Catalin Domniteanu, ASA

BIOGRAPHY
My artistic formulation has a long exploratory relation with the stained-glass, from which I borrowed the energy of transparency, glare, and colors while giving ways to spatial expansion. I call my creations "convolutes", a term saved from geometry. A convolute of this kind bears shades and perspective, and it is almost kinetical with viewer’s motion and with light’s transition, just like a bas-relief or a sculpture.

Being born at the confluence of the Danube River and the Siret River on the east border of Romania, in an industrial city dominated by a gigantic metallurgic factory, I’ve received a formal mechanical engineering education in Galati, my own hometown. But during my student years I grew interested in stained-glass for its powerful relation to the light. With direct observations and experimentation, and after managing to extrude my own led profile, I eventually became skillful in the led came method. This part of my journey remains today, 25 year later, very important in my approach to the artistic affirmation.

For several years then I continued to improve my technique (painting, etching, engraving etc) in my friend’s low-ceiling cellar turned into studio, located romantically in the old part of the city. In parallel, I’ve completed a three years painting program at the Lower Danube Cultural Centre in Galati, and not much later I moved to Canada.

After my arrival in Calgary, in 2004, I took a full-time position with Tiffany House, a beautiful stained-glass studio and supplies company. There I became versed in the Tiffany method, which I now employ almost exclusively in my work. Having learned the English language well enough, I then welcomed an engineering career for a while, but continuing to take stained-glass repairs and restoration work, on contract, for several years.

In 2015, the opportunity to explore free-hand my life-long impulse towards the arts showed-up. Equipped with total freedom of expression, I launched myself into projects that would test my artistic philosophy. My work turned from bi-dimensional to tri-dimensional and from decorative to conceptual and storytelling. Upon that, in 2018 I became a Board member of the Alberta Society of Artists, and then briefly but with great enthusiasm I served as the Exhibitions Chair. All in all, after participating to some local art shows and online art contests I started to get a sense of the reactions that my work stimulates publicly. In 2019, after much deliberation, my wife and I moved to the Montreal Metropolitan Area in the search for new experiences and broader audience.

The specifics of my work require my public presence to be rather selective. However, I am now seeking gallery representation and collaboration with residential, institutional, and commercial building professionals.

 

ARTISTIC STATEMENT
Heavy and fragile, my creations are purposed and are labored. Snapshots over time, they convey stories ready for scrutiny. Time is essential in my doings, in respect with witch light (a quanta running at constant speed, never standing still) is the only reliable marker.

Heavy and fragile, my glass and metal sculptures derive from the traditional stained-glass, from which they borrowed the energy of transparency, glare and color, while giving ways to spatial expansion. I call them "convolutes", a term saved from geometry. A convolute of this kind bears shades and perspective, and it is almost kinetical with viewer’s motion and with light’s transition.

I make what ignites me, be that urbanism, emigration or mythology. I adopt the style which better serves the story, representational or abstract, conceptual or surrealistic. The extent of the topics that I’m predisposed to embark on is based on my belief in multidisciplinarity.

The richness of the underlying reality, that which is interrogated by science and philosophy, became a predominant theme in my past and future projects. Time, either defined as the Newtonian ticking substrate of all that exists, or as the Einsteinian component of the fabric of the universe or, more rightfully even, the one defined as a byproduct of the interactions that happen in nature, is an essential substance in my works. Be that an instant, a continuous flow, or a cyclic thing, Time’s only reliable marker is the Light - the quanta of energy, never at rest, propagating at constant speed throughout the universe. It is the same Light which constitutes the raw ingredient for glass, whose optical properties manipulate it in complex and dramatic ways - it guides it, it concentrates it, it separates it, it spreads it, it filters its components, it captures them, and it slows it down, even. Besides, the glass’s body only appears to maintain its form, because glass is not solid but a very viscous fluid. Hence it is not stable. Its shape is a function of Time, but the transformations are not visible by the scale of our lifetime. For us it is a fluid that has just forgotten to flow.

