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I do not know who I am, but in all my beautiful dreams, since childhood, I dreamed of being a painter.

And today my best dreams and my greatest desires are the same, namely, to become a painter.

I’ll never dream something more beautiful.

 

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     I was born in Ludus (Middle Transylvania) on August 13, 1953. My father, a shuffle of movement, had a handwriting so beautiful that the writing machines of the age could have learned much from him. His talent for drawing and especially for writing, has been demonstrated  from 1956 to 1964, in the Communist prisons, where he copied poetries on the shoes’ wood soles.

     My first encounter with painting and with the image of God came early; I was about three years old when I went to my church with my grandmother to ask God to bring my father back. In those years I filled my eyes and my soul with the painted icons on the walls of the church on the hill, where I also had painted some when I was six years old. Soon, when I was almost nine, I visited the Ardeal Art Museum: in Cluj, the masters of the Romanian painting: Grigorescu, Luchian, Andreescu – in Sibiu, the world’s people: Rembrandt, El Greco. Andreescu gave me the melancholy, El Greco the dream of exaltation, to defeat sin through Art and Love, the dream of deliverance. Both of them have always remained in my heart as the masters of Eternity. When I was able to understand them, I became a painter. The years of the general school and those of the “Ion Andreescu” Institute of Art merged as sunflower at the end of summer, leaving instead golden and young petals, the rust of the harvested wheat, the brandy mounds like the immortal pyramids of the windy autumn and melancholic. Because the colors of the autumn have always fascinated me, its nuances gave me the feeling of fulfilling the calm, quiet silence, without strides or groans, but also the fear of not going too fast, of not cutting me off the branch before the harvest .    

     Everything burned in me then: joy and sorrow, sadness and happiness. It all lasted for a second or eternity. The time of my first white shirt came when I entered society, fearful, excited and happy as a disciple who wanted to be a master. It happened in 1973 at the gallery of the Cluj Institute of Medicine, my first individual painting exhibition. After that, my exhibitions continued as an autumn rain follows another and the sun between two rains filled my studio with paintings and pushed me to find a place for them in the souls and houses of the people for whom they were painted. They were no longer just simple objects, but pieces burnt from my soul, born to be worn in the soul. I understood the secret of these words: “Because You are the Only One who offers and offers Himself, Jesus Christ our God.”

     It was December 1989 and I was in Timisoara. Our city reminded of El Greco’s dream and counsel that God descended in the midst of the city and the people, saving us. Unfortunately, He took the most innocent, fearful of Him, the free ones to fly to Eternity. We remember them every December, and their martyrdom was not in vain.

     At the beginning of January 1990, I painted immense paintings on canvas and wood in front of the Cathedral, on the tracks of tanks and young bodies crushed, and those paintings remained there for months, not only mine. It was the altar of those forgiven for liberty, those who left us too fast. Together with a group of writers and poets, we founded ” Timisoara”, the first free newspaper of the city, a symbol of hope and salvation. It was the decade when I left the country for the first time, when I visited the museums of the world and exhibited in many halls and museums: Amsterdam (1992 – City Hall), Lyon (1994 – Notre Dame Basilica Museum). These were the first exhibitions when I had a feeling that the world is one for all, that Love and Art will always triumph.       

Mihai Teodor Olteanu

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    From morning till night I dream of paintings, I put them carefully in a certain place, I keep them there for a few days, then in a few moments I take the colors, some old and damaged brushes and suddenly the dreamed paintings become reality, and I wonder how fast they were painted. A great lady of Romanian writing Doina Uricariu wrote about me, a few days after she saw me the first time, that I paint the same way I breathe.