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Quiet and steadfast, the two guardians gaze near and far. Nothing escapes their watchful eye. One head is slightly inclined, the other raised straight upward. They perform a responsible duty. However, you can also sense the tension: they are determined, strong, and ready to fight when necessary.

The artist carved this pair of figures from two elongated pieces of oak wood. They are rugged characters, as emphasized by Daniel Bucur through the coarse surface carved with a chisel. The challenge for the artist was to depict the tension between calm and vigilance. He was aided by the natural growth of the wood, which had a bulge. With this deviation from straightness, Bucur conveys the pose of readiness. The artist drew inspiration from the monumental bronze work "The Reunion" by Ernst Barlach, which depicts the encounter of the Apostle Thomas with Jesus after his resurrection.

For the owner of the sculptures, the question also arises as to where to place them. They have a completely different impact in a small room compared to a wide space. With their energy, they dominate the space. The two guardians simply cannot forget their duty.

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Cherry wood naturally possesses a wonderful reddish color, and in this case, the artist has transformed it into a highly emotional wooden sculpture. It radiates and warms us as we gaze upon it. Nevertheless, it does not find rest. This emotionality is supported by the lively grain of the matte, gleaming rootstock. The irregular shape follows the natural growth and emphasizes the nervous flickering of flames.

Different types of wood also have different temperaments. Imagine if the sculpture were made of oak wood instead of cherry wood. It would never have been given the name and form of a flame. The quality of the material here dictates the direction.

A quirk of nature has brought together both the warming red of the flames and their flickering in this form of the rootstock. But it was the artist who recognized this coincidence and reduced his work in such a way that both elements, form and color, were preserved and even intensified in their effect.

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Victory! Translated into a human pose, this often signifies an upward-stretched fist. The tension of the battle is still visible on the face. The head is held high, the muscles contort into a grimace, the teeth are bared, and the eyes widen. A muffled cry pierces the air. Breath is forced out of the body, the pose collapses, and comes to rest.

This human gesture is so familiar, of which we here only recognize the outlines of the torso, head, and the raised hand. Everything else, especially the emotion, is filled in by our minds.

The sculpture is carved from hard ash wood. The polished surface emphasizes the quality of the wood. The natural grain evokes thoughts of the taut fibers of human musculature. However, the reduced pose conveys another symbol for victory. The "V" for Victory. The letter follows the gesture almost coincidentally. The representation of the Roman goddess of victory, Victoria, also features the same upraised hand.

In this way, the circle is closed, uniting phallic masculine strength and feminine victory pose in a figure without gender.

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This sculpture bears the simple title "Figure." The form is presented in a highly reduced manner. An upright, elongated head sits atop a curved torso. The head is geometrically simple, with its surface polished and coated with shellac to catch the viewer's eye. The body now exhibits various forms of treatment. One side has been sandblasted by Daniel Bucur and stained orange, highlighting the natural pattern. The other side has been sanded smooth, giving it a contrasting, unnatural, and heavily processed appearance compared to the back.

Aren't we all figures in the game of life? When do we show our natural side in society? With our closest friends, within the family circle? And how often do we contort ourselves to present a smooth surface to our fellow humans, far removed from reality? We force a smile, everything is perfect, and social media photos depict a life full of excitement and success.

With this sculpture, Daniel Bucur holds up a mirror to us humans. We decide which side we want to show.

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