Bogdan Constantin expresses himself easily in graphic and painting. His means are firm, masculine. In his graphics, he is the master of design, following the line of inspiration where characters embody expressive deformations, body changes from a world to another, from a species to another, with surprising and delightful semantic consequences. In painting, he enjoys chiaroscuro, with the help of which he skillfully dramatizes from simple facial expressions to complicated group scenes.
I discovered his paintings, many years ago, on the walls of a coffee shop where you could listen to jazz. This is how an artist is portrayed to the world in this century.There, where his paintings can open themselves, facing him, without the fear of failure,a unmerciful public, due to its lack of information and deficiency of specialization. He managed there to mingle with the music not only through his carefully chosen subjects, fragments of instruments with keyboards and splinters of brass, but also through wavy or steep deformations, which vibrated or fractured unexpectedly, like the sound of jazz music. I imagine that, sensible souls have to still absorb the magic blend of Bogdan Constantin’s graphic and music that defines that place, with the same delight with which I experienced it. Nothing glorious, would the commentators of the two arts say with appreciation, but something so little imagined, so natural and pleasant, only the sincere ones could offer. And no one doubts the sincerity of the jazz music players. Nor I of the illustrator’s Bogdan Constantin.
I saw recently, while preparing this article, some of his beginning works and a small part of the ones he sold. There are some important evolutions along the way of this artist’s work, from a stage to the next and constancies that relate to talent, strength of his own personality, means, polished in the first stages and then exploited throughout his entire work. I won’t comment them here. I will only say, that, on this path of discovery, Bogdan Constantin has advanced alone, unattended by professors or profile institutions. The choice made by him helped him to remain in direct contact, spontaneous and unaltered, with things, with people, with nature, with life.He paints and draws on this path never lost in confused abstractions and pictorial solutions to the fundamental problems of human civilization. There is no square centimeter of tormented addition in his works. However, I saw the pleasure of painting in every piece of work, probably the same from adolescence until now.
The man is his favorite subject. Handled figurative, direct, in static phases, tensioned through the help of lights, in painting. In graphic, this subject is pictured at the level of fantasy, through substitution. Birds are replacing man in symbolic moments, not at all satirical. In some scenes, the horse and fish make an appearance. The Don Quijote horse, animated or not, as a physical support, and the fish being associated with religious quotations. Bogdan Constantin is a great master who dramatically orchestrates the unseen strings of these characters on the stage of his own drawings. Most of it, reminds us of the fact that he used to work, at some point, not for a long time, in a theatre. Some of the drawings, receive on a more or less discrete manner, a comic shape. Among them, the drained image of the life of the bird, or the excitement of a homosexual and pedophile monk, inspired from a famous American case. Bogdan Constantin’s graphic is an overlap of multiple meanings for different visual and semantic reading forces, as in Dali.
I enjoy his painting, as I said, because the light is always in the exact needed amount. It reminds me of the Gura, Samuel Beckett’s play, the visual representation on the scene of the strong character, dominant, tensioned throughout the help of the black box’s effect. In theatre, as in any other visual art, the dramatic disappears as the details make their entrance on the stage. There is a noise that the light can produce in a dramatic scene, and it occurs in the appearance of the unnecessary details. Bogdan Constantin cherishes this way every personality and every character of every painted face, regardless of the period of which it came. He is not only attracted to it as a case study, but also tormented between the subjectivism to which his own humanity directs his brush, the love for each character, and the objectivity imposed by the means and profession of an artist. The balance found between these two creative states helps him build powerful portraits of attractive characters for any collector. I have also seen, among these, a group scene, a crowd of people approaching the viewer from the black, shallow space of the work. My thought flew immediately to the Corneliu Baba’s peasants, which is totally false. I would very much enjoy to hear that others have also been fooled by this feeling. Bogdan Constantin is also himself in this painting, not somebody else.
The artist displays in Ramnicu Valcea, something not so common other than in Paris, his own gallery. He has exhibited during the course of time, here in his home town, but also in Sibiu, Bucharest, in Italy, at CIRCOLO CULTURALE LUCANO "Giustino Fortunato" TORINO . The Exhibition which took place in Italy was sold out and at the inauguration of his own gallery, in 2015, I myself purchased a piece of graphic, as many of my collector friends. Bogdan Constantin is an artist which quickly finds his place in the most diverse collections. This latter quality makes me seriously reflect on the fact that this artist's destiny is in full swing towards the functional art market. I am saying this as an author of the only index of the official art trade in Romania.
Râmnicu Vâlcea, 1st august 2017