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Wine is one of the oldest cultivated plants, dating back at least 7,000 years, with its origins in Georgia and Armenia. We are all familiar with the sight of grapevines, whether they bear green or purple grapes, and we enjoy the sweet fruits.

Grapes are the fruits of a vine, and as the vines age, their stems become more woody and robust. You could almost carve the grapes of this sculpture from their wood, but Daniel Bucur has chosen walnut wood, which much better suits the softness and curves of the sweet fruits. The artist has performed a transformation here, coaxing grace and softness out of the hardness of the wood.

However, this transformation also demanded a great deal of concentration from Daniel Bucur. He spent weeks covering the entire surface with carved grapes, patiently shaping each grape from the wood with fine knives. To give the grapes the perfect roundness, he had to turn and adjust the piece thousands of times, making precise cuts until the desired form was achieved.

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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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"Eingriff" is the title of this sculpture. But what do we understand by that? An intervention against nature is a familiar term. Or it could refer to a surgical procedure. With a scalpel, a cut is made, and an operation is performed on a patient.

In this case, Daniel Bucur has made an intervention into the trunk of an old poplar tree. First, he created an upright, elongated block from a section of the trunk. But how to incorporate a cut into the wood? It's a challenging task that the artist solved by making a leather model. With this template, it became possible to carry out the intervention. The cut traverses the wood in a zigzag line, colored in red, creating the impression of a gaping wound that allows a glimpse into the interior. The magic lies in the fact that hardly anything follows the natural structure of the wood. Neither the cut itself nor the slightly worked-back left axis of the sculpture. The artist, however, doesn't see himself as a magician; he views his work as entirely normal, as normal as nature itself.

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Menschliche Zwillinge

The two twins lie snugly embraced in the mother's womb. The world reveals itself to them through a reddish-warm light, muffled sounds, and the soothing heartbeat of their mother. Even in the womb, they are as close to each other as no other human can ever be. From the very beginning, they are a pair, and their perception of the world will always be different from that of children who come into the world alone.

How does the artist express this intimacy? He does so using a beautiful, young piece of maple wood, which, with its clear, light color and minimal grain, represents the two unborn children. He has carefully carved out their two heads.

For the mother's womb, he chose a more mature wood that has already lived and gathered experiences. It is strong enough to give life to the two little ones. The artist uses a simple, clear form here, only hinted at in a vague manner.

By using different wood textures, Daniel Bucur successfully depicts the artistic symbiosis between youth and age.

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