An interview about my work by Michael Corbin

Couple of weeks ago I was contacted by Michael Corbin from The ArtBook Guy for an interview and because I appreciate Michael’s work and effort to support artists, I gladly accepted. Before some excerpts from the interview I invite you to read few words about his concept:

“Art For All People” is an ArtBookGuy registered trademark that means: Art is created by all kinds of people for all kinds of people.  Art is always open for everyone and encourages us to observe, create, discuss and take action to move society forward.  We talk, we demystify contemporary art and make it more friendly for you! “


Dan St. Andrei is a well-traveled artist who specializes in photography and painting.  His work is truly stunning and I love it.  I wanted to find out what inspires this guy who lives in Bucharest, Miami and who knows where else?

“I want to enrich the image and bring it to my personal view of reality. I think that art is the reality filtered by the artist’s mind, and for me, art is a way to express myself, to record the reactions of my personality, my thoughts, dreams and desire…”

MICHAEL: Hey Dan, Your work looks very cinematic to me. I mean, I see lots of deep imagery and exquisite detail akin to film noir. What inspires you to create?

DAN: Hi Michael, thanks a lot for your interest in my work. Well, I like to see the world as being beautifully imperfect and the imperfection is revealed in the human emotions and anxieties they reflect, holding a mirror to both what we reveal and what we hide within. So I try, through the art of photography, to search for the meanings and hidden motivations that put our world into motion. Perhaps the world motion is the source for the cinematic feeling of my work.

My inspiration comes mostly from my readings, starting from Dante to Boccacio, from Marcel Proust to Emil Cioran, but it also comes from the daily routine and street happenings.  Sometimes I could say that my photographs are a report about a world that exists only in my mind, because I strongly believe that there are moments when we allow our imaginations to roam free – in which we allow ourselves to dream. Another source of inspiration is my visual cultural experience; I deeply believe that the history of art is essential for an artist to develop his skills, to start building his artistic personality. An artist must be an art history connoisseur, connected to the present and looking into the future. And last but not least, I am a big fan of movies and my favorite film directors are: Tarkovski, Fellini, Bergman, Polanski, Almodovar, Bertolucci and many others.


MICHAEL: I see a lot of image layering and use of faint coloring in your work. Hints and subtleties. It must take forever to create those images, no?

DAN: For me, each photo is a story. It’s the result of a happening. It’s a matter of imagination. A photographer must see the extraordinary parts of common places, persons and stories and invent the way of showing to others. It’s true that I work a lot on a photo, on the original image. I mix the immediate reaction, the photo, with meditation/my dream, through digital alteration and intervention, until the result is exactly what I see as a unique witness of an untold story. When you look at my work there are always two plans: the general view and the hidden details. It is not the kind of photography that you could look at it just for a second, you need time to go deeply and understand.


MICHAEL: So what I’m hearing you say is you really paint with photography. Your photographs are not reality, but your personal expression. What does this kind of work do for you? What do you get out of this?

DAN: I use my paintings in my photos. I scan them and use them as textures or I even paint on the photography. And that’s just because I want to enrich the image and bring it to my personal view of reality. I think that art is the reality filtered by the artist’s mind, and for me, art is a way to express myself, to record the reactions of my personality, my thoughts, dreams and desire. The viewer can find in my works the original subjects, but also colors and textures of my imagination and s/he can see a continuous effort because my photos are never finished. All of my projects remain open projects. Until the end, my photos are a permanent dialogue, I’ve always had a desire to share things that I have in mind with others.

MICHAEL: What’s the difference between being a great photographer and artist who uses photography? What do you consider yourself?

You could read the rest of the interview, here!


Mare, vara, liniste si reverie


Daca as sta din nou pe malul oceanului m-as astepta mai mult pe mine decat pe oricine altcineva. M-as lasa mangaiat de valuri si as asculta fosnetul pestilor in cochilii abandonate pe plaja. Studiez ore intregi geometria valurilor, miscarea vag ondulatorie, urmaresc pattern-ul ce se construieste in miscarea nesfarsita, asteptand repetitia care sa imi confirme regula nescrisa inca. Nicaieri nu e mai placuta singuratatea decat pe malul marii, atat de gol in aparenta dar atat de plin de intelesuri care ti se dezvaluie doar daca ai rabdare sa lasi timpul sa treaca odata cu gandurile, valurile, pescarusii si viata.


