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Dumitru Pop
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Dumitru Pop – Romania

Sculptor, Painter, Poet

My name is Dumitru Pop. I am a sculptor from the Merry Cemetery. I learned from Stan Ion Patras. From 1977 I have worked in this atelier. This atelier I have the honor of working in is that of Stan Ion Patras. (1977 was the year of his death). I teach in the Popular School of Art. When I give courses, the courses are for two years. I teach my students sculpture in wood and stone and icon-making.

Here we make the crosses (see illustrations from Merry Cemetery and in atelier) and afterward they are mounted in the Merry Cemetery. I make this kind of cross for the inhabitants of this village of Sapinta (Sapanta) (located in Maramures near Ukraine) and for other people from our country and from countries all over the world. Some crosses are exported to other countries and to museums which commission them. Foreign private people order crosses, too.

This is my life. It is my business now.

A lot of tourists come to Sapinta to see these crosses, because they want to see the original, not reproductions on posters.

Much of the text on the crosses is representative of the person, including vices and occupation, for example some people work in agriculture or the forest or scything the fields, or work hard in their homes taking care of the garden animals. I take their farm animals, the scene of them in their homes, and in general, about the life of the persons in writing the inscription poems on these crosses.

Question from photographer Daniela Stanoiu: Is it only bad things or good things you write about the person?

In general I write on the cross both bad things and good things about the person. Every cross is written in first person. In the text, every person tells his (her) story, his vices, his occupation.

So that is my principal art. I have three forms of art and together they form one. I must be a good sculptor, a good painter, and a good poet. These three jobs commune together. If you don’t know very well how to all of these, you have no place in the creation of these crosses.

Also I prepare my work for expositions. For example, in 2013 I had an exhibition in Tel Aviv, opening in March and ending in June. I had a large space for the exhibition. I have had invitations to other countries and exhibited in those as well.

D.S.: Are these exhibitions of Icons on crosses?

No my exhibitions are my own paintings and sculptures in wood. Here is the kind of work exhibited. This portrait is of a Japanese man. He wanted to have a work from Sapinta. His home was somewhere by the sea. When the sculpture is finished, you will see the sea in the background, the place were he lived, where he sits on the stones...

Translation and video: Daniela Stanoiu

Click here for video.





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