A Master: Tudor Banus

In the tormented, chaotic and confusing landscape of contemporary visual arts, in which even the experts find it increasingly difficult to separate true art from deceit and where most artists live entire decades from time to time. a single mutation in the infinite game of the image, Tudor Banus seems to keep a surprising serenity. His art seems to be a block of ice remained intact in a boiling container. Based on ingeniu, that is to say, on a boundless poetic imagination and on a technique that has practically disappeared, his art is timeless and therefore immortal. It is not at all a coincidence that in thinking of his work, I find reconciliations with the efforts of certain artists separated by distant times and places, from Michelangelo and Parmigianino to Piranesi and Bernini, from the splendor of Gustave Moreau to the enigma of Chirico and Magritte. There is, seems to tell us every drawing of Tudor Banus that submerges and fills at the same time - an art with a big A, a non-perishable art.


We became friends in our youth and we sometimes had feverish exchanges of artistic ideas, which led us inevitably to a common book, of which I am particularly proud. The "Encyclopedia of Dragons", which I designed between two volumes of the novel "Orbitor", to ventilate my brain with stories of consistency, the free and flickering rainbow of soap bubbles , has become a cult book for children and refined people. They tasted it once dressed by my friend's beautiful drawings, the perfect artistic equivalent of my prose. My dragons have found their faces in their feathered features and my subterranean and super-terrestrial worlds have endowed themselves with a flora, a fauna and countless other accessories, thanks to its visions which are at once baroque and precise, cruel and comical. , burning and chilling ... For if there is a figure of speech to illustrate what Hocke called Homo Europaeus, Tudor Banus is the oxymoron. His art is oxymoronic par excellence and that's how things became, my dragoons.

The drawings of Tudor Banus are human in a post-human era, made to remind us that even by becoming cyborgs, or passing totally into the virtual, we must keep our souls without which we are worthless, even having conquered the whole world. They are also a testimony for our time that the masters still exist, that they are active and that it is around them that turns the perishable sphere on which we live.
M. C.

The history of art, through the ages, has a pulsating movement, such as these waves which intersect and separate, forming successive nodes and hollows: in the nodes are concentrated limpid forms, perfectly focused, it is the major and self-evident art, while the hollows are periods of research and anomie, where doubts of all kinds burst forth. Tudor Banus constitutes, throughout his work, a node located - paradoxically and tragically - in the middle of the greatest hollow ever encountered, certainly, in the history of art.
I have often heard that Tudor Banus seems to have deceived himself. He would have had to live in the great era of European Mannerism, the one that gave the full measure of the problematic and labyrinthine man ... And he would have been, no doubt, a great master crowned with laurels, surrounded by disciples and apprentices, painting for the refined aristocracy allegorical ceilings, in which he would have inscribed the secret order of the world. His drawing, of a manic thoroughness, but also of an evident strength, would have been admired as a miracle. I have no doubt about it.
But I maintain that precisely, his presence in a world in perpetual motion, materialistic, amnesic, unable to admire one or other of hundreds of thousands of "copies without original", as Baudrillard's expression and which fill museums of contemporary art - its presence, therefore - is an unexpected, unexpected and undeserved gift that is offered to us and for which we must be grateful. It is here, in postmodernity, that is the true place of Tudor Banus.
I would not say that once art was more true, this kind of nostalgia is not mine, but I would not go so far as to think that a car could be, according to the words of some " more beautiful than the Victory of Samothrace. I believe, quite simply in the meaningful art, which continues to say something about man and who always has access to the reservoir of lived experience, wisdom and the eternal forms of archetypes. Tudor Banus's drawings are all the more significant today, as they do not formally resemble installations, dry art, happenings, scats, body art or any other figure. In his works, however, the same concerns are reflected in the grotesque spectacle of humanity.
I have used the word "seems" several times, because it illustrates a paradox that the art of Tudor Banus gives to see more than any other: being "sub specie aeternitatis", it does not stop a second of to be of our time.

His drawings, details of which in turn contain other details, amalgamated in others, defy the eye and call for a magnifying glass. They present, for example, people imprisoned in the carcasses of clocks, galleons with human faces, women who grow like Alice to fill and overflow homes, cosmic trees bearing the sun like a fruit on their trunks ...

The generative principle of his drawings is that of the directed dream, which branches out into infinite synapses and branches. It is not possible to summarize the paradisiaco-infernal visions that overwhelm their abundance, while recalling at the same time Bosch, Escher and Dali, but without ever forgetting the lesson of Michelangelo, the most ingenious modern draftsman. Everything contributes to creating the Borgese world of Tudor Banus, this Alef in which the entire universe is reflected: animals full of wisdom, fetuses germinating in athanors, figures of decomposition and ruin, dilapidated walls adorned medallions and inscriptions gnawed by lichens, quotes from the imaginary heritage of man since memory, history and writing exist ...

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