Memoriile artistului Mircea Ciobanu


Acum ceva ani scriam un articol referitor la doi maestri ai artei romanesti: Brancusi si Mircea Ciobanu. Atunci am primit cateva comentarii de la profesorul Ioan Popescu referitoare la viata si opera marelui Ciobanu. Zilele trecute am primit un nou mesaj de la domnul profesor, pe care il public aici in speranta ca multi dintre cititorii blogului meu vor fi prezenti la lansarea volulmului de memorii Mircea Ciobanu.

“Revin dupa aproape doi ani cu o postare pe blogul dumneavoastra, de data asta invitandu-va la lansarea cartii de memorii cu titlul ‘Aurul alchimistului – pictorul Ciobanu dincolo de forma si culoare’. Cartea a aparut la Editura ALL.
Evenimentul, mult asteptat de admiratorii artistului Mircea Ciobanu, va avea loc la “Salonul International de carte Bookfest 2014” in ziua de sambata sambata 31 mai ora 17,00 la Bookfest, pavilionul C1 de la Romexpo, in prezenta autoarei Ada-Michaela CIOBANU, vaduva artistului.
Sunt invitati: criticul literar Alex. Stefanescu si scriitorul Cristian Teodorescu.
Lansarea va fi urmata de o sesiune de autografe. Va asteptam !”

Florin Dobre Fashion Photo Shooting


Acum cateva saptamani am avut din nou ocazia de a realiza o sesiune foto cu designerul Florin Dobre. De data aceasta subiectul o fost o tinuta masculina adaptata unui sport, golful. Tinuta face parte din ultima colectie a designerului, o colectie bazata pe jocul rolurilor iar sedinta foto ar fi trebuit sa faca parte dintr-o serie de fotografii tematice realizate de 8 fotografi printre care si eu. Nu stiu care va fi finalul acestui demers, dar prezint azi cateva fotografii de la aceasta sesiune.


Echipa care a participat este urmatoarea:

Design: Florin Dobre / PR: Ionut Daniel Sava
Hair: Gina Aron
Make Up: Dany Daniela
Modele: Sabina Trandafir / Radu Itu
Foto: Dan St. Andrei / Management: Diana Mainescu


Art and Sexuality


In my pictures I present sexuality in a physical sense but not explicitly, because in the end, the desire is cerebral and out of touch. The main sexual organ is our brain. How big is the capacity of the human body for pleasure? Ask your brain to find a personal answer.


Group Therapy / Photo Editorial for Papercut Magazine


A new Photo Editorial made at the end of last year was published in Papercut Magazine. I would like to thank to the Team, a group of beautiful and smart people: photo and art direction: Dan St. Andrei, Fashion Design: Mihaela Cretescu, Textile painting: Elena Copuzeanu, Accessories: wowandy, Make up & Hair: Andrei Jilavu, Photo assistant: Luca Vladimir Andrei, Management: Diana Mainescu, Models: Alina Petrica, Ana Costea, Alina Gavriluta, Raluca Rosu, Andrei Jilavu, Marian Cristea, Location: Stirbey Palace / Bucharest


This is the presentation text: There are distances between us. I’m near, you’re there, he’s there, she’s far away, we’re close, they’re somewhere. We create distances between us, larger or smaller, and we measure distances in hours, days and nights. We run in parallel circles, our paths rarely have a chance to meet. We rely the chance of meeting only on the crowd around and come to believe that the world is small. Since there is the internet and the flight by plane has become common distances are not the same. Physical distances and made increasingly smaller. Emotional distances increased. We are far away of each other. Sometimes neighbors are so far away that we get lonely into the crowd and become unable to cross the distance between two souls, so close otherwise.


We create unnecessary distances, where there is no need, we wanted to remove happiness and we wonder why sadness has filled our souls. I know, a smart man in modern society can not be but slightly depressed, removing distances does not guarantee happiness, but it can not be bad to try to approach each other, leaving behind fears. Being together is beautiful, let’s try a therapy group.


