MEDIA

Interview with Daniel Neculae 

(Editor’s note: A few years ago we introduced our readers to the luscious work of Daniel Neculae, a Romanian iconographer now living in Luxembourg.  Last year Daniel gave his first workshop in the US which was attended Marek Czarnecki, veteran American iconographer and teacher himself who agreed to conduct and edit this interview for us.)

On Teaching and Learning Iconography. An Interview With Daniel Neculae.

Czarnecki – How were you educated as an iconographer?

Neculae – Before starting University, I learned to draw and paint on my own. I was interested in very realistic drawing and classical painting. I used general subjects at that time, I wasn’t interested in making icons. My only critics were my family. My grandfather was a theologian with a deep love of beauty; he especially encouraged my efforts, but his deepest wish was I become a priest. He taught me how to pray, how to work honestly, to always strive for perfection and absolute beauty. Later, I found all this in Byzantine art.

My preparation began in the church with my spiritual education. Then I studied the techniques of the classical Renaissance painters who attracted me the most. I reproduced their artworks. I think that there is a huge difference between a young man who learns how to draw by studying Da Vinci’s artworks and one who studies drawing after Picasso. In secondary school my teachers were encouraging, but did not have artistic knowledge. I am sure God is always guiding my steps in life, so I see this positively. It motivated me to study more on my own.

It’s important for an iconographer to be an active member of the church and to know its theology very well. I attended an Orthodox theological seminary for 5 years and studied portraiture in my free time. In my first year, God arranged for me to meet an important Romanian iconographer who, after the fall of communism, revived the authentic Byzantine legacy in Romania. I remember seeing one of his icons. I truly felt the presence of Christ right then and there. With joy and fascination, I finally discovered the icon.


ORTHODOX ARTS JOURNAL

Daniel Neculae: Between Panselinos and Rublev

February 22, 2013
Jesus ChristDaniel Neculae is a Romanian iconographer living in Luxembourg. He has a BA in Byzantine iconography from Bucharest University. He is going to show some of his icons in London, at the Sacred Space Gallery from March 11 to April 04 and so it seemed like a good opportunity to feature his icons here.  

Upon looking at many of his pieces, we can almost deduce how he found a large part of his inspiration upon visiting Athos and seeing the 13th-14th century frescoes of Manuel Panselinos. This influence appears strongly in his work, most prominetntly on first glance by the pinskish tinge used on the cheeks of his figures. Added to the obvious Greek influence one senses that his icons also have the sobriety and calm of Russian iconography within them, which is why I found it perfect when I noticed Daniel describing one of his works as being between Panselinos and Rublev.
Jesus ChristDaniel’s icons show a deep mastery of line, colour, composition and stroke, his icons have a rich light and modelling with a strong caligraphic brush line in the dark and light detail. But most of all what impresses the viewer is the eyes, the expressions he is able to capture, all at once hieratic and human, other-worldly but natural. It is difficult to grasp the reason for this effect. Maybe this effect is due to light. He uses his reds very effectively creating a warmth like burning embers glowing through the skin. 
http://www.orthodoxartsjournal.org/daniel-neculae-between-panselinos-and-rublev/













SCHOOL OF PAINTING „ST. LUKE THE EVANGELIST“

April, 2009
http://www.sfantulgheorghe.wordpress.com/pictura/
School of painting „St. Luke the Evagelist“ Daniel Neculae

VOCAȚIA MINUNATĂ A ZUGRĂVIRII SFINȚILOR

Marți, 26 Martie 2013
Cu bucurie împărtășim cu voi icoanele pictate de Daniel Neculae, un tânăr iconar român. Daniel ne va vorbi pe site, în diferite articole, în limita timpului său liber, despre această mare taină a pictării sfinte a icoanelor.
Mai jos Daniel ne-a transmis și câteva cuvinte desprea această minunată vocație a zugrăvirii icoanelor:

"În momentul în care pictează o icoană, pictorul trebuie să se aşeze într-o formă de ascultare monastică faţă de iconografia veche bizantină. Iconografii, ca şi sfinţii părinţi, aveau rugăciunea neîncetată şi insuflarea Duhului Sfânt, care se reflectă în icoane şi, respectiv, în scrieri.

Dincolo de abilităţile noastre artistice şi tehnice, chemarea şi prezenţa Duhului Sfânt în momentul scrierii unei icoane se împlinesc cu ajutorul rugăciunii pe un fond de smerenie şi golire de orgolii personale artistice. Orgoliul artistic este un zid impenetrabil între iconar şi Suflarea Duhului Sfânt. Petre Țuțea spunea: "să te autodisprețuiești continuu ca în golul lăsat în tine să între Hristos".
Aceasta este jertfa noastră, despre care vorbeşte atât de minunat Părintele nostru Constantin Galeriu: "Jertfa sta la temelia actului creator şi nimic nu se naşte fără jertfă. Şi chiar aducerea unei fiinţe pe lume se face tot prin jertfa." O dovadă a faptului că Duhul Sfânt lucrează este atunci când mai mulţi pictori din ţări, culturi şi perioade diferite abordează anumite elemente iconografice exact în aceeaşi manieră, fără a avea contact în prealabil." (Daniel Necuale)


http://ortodoxiatinerilor.ro/icoane/19342-vocatia-minunata-a-zugravirii-sfintilor