Today we will look at the fascinating wire sculptures of contemporary Romanian artist, Darius Hulea, born in 1987. He forms portraits of famous figures from Romanian and world history by bending and shaping iron, stainless steel, copper and brass wires.
His portraits include Queen Marie, sculptor Constantin Brancusi, and philosopher Mircea Eliade, and many others:
Hulea chooses wires of differing widths to ‘draw’ his portrait in 3D, without using paper and pen. He adheres to the principles of classical drawing in forming these powerful three dimensional sculptures.
He says “I discovered during my second year of college that the great artists of modern history used the principle of drawing in space or drawing the space through different metallic structures. Some, like Picasso, used recycled materials or, like Calder or David Smith, industrial materials. That moment was the turning point of the sculptures that I am doing now. For me, this type of drawing is what we find in the sketches of the great artists of the Renaissance like Michelangelo and Da Vinci—serious and realistic compositions that anyone can understand.” 1
Hulea, who now has a Ph.D. in visual arts from the Art & Design University in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, finds artistic freedom by working with metal. He says it is a material that has almost no limitations as it can be bent, reshaped and altered in so many ways. He can create his portraits in any way he likes. The ductile, malleable properties of the different metals enable him to ‘see’ what will work best and dictates how each portrait or sculpture will ultimately look.
The metal wires each resemble strokes of a pencil, moulded into three dimensions. Yet some pieces look like an unfinished sketch that has been left to our imaginations to finish off.......
Darius has also been fascinated with the shape and dexterity of hands, creating many sculptures which evoke our emotions through the power of the messages they send.......
Growing up in a small village, Darius was influenced by his grandfather, who gave him insight into industrial materials, as he worked with agricultural tools and was a wood craftsman. His grandmother and great-grandmother were also artisans, weaving traditional Romanian geometric fabrics.1
In an interview with my ModernMet, Darius said: “I hope that people will understand that I do nothing but draw in a new way, in a durable material of the past. I can then explore and research, as an artist, mythical, Renaissance, and modern thinking by finding three-dimensional examples that describe us now in a history of the past,” 1
You might like to watch this short AnArt4Life slideshow showcasing more of Darius Hulea’s fascinating work:
Finally, we leave you with a little quiz question! Below is Darius's portrait of my most favourite Michelangelo statue of all time, which I've been priveleged to see TWICE in Italy. Do you know who it is, and where it is located?.......... write in and let us know if you do!
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