Maybe that is why I find the glass such a seductive material. And the more I learn about the laws of nature, the more intriguing they peer to be. Deeper-down, the counter-intuitive dissimilarity between the subatomic world and the macro-world fascinates me. Soon enough, while examining the scientific triumphs, irking questions started visiting my mind: if the Nature is finally solved in whichever equations, would then the poetry be outlawed? It may be true that an electron cannot tell a lie. But again, it doesn't know prestige or reverence either. And where does the magic of life come from?

So, on that account I began to explore the substructures of reality holding the intuition that Beauty does indeed start in the laws of nature. Confronted with controversies, I’ve learned to suspend my zealous jump to conclusions while gesturing curiosity towards the conflicting arguments - a gracious and profitable lesson from science. Taking the time to reflect on incompatible thoughts only enriches us, so in my works I aspire too to retain the viewer’s attention for a prolonged period of time. No rushing necessary; slow viewing prescribed. The iris has to adapt to dim light and to contrasts, the retina has to receive a coherent flux of photons, and the mind has to process the signals. The story reveals itself slowly in the details and in the relations between the parts, same as the nature does. Science, after all, is not prosaic at all to me.


EDUCATION

 o 2000-2003 Lower Danube Cultural Centre of Galati, Romania, Painting, Diploma.

 o 2001–2002 Academy of Economic Studies of Bucharest, Romania, Marketing, Diploma.

 o 1989-1995 Lower Danube University of Galati, Galati, Romania, Mechanical Engineering Diploma.

 

EXHIBITIONS

 o 2018 SCA’s International Open Juried Online Exhibition. The Society of Canadian Artists Toronto, Canada.

 o 2017 “Diaspora” juried, The Alberta Society of Artists, Calgary, Canada.

 o 2017 In the Loop, St. Peter the Aleut Orthodox Church, Calgary, Canada.

 o 2017 “Celebration of Art”, Dalhousie Community Centre, Calgary, Canada.

 o 2017 SCA’s International Open Juried Online Exhibition. The Society of Canadian Artists Toronto, Canada.

 o 2017 Guest Artist, Rothney Astronomical Observatory, U of Calgary, Calgary, Canada.

 o 2017 “illuminArt” juried art show, Rock Pointe Church, Bearspaw, Canada.

 

AWARDS

 o 2018 Finalist, SCA’s International Open Juried Online, The Society of Canadian Artists, Toronto, Canada.

 o 2017 "All Water" Gallery Choice Award, Contemporary Art Gallery Online, Annapolis, USA.

 o 2017 "All Botanical" Gallery Choice Award, Contemporary Art Gallery Online, Annapolis, USA.

 o 2017 Finalist, SCA’s International Open Juried Online, The Society of Canadian Artists, Toronto, Canada.

 

PRESS, FILM, PUBLICATIONS

 o 2020 Laplace’s Demon movie - by Corneliu Rosu, Montreal, QC.

 o 2019 “Convorbiri cu personalitati din Montreal”, vol. III, Montreal, QC, E. Halus & V. Balaj.

 o 2019 The Romanian Artists of Alberta & Friends, book, Calgary, AB, Catalin Domniteanu.

 o 2018 “Axis Libri” Magazine. VA Urechia Public Library, Galati, Galati, Romania. Article by Corneliu Stoica.

 o 2017 Biennial Art Book, Mondial Art Academia, France.

 o 2017 “Scoala Galateana” Magazine, Casa Corpului Didactic, Galati, Galati, Romania. Article by Corneliu Stoica.

 

AFFILIATIONS

 o Alberta Society of Artists (ASA), AB, Canada, Juried Member (2018).

 o Mondial Art Academia, France. Chevalier Académicien (2017).

 o APEGA (the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta), Canada. Member (2012).

 

COMMUNITY WORK

 o Board Member, Alberta Society of Artists, Calgary, AB, Canada, 2018-2019.

 o The Romanian Artists of Alberta & Friends, book, Editing/Publishing, Calgary, AB, 2019.

 o Donation “Childhood's Retreat” - West Dalhousie School, Calgary, AB, Canada, 2017.

 o Donation “Clair de Lune” - Dalhousie School, Calgary, AB, Canada, 2017.

 o Donation “Entangled Dick and Dora” - St Dominic School, Calgary, AB, Canada, 2017.

 o Donation “When Pegasus Cried” - HD Cartwright School, Calgary, AB, Canada, 2017.

 






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