Education (continued).


After high school I studied electronics at the Polytechnic Institute, and the I. Ranghetz Institute for Radio and Television, both in Bucharest, Romania. While working toward my degree, however, I was also making my first attempts at oil painting. By 1961, art, with its superior possibilities of creative freedom, had taken over my life. While continuing to make a living in electronics, I began to invest most of my time and energy in painting and the study of art history, eventually combining my natural aptitudes for both art and science.

I was privileged to be encouraged at the start by C.C. “Ticã” Constantinescu and Henri “Togo” Catargi, both painters in the entourage of Matisse, Pallady, Fujita and Duffy. But to understand and discover "my painting" I had to unrelentingly practice, see, read, search, fail, recover and gauge by reason and feelings.

Although my great love has always remained plane geometry, I became fascinated by the practice of trigonometry, analytical, space and descriptive geometries, visualization and graphic representations, series of numbers, limits, very big and very small numbers, the occurrence of irrational and imaginary situations, the occurrence and peculiarity of the special numbers, combinatorics, differential and integral calculus, vectors, etc. Their real life applications, such as physics, biology, structures and so forth, made them more compelling.

Within each of them is a special kind of beauty; problems can be solved in elegant ways that leave the practitioner with a sense of wonder related to nothing concrete per se, simply wonder itself, or the sense of gratuitousness that can be found only in the arts.

In 1962, while still working in a research lab, I had the opportunity to observe screens displaying output curves while measuring electronic devices. The electronic spot, like a bright star, was drawing lively, elegant curves on the darkness of the screen. It was then that I conceived of drawing my own forms with digital devices.



Two years later, I resigned my position and went to paint full time in the Apple Meadow Village (Poiana Marului in Romanian) at the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains, a place of indescribable beauty. I learned "my painting" by fits and starts, working against the odds while at risk of being sent to a forced labor brigade; these were composed of social elements outside the state-controlled work force, to which category I now belonged; for I had quit engineering, for which I was trained, and had no status as an official painter. The paintings I produced at this time apparently had some merit, for they gained me admission to the Alliance of Romanian Fine Artists. A selection is shown is the "chronology/1964-1970" via the navigation bar section on this page. arrow

It soon became clear to me, however, that art must reflect vast new areas of knowledge and experience. The world had already entered the era of mass communications, the moon had been visited and robots and computers were in the works.

I entered a period of serious study in many areas apparently unrelated to art: information theory, cybernetics, structuralism and constructivism (as a step-by-step mathematical development). They became the base of most of my thinking and life work starting 1967.

Concurrently, I began to lecture and write at every opportunity to promote cybernetics and explain these new experiments in art so at odds with the context of the period (the ideologies of the communist regime in Romania were at against most of western experiments).

I never doubted that art blended with mathematics and sciences represented a legitimate and unexplored territory with a brilliant future.

By the end of 1967, two directions had emerged; these remain the chief focus of my work to this day: the S-Band and the Meta-Phorms.

I was also privileged to discuss my experiments and ideas about future work with several great personalities in Romanian mathematics and science: the mathematician acad. Octav Onicescu (who said, after showing him the entire span of the S-Band concept: "what a beautiful toy you have made. Come again to show me how you play with it."), acad. Vasilescu Karpen (former dean of the Polytechnic Institute, the inventor, among others, of the Karpen electric cell), acad. Gabriela Tzitzeica o person of immense creativity and rare, genuine, scientific curiosity and especially the famous acad. Grigore Moisil who, in an introductory course on automatic machines, told us: "you may, any of you, invent your personal mathematics but with one single condition: to define its space/limits, rules and symbols and never change them thereafter. Things must be transparent and non contradictory".

I started exhibiting the first results by 1970.