by Andrei Costache
2013 is old news, 2014 here we are!
What a year it has been, 2013, a tropical year?! Well I will do a recap of what happened in this one. It all started right from the beginning organising SNIP, the UCS student’s exhibition collabo with SNAP: Art at Aldeburgh, which includes some of the most famous artists in the art world today. This was a dream becoming fast reality of the country lands.
Shortly after, Cumbria came and we went there for a residency in the mountains. Lake District gave us the opportunity to analyse nature and the geometry of architectural living. I made a work that would interact with the vernacular, and created dialogue between organic form and the superimposed, what unravelled was, ‘Interactivity’. Painted bricks, 12 feet long lumps of wood and 15 tires which I layed out systematically in nature. One week gone and we packed our bags for the home run.
Neverending Line was about to start. The installation of this phenomenal public innuendo finally came to conclusion in August and we celebrated it with the Mayor of Ipswich and lots of nice people. I learned a lot on this journey that lasted almost a year, how to deal with physical and ethical values for example. I had to go through all the hardship work to realise this project. It’s a good and incredible realisation for me. The city has got a new place to shop and I have made a one of a kind public sculpture that the public can relate to.
In October I wrote a text for Sarah Lucas retrospective exhibition catalogue ‘Situation’ at the Whitechapel Gallery in London. The catalogue is populated with names like Joseph Kosuth, Damien Hirst, Ugo Rondinone, Tate directors and curators etc. It was brilliant. Sarah chose to quote me in the beginning of her introduction which reads: ‘the sound of the future breaking through – Andrei Costache’. I was pleasantly surprised; I guess this exchange of ideas and perceptions of art makes my mind flicker all the time.
The month ran off quickly and we had found ourselves at the 55th Venice Biennale in November. We did an unexpected impromptu on the glamorous alley ways of Venice and named it, ‘SNIP it’. I saw a few Brancusi in the Peggy Guggenheim Museum and Marq Quinn’s inflated giant sculpture of a disembodied women gazing with purple eyes over the water from the not so distant island overlooking San Marco Square. In Il Giardini I found Sarah Lucas’s ‘Japanese’ garden, housed with perfectly polished gold bronze sculptures, chic and licentious, inside a non-roofed space with fountains and the kind of architecture that Tadao Ando would do - raw and lots of concrete.
Returning home I became more interested with the aspects of the pureness – how to create and present sculptures that would be industrially easy to make, would show the medium combined (concrete, plaster, wood etc) but also ideas that can link the old with the new, the ephemeral with the infinite, the shape with the colour, the abstract with the recognisable object. I started digging deep, Brancusi, Michelangelo, Koons, Lucas, Houseago, Brown and the entire art history, jumping into architecture and sound.
My mind was drawing endlessly and my hand would follow it, paper after paper, drawing after drawing, I would start to envision ways of dialogue between my paintings and my sculptures. The shapes were already there. I only had to take them out separately. Creating this next series of sculptures felt so fresh like I was engaged in a spiritual conversation with a deity, like I was sensing everything that was around me, the smell of life and the possibilities, the connections that entice my brain, it’s like having the entire world in my head and creating infinity.
Cutting shapes out of wood with the jigsaw was only anticipated by my early school days in the professional ateliers in Constanta. The shapes are now fully grown and breathe air in them. Once I cut them I put them in a plaster or concrete base. The base is made out of ready-made rubber cups and flower pots, plastic bottles and anything that can be filled in really like Rachel Whiteread’s work. After the sculpture is fixed I colour it. I mix the colour and paint it by hand. This way I can exactly make the colours that I want. I am thinking of colours like Damien Hirst thinks of his Spot paintings, every spot a different colour. I have the RGB/CMYK range in the back of my head too. Sometimes I go on a computer and do a drawing. I find that colours on a computer are very radiant.
My very thought of art is flowing in the exotic rivers of colour. Always new and shiny, fun and happy. The forms are just parts of anatomy, parts of nature, flowers and fruits, buildings and shapes. Imagine this brand new landscape where everything is possible and conceptions can be changed into fantasies, and fantasies into reality - a city of the future like Corbusier’s imaginative ‘Radiant City’ but more into our days, more radiant and more alive than ever. My degree show this summer is a forest of ‘things’ that portray the relationship of man and the future – the conglomerated things, primitive and carnivalesque, riotous and floral. Daft Punk, Brancusi and Picasso mixed.