Master of Color

Alexandru Darida Biography

About

Alexandru Darida is an artist known for his pioneering social activist art. His work includes oil paintings, drawings, and acrylic sculpture that speak to such diverse subjects as the promotion of stem cell research and the politically charged relationship of man with nature.

Artistic style and influences

Darida considers art to be “the soul of the people” and feels that “if you touch people’s hearts then that art will stay forever”. His style is closely associated with the chiaroscuro technique initially pioneered by Leonardo da Vinci, further developed by Caravaggio, and finally perfected by Rembrandt to achieve a dramatic intensification of action or atmospheric mood with a dimension of psychological depth.

The post-romantic art of Alexandru Darida harks back to the radiance of medieval illuminations. Claudia Moscovici in “Romanticism and Postromanticism”, writes: “”Darida’s women are allegorical phantasms that populate our childhood fantasies and dreams. His application of paint is both delicate and rough; soft plays of light and shadow highlight the luminosity of gold. At the same time, the vitality of heavy, swirling paint applied with a palette knife endow his paintings with a modern feel”.

Darida’s style has become refined over the years, with many of his works featuring, or even being applied to, musical instruments and/or incorporating natural and manmade objects as part of what has become to be known as “Vibrant Expression.” Darida exhibits a seamless transition from one medium and subject to another, and he sees a correlation between the message he seeks to convey and the medium of the art form. Hence, he chooses the medium of acrylic for his sculptures that are influenced in their form by the Romanian sculptor Constantin Brâncuși (1876-1957), because it is transparent, just as you can see through the many layers of thin glazes that he applies in his paintings. The contemporary vibrant expression is described by Sarah Seamark, Editor in Chief of Art World, in the May 2008 issue: “Darida utilizes found objects that merge elements of abstract and sculptural forms that represents a reconciliation with self and our surroundings. Their use, in combination with Darida’s classic painting technique, is designed to create a distinguished, forward-looking style.”

Due to his passion for music and philosophy, as well as his restless temperament and craving to discover an ideal of purity, his subjects are in a state of constant flux. Darida tackles such controversial issues as stem cell research, renewable green energy sources, man’s place in relation to nature, and music related to the cosmic forces. The color – or absence of color – shape and meaning of his work all has its roots in a certain universal energy. This force runs through all of Darida’s work as he extends his earlier artistic exploration of man and nature to the hot issues of the environment, global warming, and green energy. He sees the subjects as interlinked with stem cell research in that the quality of the future of mankind, indeed all of life on earth, is at stake on these fronts. In the process of addressing powerful philosophies and ideals on such topics he seeks through his artwork to create a buzz and encourage dialogue – hence his moniker of artist as social activist.

