Remember those days in school when you felt a deep urge to draw on books because you were so bored? I started this project with that in mind and I came to the conclusion that, on the one hand, it's a pretty liberating feeling to draw on old books and a great opportunity to start a dialogue with the information found in them and, on the other hand, it’s a chance to revitalize and recycle printed materials, offering them a second life.
It all started in 2005 with an idea I got after visiting the workshop of the most politically and socially involved artist in Romania, Dan Perjovschi. I was there with the team of Capital Cultural magazine for a discussion on what it meant to be an artist in communist Romania, how he and his wife created art that was not subservient to the regime and how they made their living during those harsh times. Before we left, he gave us all copies of a printed newspaper containing some of his illustrations. I was so inspired by our meeting that I drew on it the minute I got home. Perjovschi has a minimalist, B&W style filled with condensed meaning and this provided the perfect background for my colourful creatures. I presented the result to him the next day and he was so kind as to allow me to use the work any way I saw fit.
This became the first work in the series. I went on doing this on other postcards and pamphlets that I have gathered during my travels. I see this as a way of enhancing and recycling old artistic materials that are thus given a second chance for exposure.
The ‘ABIS’ piece went on to become a stand-alone work of art. I liked it so much that I re-created it from scratch as ‘MIS-EN-ABIS’ using a technique of collage.
The second Boost Art project came to fruition in 2017. While working at the Humanitas Bookstore in Sibiu, I found an old art catalogue of Italian engravings in the storage room. Its pages had a very smooth, vinyl-like quality that perfectly matched the markers I was using at that time. With no initial idea in mind, I started filling up this "sketchbook" with drawings and I added extra-meaning to some of the engravings displayed in the book. I also painted over the initial cover and created a mysterious one for the so-called "Spellbook".
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This concept is very dear to me and I suppose the series will continue. I have some projects in progress that are already waiting to be completed: on one of my grandfather’s books, “Introduction to Electronics” and a book I found in the apartment I was renting, “The Book of Mormon”.