As if metal sculpting wasn’t difficult enough, Darius Hulea uses wires to create portraits. And it’s not just any portrait that he sculpts, but those of iconic historical figures.
Wire sculpting differs from metal sculpting. Whereas metal sculpting involves pouring metal in a pre-designed mold to create a sculpture, a wire sculptor, on the other hand, needs to ‘sketch’ the portrait in 3D and then twist, turn and mold the wires into recognizable portraits. The degree of difficulty in the latter is quite evident.
Hulea, who’s a Ph.D. in visual arts from Art & Design University in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, has honed his skill at using all kinds of metal wires, such as those made of brass, copper, iron and stainless steel. Such is the creative eye of this Romanian sculptor that by merely shaping the wires he brings the past to life.
It was the prevalence of folk crafts in Hulea’s village and his artsy grandmother and great grandmother that motivated him to take up art. However, his first exposure to the power of industrial material was through his grandfather, who worked with agricultural tools. This got him hooked to sculpting and enabled him to combine both painting and sculpting in his creations.
To make sculptures, Hulea first selects wires of differing widths to ‘draw’ his portrait in 3D, without using paper and pen. This gives him the look and feel of the person he’s about to create. He was inspired to adopt this technique from the great artists of modern history, who used the principle of drawing in space. In his own way, he’s keeping this technique alive.
Talking to My Modern Met, he said, “I hope that people will understand that I do nothing but draw in a new way, in a durable material of the past. I can then explore and research, as an artist, mythical, Renaissance, and modern thinking by finding three-dimensional examples that describe us now in a history of the past.”
Hulea is credited with creating a wide range of sculptures that includes Queen Marie, philosopher Mircea Eliade, sculptor Grigore Bradea, Romanian luminaries, and many others. He’s represented by Renaissance Art Gallery in Bucharest, Romania.