“Daniel Balanescu describes himself as a dreamer whose greatest fear is that he makes art which is dead.
Because of that his world is a world in constant creation as he works to create that which is alive in him
and that which will remain alive once completed: bright on a piece of salvaged board, on a used subway
ticket, on deconstructed furniture or fluid as colour dyed into textile.
He uses media which have been or will become other things: a piece of discarded wood, clothing, even
cement and grouting which will crumble and fall, changing the work as time advances.
Growing up in communist Romania, it is the tension between that rigorous environment and Balanescu’s
rejection of any form of institutionalisation which contributes to the tension, the aliveness in his work.
He studies textile design at the National University of Arts in Bucharest, a subject disdained by many as
being gearded towards industry rather than ‘pure’ like painting.
This is not what interests Balanescu. His interest is in making art which could serve to point people
beyond the constructs of society and its expectations, towards what might be called ‘the soul’.
He is interested in the construction of ‘society’, of what is taken for granted, in the search for what is
alive and what is yearning to be alive, in every one of us.
Themes he has explored over his career include Mr. Gigi, a series whose protagonist is the
neighbourhood drunk. It is an exploration of a man who seeks to escape the rigid and narrow confines of
society through alcohol and the fact this could be a gateaway into a world in which dreaming becomes
A similar theme appears in Smokers Go to Heaven: the idea that dreaming is what elevates a human
from numb-cog in mindless-machine to something more exalted.
For Balanescu’s most recent exhibition: ‘ Crossing. I am the system ‘ ( 20 May 2014, Aiurart
Contemporary Art Space) he uses a medium he discovered two decades ago: the subway ticket. What
delights him about it is that each ticket has been held in the hand of an individual and represents a
moment in that life as she or he travels to or from someone or something adding a thread to each
unique tapestry which is their life.
In one installation 2200 tickets plaster a wall and onto each ticket, using a variety of media from ash to
acrylic and collage Balanescu has worked a variation of the motif: Running Man. Originally inspired by
the green man at pedestrian crossings meaning safe to cross, the motif has become representative for
Balanescu of many things: the individual amongst the many; the striving for individuality amongst
conformity; the constant running which is a human attribute; running always towards better, more,
What excites Balanescu currently is the possibility of involving other people in his next project… “