And the Romanian version:

Sunt distante intre noi. Eu sunt aproape, tu esti aici, el e acolo, ea e departe, noi suntem apropiati, ei sunt undeva. Cream distante intre noi, mai mari sau mai mici si masuram departarile in ore, zile si nopti. Alergam in cercuri paralele, rareori exista sansa ca traiectoriile noastre sa se intalneasca. Ne bazam sansa intalnirii doar pe aglomeratia din jur si ajungem sa credem ca lumea e mica. De cand exista internetul si zborul cu avionul a devenit ceva comun, distantele nu mai sunt acelasi lucru. Distantele fizice sau facut din ce in ce mai mici. Distantele emotionale au crescut. Suntem indepartati.


Uneori aproapele e atat de departe incat ne insinguram in multime, suntem incapabili sa strabatem distanta dintre doua suflete care altminteri sunt alaturate. Cream distante inutile, acolo unde nu e nevoie, ne indepartam voit de fericire si ne miram de tristetea care ne umple sufletele. Stiu, in societatea actuala un om inteligent nu poate sa fie decat usor depresiv si indepartarea distantelor nu garanteaza fericirea, dar poate nu ar fi rau sa incercam sa ne apropiem unii de altii, lasand in urma spaimele si fricile. Apropierea e frumoasa, sa incercam o terapie de grup.

About Fine Art Photography, again


Sometimes, my photography  is just a reaction to something that’s just happened and all the issues I address are within myself, setting scenes and stories and concluding into a sort of narrative imagery. It is like a reportage from a world that exist only in my mind. Photography is an art of observation but also a result of personal imagination. I deeply agree with Ansel Adams: “You don’t take a photograph, you make it.”


But more then that, I use to work on photos, using the computer but also sketching and painting onto, to transform and modify the original image parameters till the image loose the photographic qualities and become more closely to painting. If Susan Sontag said that “the painter constructs, the photographer discloses”, I prefer to disclose the construction of my images.


The camera and the computer are just the instruments that help me to reveal the unknown. When people look at my pictures I want them to feel them like reading a novel in a peaceful place, far away from the crowded and noisy city. Even if they look at it for a second I hope the viewers will find enough reasons to think about and remembering.


Playboy Photo Session 2014


Am avut zilele trecute o noua sedinta pentru revista Playboy, fotografii ce vor apare in numarul din aprilie. Colaborez cu Playboy cu mare placere, in primul rand pentru ca ador fotografia nud (chiar daca pentru proiectele personale o fac intr-un mod mai… artistic, sa-i spun), trupul femeii este perfect si asta cred ca orice barbat normal o spune cu toata taria si placerea, in al doilea rand imi place colaborarea cu Andra Ilias, redactorul care se ocupa de sedintele foto, stie ce vrea, ne completam si nu pierdem timpul de pomana. Ca de obicei am lucrat cu batranul meu Canon 5D MarkII, pe care asa cum spuneam nu o sa il schimb prea curand avand in vedere ce se intampla pe piata de aparatura fotografica. Obiectiv: 24-70 4.0 iar luminile au fost doua blitz-uri Hensel cu softbox-urile aferente. Intrati pe site-ul Photosetup si studiati oferta, merita, va rog sa ma credeti! Atasez la acest articol si cateva fotografii din timpul sesiunii fotografice, realizate de Corneliu Musetoiu, caruia ii multumesc si pe aceasta cale. Nu imi mai ramane decat sa astept sa cumparati revista luna viitoare si sa imi scrieti parerile voastre, eu sper sa va placa!

Photographic Phrase 2

woman nude

I believe that photography can reach a level where we’re no longer seeing the image but actually feeling it, that is the connection between photographer and viewer. Of course, this process often means that my work evolves in the mind of the viewer completely different than what I initially envisioned. Well, what you see is what you are…

Photographic Phrase 1


I don’t think of myself as a very good technical photographer. But any visual art is a matter of visual experience. If there’s any secret in terms of the art in my photography, I think I just did what I feel and wanted to do.


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