a culture and it’s mythology like the Ancient Greek or Egyptian for example we need to understand their Cult, their pantheon.
I added mythology to my art when I studied the ancient History of Europe and it’s direct connections with other cultures! The Theogony of Hesiod was my starting point, Theogony „is a poem by Hesiod (8th – 7th century BC) describing the origins and genealogies of the Greek gods, composed c. 700 BC. It is written in the Epic dialect of Homeric Greek.”
Anything/anyone that you haven’t sculpted yet that you’d like to?
Oh, there are so so so many ideas that I want to gave form to. I am not concerned on „things” basically, neither solely on concepts like in modern abstract art but on the ideas and messages that I can depict with my artistic „plasticity”.
Who’s your favorite sculptor?
It’s not one .. there are many from the ancient classics from the Etruscans, Greece , Rome, Egypt , Babylon, to contemporary ones like Javier Marin, Lotta Blokker, Bruno Walpoth!
I am a great fan of all contemporary master artists who put good use to their talent in their sculptures without affecting the highest quality attainable!
What is there to gain by making sculptures?
Art is a form of expression particularly for us humans and I strongly believe that we do not do art for ourselves, our own gain but for others, with our creations our art crosses the barrier of time itself to inspire others! It is a gain for the newer generations because our art is the mirror of our time and culture! There’s of course a personal gain, the „craziness” of art gives an inner satisfaction that all talented people in all artistic domains have.
There’s a certain joy we have when we create something that we imagined! But when it comes to the monetary gain that is particularly from case to case regardless of talent and skills!
As we all know being a great talented artist does not mean that you will be a successful artist, sadly so so many great talented artists perished forgotten in misery only to have their works being appreciated ‚post mortem’.
Art is the mirror of our time and culture!
What would be the ideal sculptors studio?
There is no main ideal on this issue, depends on the style and personality of the artist itself! Not all artworks are the same, not all artists are the same and not all art studios are the same! Some like to be secluded somewhere far away from people and some like constant attention!
I cannot speak for others but for me the perfect studio besides the materialistic stuff involving materials and work space is one packed with inspirational stuff like skulls of different animals because I like biology and anatomy so much with a geat view with a lake or trees. I could never work happily in a „dead” space with only cubic concrete surrounding me!
Lastly, do you have any new projects in the works? Anything upcoming we should know about?
Yes, I am always working at newer projects, now I am doing the ‚Metamorphosis of a Demon’, ‚The Anatomy of a Siren’and „Unicorn Memento Mori”. I am preparing these works for a personal exhibitions this Autumn in Bucharest which will be called „The Codex of Mythology”.
I am also working on another project, it will be about Intelligent Design and I will name the exhibition „The Works of Thy Hands and mine”.
All images: (c) Bogdan Nicolae Imurluc