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Kiss on Top

Will love save the world, or is it beauty, as Fyodor Dostoevsky writes in the novel "The Idiot"? We don't know for sure. But one thing is certain: the beauty that Daniel Bucur extracts from wood is fascinating.

In ancient Greece, the highest category of beauty was called "kalos kagathos," which translates to "beautiful and good." Beauty and truth, the exterior and interior, are interconnected. In the truly beautiful, truth and goodness always bloom. True beauty always contains more than itself; it has something transcendent.

"Kiss on top" is one of our favorite figures: pure emotion. This sensual sculpture was created with a lot of finesse and craftsmanship. Daniel Bucur reveals that behind this "kiss" was originally a worthless, partially decayed piece of walnut wood from the Leitha Mountains in Burgenland, Austria. The mouth was created purely by chance at the spot where a decayed branch protruded from the wood. The figure gains additional tension through the different surface treatment methods. It represents a connection of the imperfect with the perfect.

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The title of this sculpture is simply "Plant." From the tree, Daniel Bucur has created a plant. The hard wood appears lively, flexible, and soft. Often, the obvious can also open up new perspectives.

Robinia is a tree species originally native to North America. Its rapid and easy spread brought it to Europe in the early modern period. New forest stands developed, and today, Robinia is an extremely widespread utility wood. However, one peculiarity significantly sets Robinia wood apart from other wood species: it fluoresces when exposed to UV light.

For his sculpture of a plant, Daniel Bucur used Robinia wood. The upper part of the trunk and the large fork of a branch are still recognizable. An elaborately worked and polished part contrasts with the section that has been largely left in its original form. This arouses curiosity. The artificial and smooth is juxtaposed with the natural and rough. It raises the question of whether this connection is "natural."

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Ohne Titel

When looking at this sculpture, one can let their imagination run wild. Daniel Bucur has worked with a massive piece of walnut wood. The basic form, in the shape of a branch fork, was already present. However, the artist proceeded in three steps. Initially, he approached the new form with a chainsaw, then continued to work the wood with a grinder. In the end, intricate carving gave the surface a fine texture. The block is broken on the rear side, with the worked surface facing the viewer.

Through the origin of the material, the artist once again establishes a connection to his chosen home in Burgenland, Gols. The block-shaped base made of porous sandstone also comes from the vicinity of Gols, specifically from the Römersteinbruch in St. Margarethen. The light, creamy color provides a beautiful contrast to the dark brown of the wood.

What is being depicted here? It could be the open mouth of a lizard, or a massive fossilized bone, perhaps from the backbone of a dinosaur?

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Face to face

"Face to face." These two figures stand face to face right in front of us, they belong together. But appearances can be deceiving.

Inspired by tribal art, Daniel Bucur has created two heads. Two narrow square oak timbers were used as the starting material. Given the weathered surface at the base, it is likely that these were discarded utility woods. The heads are very raw in their craftsmanship, with a predominance of elongation in the vertical form. The facial expressions appear serious and dignified, akin to two tribal chieftains in a political ceremony. The eyes are accentuated, with closed eyelids radiating calm and concentration. This energy is quickly transmitted to the viewer.

The title "Face to face" leaves plenty of room for personal interpretation. Does it refer to the two heads that should be looking at each other, or does it refer more to the interaction with the viewer? One thing seems clear: here, the modern, overcivilized Western world confronts an original world directly. Both perspectives are worth closer and more open examination. These two sculptures demand time and contemplation from the viewer.

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