Visual artist and creator of contexts, Dan is the founder of the most important contemporary and art jewelry fair-platform in South East Europe, AUTOR, which builds a performant and distinctive promotion and connection space for creatives in this field. He likes to discover new artists, to connect them with the public through various social media channels and to promote them. He believes that creative activism, co-motivation, a curated selection and continuity are the most important instruments that we have to develop and reach our potential. And all this because the future has a collective author.
1. AUTOR for ten years. The XVIIIth edition. What does it have in store for us at this anniversary edition?
The 18th edition :). As always, over half of the artists will be in Romania for the first time, and this happens only once, for two days, every year. Over 100 designers, 4 continents and 27 countries on 20-21 April.
At this anniversary edition we have, for the first time, extended the AUTOR events agenda to include a contemporary jewelry exhibition. I’m referring to “Welcome to enter…” a show that reunites internationally acclaimed artists with impressive portfolios.
We are happy to be, for the second time, in the splendid foyer of the National Theatre Bucharest and to celebrate our tenth anniversary in this landmark place.
2. What are the selection criteria the AUTOR jury uses to select the artists and how important is the public in the section?
Given the limited number of available stands, the role of the jury was to select the collections that are most aligned with the spirit of AUTOR. Among the criteria are: the capacity of the artist to propose a personal vision, and of course and original one, to surprise, to question contexts and ideas, and to craft the pieces with innovative techniques.
The public has the possibility, while visiting the fair, to vote for the designer that they most admire. Thus we can see their preferences and what jewelry areas they are interested in at the moment.
3. The variety that AUTOR brings can be seen as an advantage, but at the same time, it can be overwhelming. How do we find our way? What advice do you have for a newbie in contemporary jewelry – how should they choose the right piece?
Variety is clearly an advantage, and at AUTOR there is a clear focus on this and we encourage it. We want a variety of directions and artistic concepts in the presented collections, and this also can be seen in the way the the artists are selected.
In contemporary jewelry there is only one way to choose: with your heart. As long as it refers to concepts and ideas, contemporary jewelry is in fact an extension of our personality and of the way in which we react and relate to the world. It is above all an emotional-soulful choice. My only advice, if I am allowed any, is to be open and to see which piece of jewelry speaks to you most. It is the one that triggers a reaction in you in the first five seconds and when you see it you feel instant joy. If you have lived this, it means that something inside of you has recognised it and wants it close, on the body.
4. What is beauty in contemporary jewelry to you?
Jewelry has always been associated with beauty. The intention underlying jewelry has been to complete, to make beauty whole and to clarify the status of this concept. Yet, currently, contemporary and art jewelry it’s a territory where the meaning of beauty, its taboos and especially its inevitable commercial exploitation to which we are exposed are questioned. The answers surely vary and they are related to each vision, both about jewelry and about the concept of beauty.
For me, beauty in contemporary jewelry is connected first of all to concept. Composition, colour and technical craftsmanship. When you hold it and you wear this type of object, like an impeccably conceived and executed piece of jewelry, beauty can gain new meaning. It is something that when it comes to traditional jewelry it does no longer have the same force, given its fixed place certified by status and history.
Beauty, even though it may not save the world, will surely make it better and more valuable. It deserves to be cultivated, supported and worn.
5. What would you like the public to take away from this edition of the fair?
A feeling of beauty, of course. Of discovery and ennoblement. AUTOR is most of all a meeting place. It is a space and a stage where the creator and its public meet and communicate. I wish for as many meetings and as many lasting relationships as possible at this edition. Contemporary jewelry moves forward, and AUTOR fair is just one of the many stops on its journey.
6. A question at 10 years of AUTOR – what did you imagine, back in 2009, that AUTOR will be, what did it really become in 2019 and where do you see it in the future?
Back in 2009, to be very honest, I did not imagine much and did not have a strategy. I learnt and grew with this event, which now, in 2019 is an international platform, a country brand element for Romania in this field, an event sought by all jewelry creators from around the world. AUTOR as such has a life and an energy of its own, and certainly it has something to say in its biography. And as we say that the future has a collective author, I see it moving forward with beautiful and talented people.