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Die Giraffe

The giraffe is the epitome of grace. Sublime, it already spies friend or foe from afar. Even in ancient Egypt, giraffes were believed to be oracular beings with shamanic abilities. And truly, their size of up to six meters and their sharp eyes alone make them the epitome of looking into the distance. Ser(u), the Egyptian word for giraffe depictions, still means "to spy" or "to look into the distance", but also in a symbolic sense "to foretell".

The sculpture by Daniel Bucur is carved from yellowish wood, polished and covered with shellac. The way the giraffe's fur is rendered is also remarkable. Although the spots are missing, in shape and form the human mind immediately recognizes a giraffe. A certain dejection can be seen in the figure. A visible sign of vulnerability. For although giraffes are the largest land-dwelling mammals and they possess the vision of distance, they are very delicate creatures. Loved and hunted. In the past, the long sinews were used to make musical instruments and bows, and the fur was a status symbol. Nowadays, giraffe hunting is purely for the pleasure of big game hunters. The World Conservation Union IUCN has therefore placed the giraffe on the red list of endangered animals. This sculpture is intended to draw attention to the protection of these graceful creatures.

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Das Trampeltier

The entire surface of this sculpture, which depicts an oaf and its rider, is covered with fine grooves. For days, Daniel Bucur circled the wet green chestnut wood with a special V-footed chisel, drawing line after line.

The uniformity of the fine grooves was only made possible by the moisture in the wood. For Daniel Bucur, carving is the epitome of tranquility. He feels united with the world, there are no considerations. The head is free. It is the same with the long walks of the camels through the desert. Step by step they cross the dunes, the endless sand. The loneliness of the work and also the loneliness of the camel in the desert is palpable. Friedrich Nietzsche ("Thus Spoke Zarathustra") also saw in the loneliness of the camel in the desert the path to transformation: "All this heaviness the heavy spirit takes upon itself: like the camel that hurries laden into the desert, so it hurries into its desert. But in the loneliest desert the second transformation takes place: here the spirit becomes a lion, he wants to capture freedom and be master in his own desert".

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Wood is part of a living organism. Wood is not playful. Only the artist demands something playful from the material. Here it is the natural structure of the tree. The artist used the trunk and the strong, lower ramifications. He certainly had many ideas, and he let his ideas mature, develop them and play with them. In the end, he wasn't sure whether it was he, the artist, or the cherry tree itself that came up with the design idea.

The result is a sublime sculpture. In a straight line, the original trunk represents the torso, its rough, yet evenly hewn structure resembling the fabric our clothes are made of. The neck rises from the mantle and merges into a level and elegantly shaped head. Under the smooth polish, the natural structure of the wood becomes visible. Multifaceted, like the facial expression of a human face. This head is crowned by the golden lacquered branches that crown the sublime figure. A prince, or perhaps even a future king?

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Wine is one of the earliest plants cultivated by man. The beginnings of viticulture go back about 7,000 years and originated in Georgia and Armenia. And even today, a walk through Vienna makes one aware of the central role of wine in our social life.

Even further back than the cultivation of wine, man's connection to wood as a material of use goes back much further. Next to stone, it was the first material used by early man. Easily available, easy to work with and highly useful in its application. A similar picture can be found in the modern city. From utilitarian objects to ornate decorative furniture, wood is an indispensable part of our everyday lives.

Daniel Bucur succeeds here in combining two very long-lasting stories. A wine rack made of wood. A metaphor for durability. The name of the noble drop remains hidden from view. To learn it, one must approach and at the same time engage with the form of the sculpture. An oenological experience made of wood.

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