RADU PANDELE - sunglasscurator



We are starting off 2020’s guest curator series with an enthralling foray into the complex field of Romanian contemporary art. Our guest curator and guide to his creative fantasy is no other than Radu Pandele (alias the artist persona Pandele Pandele). You may know Pandele Pandele for his outstanding solo art shows and his works that unify various and very divergent, almost peculiar symbols of consumerism, logo brand ostentation, his childhood background and his artistic vision.

In fact, you can have a concrete perspective of who Radu Pandele is and what he does by visiting his still-on-display solo show - WTFWJD – at Mobius Gallery. And, of course, by indulging yourself with this genuine interview. Let’s sink in some artistic inspiration, alongside humbleness and inifinite authenticity!


You are one of the most prominent artists of the new generation of Romanian contemporary art. How were the beginnings for you? When did you feel you made the break-through?

I grew up very wild. I was the rebel in a very bizarre poor family. Therefore I chose to always be alone as a child, rebelling against that reality I was stuck inside. That history has influenced my work ethic. I do not feel that what I do is art; it got presented as art, but I felt it as a self-therapeutical process to make life bearable.


Your latest exhibition at Mobius Gallery in Bucharest, WTFWJD – What The Fuck Would Jesus Do, is a melange of diverse mediums (lightboxes, installations, digital works and paintings) that contain many of your favorite symbols – the Lucky Strike package, the Frutti Fresh bottle, the burger, chains, shopping carts or flames. Why are these symbols so personal to you?

I love when my solo projects look like group shows, I feel I’m a different person everyday anyway. These are the items I personally use. Logos and brands have always been avoided in painting and art until now and I feel that using them is a statement in itself because the objects look empty without them and each brand has a different attitude that could be used. Like an honest Guerilla advertisment campaign, even if each of the elements serves as a metaphor.


How has your artistic approach evolved from when you started to the preparation of your last exhibition?

When I was younger my shows were more simple. There has never been the ambiance factor back then, nor the scenography surrounding the main works. The gallery space was not a composition in itself. While being a manager and curator at Centrul Artelor Multimedia Bucuresti I have learned most by building exhibitions for other people.

I have somehow seen the side of the gallerist as well. Therefore, in my colaboration with Mobius I feel I’ve learned to be the way I would like the artists we collaborate with to act: to calculate the time of the production and installing correctly, to have everything finished the day before so the artist can be relaxed and ready in the day of the opening, to properly promote the event minimum two weeks before, so there is sufficient time for everyone to make plans etc.


Why surrealism? Why do you believe this artistic movement is the most accurate to express your inner self and your artistic perception?

I feel absurdism as a way of life is my protest against myself and also „Their reality”. Even if most of the elements I use are realistic, I make lots of combinations that give that certain surreal feel to the image. I like to make complex compositions with lots of elements because of the very limited surface I have.

Pandele Pandele 'Still life' (2019) Pandele Pandele 'Judas' (2019)
Pandele Pandele 'Power Power' (2019)

Contemporary art nowadays is arguably as fluid and complex as it can be. The sensible part resides in how one can maintain his relevance amongst this myriad of creative powers. What is your view on how today’s artists can cultivate their individuality and uniqueness, be successful and, at the same time, avoid being enslaved by commercialism?

If one is looking to get money, success and fame from fine arts, I sincerely recommend other fields of work . The creative process is sacred, it should never be connected to these worldy aspects, I wish I could live within my imagination and never face the materialist realities.

You combine very strong colors in your works. If you were to use only two colors in creating your art from now on, what would those be?

But I already use only two colours: red and blue. I love all colors, but i only need these two (plus black and white).



What is the band / songs you play when you’re working in your studio?

I listen to very dynamic music like metal, punk or tek, but lately podcasts and audiobooks. I feel that if my mind is focused only on the painting, I overthink areas, so other information help my mind wander while the hand works naturally.

„Planet B”. How would you envision this idea and align it with your line of work?

Like a personal fantasy land. All humans should be instinctive but unconscious. The planet would be a flying flat disk, looking like a large rotten pizza. There would be two suns, one ultramarine blue and the other red. All liquids should be Frutti Fresh, all cigarettes Lucky Strike, all my enemies crucified etc.

We feel there are some great initiatives happening within the local creative community. What is your view on that? What would you like to see happening that is not already here?

I respect all the useful humans that activate here, and hope they learn to apreciate what they have. The amount of solid events can swallow me and not let me be with myself.


What are your favorite parts of Bucharest? Do you see yourself living and working in Bucharest for a long time? Is there any other city that is „calling” for you?

I have been living and working in and out of Bucharest for 8 years now, but I still don’t know anything about it yet. That’s my favourite part, there are always incredible new people to meet, incredible new places to get to. Romanian people are just perfect, not too rigid, not too loose, very creative and absurd. I could feel my life would be complete by just being active in this scene, but i must constantly visit and live in other places to remind myself why Bucharest is better for me.



on the right hand  KUBORAUM 'MASK K5 TS' EYEGLASSES


What’s coming next for Pandele Pandele the artist?

Multiple exercises of organisation, meaning creating a book, a website, some videos that document my way.



Photography & Scenography: Sibi Bogdan Teodorescu @tigrenpapier | Shooting Location: Pandele Pandele's studio  | Creative Direction: Roxana Marcu