Sunday 12 July 2015

INTERVIEW | Ciprian Hopirtean: Sculpture as an integral element of urban life

Sunday, July 12, 2015 - Although formally introduced before, my acquaintance to the Romanian sculptor Ciprian Hopirtean came early in 2013, just after the kick off of the first symposium of the Greek Marble Initiative. He was one of the first non-Greek sculptor who embraced the Initiative. He set off working by the middle of June. He was one of the longest remaining sculptors who extended their stay even after the end of the Symposium. Always smiling and a very enthousiastic person with everyone, the most common of the phrases you’ll hear from him is “No problem”. He uses this common phrase in such an extent that it is said among the sculptors that when Ciprian recognises a problem in a situation the world will end! Handling volumes of marble extremely hard to work, and delivering excellent pieces out of them can certainly be mentioned as one of his  talents.

During those two years, we have witnessed the grow of a young and inspired artist to a high potential sculptor. Apart from the Greek Marble Initiative events, Ciprian Hopirtean started being recognized for his work elsewhere than Romania, his homeland, and Greece; he is now having to consider participating in several symposia all around the world, and there certainly people who are looking out for his next piece.

After two symposiums, two art projects in Myrό Gallery of Contemporary Art, an multiple other occasions of co-operation, tenths of hours talking, I've made up my mind to present you with Ciprian and his work, just setting the context (questions) and let him do what good artists do best -providing the content. You will find a brief CV and a portfolio presentation at the end of the interview for you to browse.

Interview to Paris Kapralos

When did you realize you want to be an artist?
I first realized I want to become an artist when I was already involved with drawing and painting, just before high school. I believe that no one can “choose” this. Art is choosing you.

Was it sculpture from the beginning, or you served in some other genre of art first?
I started with painting and mural painting, restoration, vitraux and installations, sculpture being the last step and the most important in my carrier so far.

What are the main concepts / contexts your art discusses/falls into?
I was always preoccupied with the ideas of duality, of time-space, negative-positive and giving to geometrical volumes a new personality, allowing them to “dream”.

Apart from the obvious, which other stages than the actual sculpting of the stone does the creation of a sculpture involve? How do you "study" your subject and what kind of preparation does it require?
The creation of a sculpture starts with a tale, which is in fact the soul of the work. Most of it is first done on paper. The drawing is then transferred on the hard material, always depending on the form of the stone. Many times the original idea is slightly transformed, slightly changed and that’s how a cycle of sculptures is born. Sometimes I escape from the principal idea and let the stone guide me on another path, in its turn creating new possible projects.

Do you think there are things to be gained by your contact with other artists? Do you consider doing more symposiums in the future?
I believe that the contact with other artists is very important and always a new experience. I had the chance to work beside very good sculptors. Each and every one of them marked me and showed me new ways of perceiving sculpture. The dialog is always fruitful. The symposiums represent a way to get in touch with other artists, as well as a way to appreciate each other's work. So it is only normal to want to participate in as many symposiums as I will be invited.

How familiar are the people of your country with sculpture? Do they welcome the contemporary forms of sculpture? What is the degree that the tradition of your country influences your work?
In Romania sculpture has always been an important part of Visual Arts. Let’s not forget that one of the fathers of contemporary sculpture was the Romanian Constantin Brancusi. There are generations of very good artists that offered their work to the public and got the Romania’s name abroad. The Romanians appreciate sculpture because they are familiarized with it through urban sculptures. It is part of their everyday life. As an artist it is normal to be influenced by the art of your country. Many of the elements that I use can be found in the tradition of Romanian art.

We observe there are figurative and non figurative artworks of yours. What purposes each series serve better?
The abstract works are related with the concept of time-space-volume evolution. The figurative ones deal with the idea of escape and liberation of the human spirit from any bonds.

There are widespread symbolisms expressed with geometrical figures and waves in your abstracts series; what is the semantics behind the figure?
The basic geometrical figures have a traditional semantic, for example the triangle is a symbol of masculine energy and the sphere is a symbol of celestial perfection. The waves are a reminder of fluid elements, like a drape in the wind or a ripple of water. I am interested in the contrast and the equilibrium of all these elements.

Do you think the role of sculpture in public places is important? What you think should be done to improve public aesthetics and arts awareness, and how sculpture can contribute to it?
From the beginning of civilization sculpture had an important role in public life. To improve today's public awareness in this matter, we all have to realize that art does not belong into galleries, but outdoors, as it is a part of everyday urban life. Sculpture has a "monumentality" that engages in a fruitful dialog with the architectural surroundings of a city. It can also play a big role in awakening the conscience of people regarding the vital role of art in bringing beauty to our existence.

What would be your advice to a teenager who would tell you he/she wants to be a sculptor?
The young man or woman who desires to become a sculptor has already begun the journey to become one. It requires a lot of study, the power to fight to become what they want and the knowledge that sculpture is a way of life that calls for much hard work and sacrifices.          


Ciprian Hopirtean was born in Aiud, Romania, and studied in the Visual ArtsDepartment of the School of Fine Arts of the University of Oradea. He graduated in 2008 holding two bachelors, one in painting and one in restoration of paintings. He has presented his work in 8 solo and dozens of group exhibitions in Greece and abroad. He is a member of the Artists Association of Fine and Visual Arts of Northern Greece, and lives and works in Thessaloniki.

Click HERE to view online Ciprian Hipirtean's brief portfolio.

Browse all the sculptures Ciprian Hopirtean delivered working with Greek Marble Initiative, with several technical details HERE.

VISIT CIPRIAN HOPIRTEAN's PROFILE IN GMI BLOG... view action photos and stay in touch with his continuing work in the Initiative HERE.

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