Awards and recognitions
International Prize Cristoforo Colombo Art Explorer, Genova, Italy, 2017
Award of Merit, ATIM’S Top 60 Masters of Contemporary Art, Florence, Italy, 2017
International Award Francisco Goya, Barcelona, Spain, 2017
ATIM’S Top 60 Masters of Contemporary Art, Montagnac, France, 2016
Award of Excellence in Arts, American Romanian Academy of Arts and Science, 2015
Member of American-Romanian Academy of Arts and Science, 2015
Member of The Arts Club of Chicago, 2014
President’s Award American Electrology Association, 2012
Holiday Fundraiser for Romanian Cultural Exchange, 2012
Award of Excellence, City of Chicago, 2010
The Art of Human Rights, benefiting Heartland Alliance, 2010
Chicago Symphony Orchestra Bridges between Art & Music – benefiting CSO’s outreach programs targeting all segments of the Chicago community, 2010
Benefit night for Cystic Fibrosis Scholarship Foundation, 2009
Misericordia Heart of Mercy, Chicago, provides a continuum of care and network of services for people with developmental disabilities. Darida worked as a teacher, helping children to prepare an art show where their artworks were auctioned as a fundraiser, 2008
Art against Aids – Heartland Alliance, 2008
Sotheby’s Legends of our Time Art Show and Auction benefiting The Rett Syndrome Research Foundation, 2001
Commisions
Portrait of Mircea Eliade, Romanian historian of religion, fiction writer, philosopher, and professor at the University of Chicago. Commissioned by Chicago University in collaboration with George Predescu, Romanian Consul General in Chicago, 2009
Benefit night for Cystic Fibrosis Scholarship Foundation, 2009
Portrait of Nicolae Titulescu, well-known Romanian diplomat and Minister of Foreign Affairs for Romania 1927-1928, commissioned by Dr. Eliot Sorel director of the SiMARC Foundation and professor at George Washington University, 1999
Portraits and artwork in private and corporate collections
Michael, the last King of Romania, reigned 1927-1930 and again 1940-1947
Emil Constantinescu president of Romania 1996-2000
The current president of Romania Traian Băsescu
Mircea Geoană, Ambassador of Romania in Washington DC
Yo-Yo Ma, American cellist and virtuoso, 2009
Opera singer Angela Gheorghiu, 2004
French tenor Roberto Alagna, 2004
Dr. Richard Byrne, MD, chairman of the neurosurgery department at Rush University Medical Center, Chicago
Dr. Marilyn Kessler and her husband, Dr. John A. Kessler, MD, a Northwestern University neurologist who is researching the potential of stem cells to treat spinal cord injuries, as well as Alzheimer’s disease
Andre Watts, the great pianist, 1993
Copyrighted and published pieces
“Stem cell research” 2008
“New Life” 2008
“Forever ” 2007
“Allegro Moderato” 2005
” Interlude” 2006
“Double violin concerto” 2005
“Viaggio Musicale” 2005
“Wedding Dream “2005
“Concertino” 2004
“La Donna Con Fiori” 2004
“The Old Mask” 2004
“Thoughts of an Angel” 2004
”A Mid-Summer Night’s Dream” 2004
“Beethoven ” 2004
“Falling in Love” 2004
“Carnavale di Venetia” 2003
“Symphonic Poem” 2003
“The whisper of Spring” 2003
“Autumn in Toscana” 2002
” Whisper” 2001
National and International Publications, Reviews and Articles
National Register’s Who’s Who | Library of Congress | ISBN 0-9702264-3-8
Lumea şi Noi, TVR International | Watch Alex Darida la TVRi | RTN Chicago Episodes | Blip, May 2012
Clipa – “Pictura Lui Darida – Reflectie a Dezechilibrului Ecologic Contemporan”, Mariana Cuceu, MD, MPH | June 2008
Occidentul Romanesc – Alexandru Darida | May 22, 2011 Review – Art Show Chicago
Gandacul de Colorado – Alexandru Darida | Review for the City Hall Chicago Art Show April 20, 2010
Romania Libera – Alexandru Darida | March 20, 2010 Review City Hall Chicago Exhibition
“Romanticism and Postromanticism” | Claudia Moscovici, Lexington books, hardcover 2007, paperback 2010 – ” The Iconic Art of Alexandru Darida”
Art World News, September 2009 – “Darida, Pioneer and Social Activist,” article by Sarah Seamark, Editor in Chief
Art Business News, January 2009 – “Artist Rides the Green Wave,” article by Gabriel Kiley
Romanian Tribune, July 11, 2008 – Review of the art of Alexandru Darida in relation to nature
Art World News, May 2008 – “Darida’s Work a Catalyst to Preserve Nature,” article by Sarah Seamark, Editor in Chief
Alexandru Darida’s artwork appears in “Wurzeln im Licht Sathmar 2006 – Helmut Berner ” Zeitgenossische Rumanische Lyrik Antologie de poezie Romaneasca- Radacini in Lumina. This is a bilingual Romanian -German Anthology of Romanian poetry. The book is illustrated with art of Romanian artists from all over the world
Arbus, North Florida’s Arts & Business magazine, December 2006 – “Painter Alexandru Darida – Venetian Dreams,” review by Madelaine Peck
Art World News, July 2005 – ” Darida’s Painted Musical Sculptures.”
Art World News, May 2001, Artist Vitae – “Alexandru Darida: The Pursuit of Artistic Freedom,” article by Joelle Blaskey
America – Newspaper September 1999, “Powerful Call to Fight Breast Cancer,” article by Mariana Cuceu MD
Activity

2022

  • One of a Kind Show, Chicago, IL
  • Grand Duomo, “Top 60 Masters of Contemporary Art” Group Show, Florence, Italy
  • European Museum of Modern Art,  “Bienalle de Arte”,  Barcelona, Spain
  • Grand Aquarium, “International Prize Cristoforo Colombo Art Explorer” Exhibition, Genova, Italy
  • Metropolitan Gallery Art Museum, International Contemporary Masters Annual Show, Las Vegas, NV

. . .

2021

  • One of a Kind Show, Chicago, IL
  • Grand Duomo, “Top 60 Masters of Contemporary Art” Group Show, Florence, Italy
  • European Museum of Modern Art,  “Bienalle de Arte”,  Barcelona, Spain
  • Grand Aquarium, “International Prize Cristoforo Colombo Art Explorer” Exhibition, Genova, Italy
  • Metropolitan Gallery Art Museum, International Contemporary Masters Annual Show, Las Vegas, NV

. . .

2020

  • One of a Kind Show, Chicago, IL
  • Grand Duomo, “Top 60 Masters of Contemporary Art” Group Show, Florence, Italy
  • European Museum of Modern Art,  “Bienalle de Arte”,  Barcelona, Spain
  • Grand Aquarium, “International Prize Cristoforo Colombo Art Explorer” Exhibition, Genova, Italy
  • Metropolitan Gallery Art Museum, International Contemporary Masters Annual Show, Las Vegas, NV

. . .

2019

  • One of a Kind Show, Chicago, IL
  • Grand Duomo, “Top 60 Masters of Contemporary Art” Group Show, Florence, Italy
  • European Museum of Modern Art,  “Bienalle de Arte”,  Barcelona, Spain
  • Grand Aquarium, “International Prize Cristoforo Colombo Art Explorer” Exhibition, Genova, Italy
  • Metropolitan Gallery Art Museum, International Contemporary Masters Annual Show, Las Vegas, NV

. . .

2018

  • One of a Kind Show, Chicago, IL
  • Grand Duomo, “Top 60 Masters of Contemporary Art” Group Show, Florence, Italy
  • European Museum of Modern Art,  “Bienalle de Arte”,  Barcelona, Spain
  • Grand Aquarium, “International Prize Cristoforo Colombo Art Explorer” Exhibition, Genova, Italy
  • Metropolitan Gallery Art Museum, International Contemporary Masters Annual Show, Las Vegas, NV

. . .

2017

  • One of a Kind Show, Chicago, IL
  • Grand Duomo, “Top 60 Masters of Contemporary Art” Group Show, Florence, Italy
  • European Museum of Modern Art,  “Bienalle de Arte”,  Barcelona, Spain
  • Grand Aquarium, “International Prize Cristoforo Colombo Art Explorer” Exhibition, Genova, Italy
  • Metropolitan Gallery Art Museum, International Contemporary Masters Annual Show, Las Vegas, NV

. . .

2016

  • One of a Kind Show, Chicago, IL
  • Château Saint Martin de la Garrigue, “Top 60 Masters of Contemporary Art,” Montagnac, France
  • Arts Club of Chicago Gallery, Chicago, IL
  • Casa Romana, “Art And Opera,” San Francisco, CA

. . .

2015

  • United Nations, New York, NY

. . .

2014

  • United Nations Headquarters,”Climate Change and Quantum Energy” (attended by Ban Ki Moon, former Secretary General of the UN), New York, NY
  • Cal Tech Art Show, Pasadena, CA
  • New York Romanian Cultural Institute, “Extraordinary People, Extraordinary Portraits,” New York, NY

. . .

2013

  • River East Art Center, Restrospective Exhibition, Chicago, IL

. . .

2012

  • Shanghai Art Fair, Shanghai, China

. . .

2011

  • Illinois State Museum Southern Illinois Art & Artisans Center, Whittington, IL
  • Steven Lucas Fine Arts, Laguna Beach, CA
  • Griffith Art Gallery, Pelham, AL

. . .

2010

  • Chicago City Hall, Chicago, IL
  • River East Art Center, Chicago, IL
  • Dali-Lamb Museum, Chicago, IL

. . .

2009

  • The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, Chicago, IL
  • Art Masterpiece, Laguna Beach, CA
  • REpose Gallery,“Global Consciousness, ” Chicago, IL

. . .

2008

  • River East Art Center, Chi

. . .

2007

  • International ArtExpo New York, New York, NY
  • C. Anthony Gallery,“Wings of Dreams”, Beaver Creek, CO
  • James Coleman Signature Gallery, St. Augustine, FL

. . .

2006

  • International ArtExpo New York, New York, NY
  •  Lavon Art Gallery, Morganville, NJ
  • Premiere Collection Fine Art Gallery, Chicago, IL

. . .

2005

  • International ArtExpo New York, New York, NY
  • Cherry Creek Art Gallery, Denver, CO
  •  Mozart Gallery,“Celebration of Music,” Chicago, IL
  • Gallery One, Cherry Creek, Denver, CO
  • Masters Gallery, Vail, CO

. . .

2004

  • International ArtExpo New York, New York, NY
  • Visions Fine Art Gallery, Sedona, AZ
  • Millan Gallery, Fort Worth, TX
  •  C. Anthony Gallery, Beaver Creek, CO
  • Nese Gallery, New Port Beach, CA
  • Galleria di Sorrento, Las Vegas

. . .

2003

  • Fine Art Forum, Metropolitan Pavilion, New York, NY
  • Marshall Galleries, Laguna Beach, CA
  • Masters Gallery, Greenwood Village, CO
  • Gallery Zueger, Aspen, CO
  • Galleria di Sorrento, Las Vegas,

. . .

2002

  • International ArtExpo New York, New York, NY
  • C. Anthony Gallery, Beaver Creek, CO
  • Monsoon Gallery, Bethlehem, PA
  • Addi Galleries,

. . .

2001

  • International ArtExpo New York

. . .

2002

  • International ArtExpo Las Vegas, Las Vegas, NV

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