In the March 2011 issue of “The One” magazine there is an interview I did with Dan Pierșinaru. Although he is surprisingly young, he already has several lives behind him and is best known for creating the AUTOR fair and the Extins jewellery exhibitions, the only Romanian contemporary jewellery events that take place here annually.
Dan Piersinaru surprises you from the first moment you see him. He looks like a good boy, still in college, shy, but in fact he is one of the most determined, concrete and mature people I have met lately.
When you talk to him, you’re kind of like Sheherezada in a masculine way. Time becomes a secondary and unimportant notion. You can talk for hours and there’s still things left unsaid. Dan has many beautiful things to tell and he doesn’t stop at words, for which I admit he has a real talent. I thought I’d take him out of his comfort zone to find out what the secret of his accomplishments was, it was something that intrigued me.
Dan doesn’t hide, he doesn’t use clichés, he is direct and honest. When he talks about a concept or a project, often starting from a complex idea, he has the gift to quickly turn it into reality. In a way that is constructed, positive and does not exclude a playful way of being. He carries out his projects without any apparent stress, as if all the difficulties and problems that affect others are shying away from his garden. He is clear proof that the attitude with which we approach things in life largely determines their course and the results that follow. And no, it’s not a cliché. Despite the successes he can boast of, Dan remains discreet and natural, attentive to those around him and without artifice. When I ask him what it’s like to work with artists and accommodate their egos, he answers simply: with humour and wisdom.
Shooting day – take one
The meetings with Dan were followed by bad weather (perhaps to contrast with the warm energy that settled between us) : the ugly day of the interview was followed by an equally ugly day of the shoot. Such a strange winter morning in Bucharest that if I wasn’t in a good mood, I would have declared it a very ugly day indeed. It was raining like in an Italian comedy where the prop guys didn’t adjust the hose properly. When we finished the photo shoot, two hours later, Dan didn’t recognise his car – by then it was freezing. The car had turned into a coloured ice cube! We were amused when we discovered this original “design” and named it the “Snowy Creeper’s car”.
It was strange that the situation was repeating itself – a few months ago in Paris, when we first met, the forces of nature were against us. It was a classic Parisian thunderstorm day, like at the cinema – leaden grey skies, wind and heavy rain were swirling through the hurried passers-by in front of the Garnier Opera House. Now I was meeting Dan at the photo studio for a time-lapse shoot before running to Otopeni to catch the plane to Paris for lunch. I had done the interview the night before, started writing it, and slept late.
The studio is a bigger space, with corridors and doors. Dan was waiting for me with a coffee. I thought I’d wait for Mel (our PR person) and we’d work out together the order in which we’d photograph the outfits. But I was intrigued by a rather important detail – Mel had phoned to tell me that she had already arrived and that Dan had opened the door for her. But Dan says he hasn’t seen her… When I arrive with Dan Piersinaru in the part where the shooting is taking place, I understand the mystery – Dan Vezentan, the photographer, had welcomed Mel who was sitting quietly on the sofa waiting for us. Between two Dani’s and several doors we got confused… It’s confusing to have two Dan’s in the same room, but it’s also useful: you address one, they both answer! ;))
We do a quick check-up of outfits and shoes together: Scabal, Lorenzini, Marsell, Lost & Found, Fujiwara. Dan brought a selection of shoes from his personal wardrobe that go well with the themes we’ve proposed for the shoot. I love a pair of yellow lacquer shoes by Istvan Campan. I feel like it’s going to make for a good shoot. It’s funny how some things you know beforehand are going to turn out well, you just feel them….
While Dan the photographer prepares the light, I quickly make up the other Dan. I want him to look as unbeautiful as possible: the first look is of a Chicago gangster in the Prohibition era. Both Dan and I liked the idea of creating contrasting characters that are as far apart as possible, to match the sides we don’t see “illustrated” on Dan. For the first character we want Dan to look more “bad”.
A knitted cat watches us from the sofa. It’s brightly striped and has formidable black string whiskers. Dan the photographer tells me he bought it in Bulgaria from a grandmother who knits them on the spot. As she herself had impressive moustaches like the cats she was making, he realised that she was actually making self-portraits.
I’m done with my makeup, I’m fighting Dan’s hair. A hair with a lot of personality, like his master, jokes Dan-the-interviewee. Luckily Mel, always perfectly equipped for the unexpected, has a hairspray bomb in her multi-purpose bag. Dan’s hair becomes the venue for a four-handed concert.
An excerpt from an interview with him rings in my ears “When you meet someone you can learn from, don’t wait for them to come looking for you, go meet them“. So I learn from him to be direct and relaxed. He inspires confidence and is very easy to work with. Dan is natural and natural. Some encounters with people are natural and obvious. This is one of them (I think of other interviews, when the person felt obligated to play the role of the star doing you a favor and communication was difficult, seemingly censored and tense). Or I think a successful interview is like a dance: if you have good music you also need a good partner who doesn’t step on your toes. If you have a song you really like and want to dance to, it’s a shame to do it with the wrong person. With Dan the song was already beautiful, I wanted to write about contemporary jewellery in our country, and he turned out to be a great partner.
Dan has fun being a gangster. He holds a match between his teeth, like a gangster coming out of a boxing match. We thought of disguises, multiple facades and jokes, to look “bad”, but the result exceeds expectations! Dan is a gangster with yellow, shiny shoes, with a convincing bad boy expression, contrary to the usual, prize-winning student one! And yet it’s natural, this air comes to him like a glove, it’s convincing. The next outfits come just as naturally and easily. Dan the photographer has a drum kit and sticks from a group of musicians in the studio – Dan the gangster becomes Dan the drummer. His versatility is surprising – he has some qualities that inspire me to translate him into many more personalities… unfortunately time is short and it reminds me that there is much more to do.
A series of conceptual photos follows, an energetic atmosphere, Dan the photographer is in a mood, Dan the creator is relaxed, having fun and jumping up, the photographer is competing with himself. There is banter and the good mood is palpable in the photos we check out live. We finish the photo shoot. Dan the gangster-rocker-drummer becomes the Piersinaru-of-the-day. Only the hair reminds us of the last two hours. My time is getting short, so he offers to help us take our clothes back to Casa Frumoosa and Entrance before I run to the airport.
If you’ve already read the interview or take two, I hope you enjoy this behind the scene. If you haven’t read the interview yet, I hope the making off will pique your curiosity to discover it in the magazine or at the end of the month on The One website. You will discover a beautiful man with incredible creative energy, a maturity that many would wish for, who has much to say, even more to do and who will surely continue to surprise us in the years to come.
Thank you for producing the article under extreme and international conditions:
Dan Vezentan, fotograf.
Entrance Concept Store
Concept si text: