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With love for Chisinau…

With love for Old Chisinau post header

We walk past everything, but we don’t see it all. We enjoy many things, but there is much more we don’t know how to enjoy. Because we don’t have time!? Or we don’t have the desire to do so, or who knows what we would need to see and not indifferently walk past that which is freely given to us…
Maybe this is the mission of an artist: to stop oblivion from covering the image of the world?! I said this to myself while admiring visual artist Vasile Movileanu’s exhibition, recently, on the eve of Chişinău’s day, inaugurated inside the Municipal Hall. I attended the inauguration. I couldn’t not come, out of respect for Vasile Movileanu, who very skillfully illustrated a few of my books. And I did not regret it – I was deeply impressed by the painter’s latest works, novel works, that are, in fact, a sincere and beautiful chromatic monologue out of love for Chişinău. Perhaps in this context was the space chosen for such an inauguration fitting, although the works, for them to be appreciated at their true value, would have needed light and plenty of space.

Vasile Movileanu in conversation with Spiridon Vangheli (writer)
Vasile Movileanu in conversation with Spiridon Vangheli (writer)

We seemed, us, the guests (alongside the paintings (!), passers-by in a waiting room, past which walked, preoccupied with major worries, important people, without as much as stopping for a single moment to admire the unique and unrepeatable landscapes, with old streets and timeworn houses. The indifferent gaze of some came and went as time runs, with its conceited, ruthless roller, over the past of the city with the status of a capital. I say this not by chance!

Spiridon Vangheli and Claudia Partole at Vasile Movileanu exhibition dedicated to Old Chisinau
Spiridon Vangheli and Claudia Partole at Vasile Movileanu”s exhibition dedicated to Old Chisinau

So many old buildings, bearing the imprint of history on their faces, have been already erased from the face of the earth, demolished without, at the very least, being immortalized in a photographic image.
If there hadn’t been a tireless Valentina Brâncoveanu to record from dawn to dusk the faces of aged houses, if there hadn’t been a Lică Sainciuc, who tried years at a time to rescue from the ruins of oblivion long forgotten churches and buildings, if there hadn’t been a Vasile Movileanu, who can’t allow the wave that comes (and it comes regardless) to erase from our memory what was dear to our forerunners.

Mihail Kogalniceanu street old Chisinau watercolor painting by Vasile Movileanu
Mihail Kogalniceanu street. Old Chisinau. 2007. Watercolor, 36 x 51 cm

I went from work to work as a guest in a world of no forgetting, a world gathered and lovingly and skillfully memorised in a chromatic register by the painter Vasile Movileanu. In fact, I saw him in a new light – as a visual artist who, besides illustrating books, also paints on the canvas of memory. After trying (and succeeding!) to paint the music, to reproduce in colour the sounds and vibrations not shown to the eye, he now painted the city’s profile with streets, houses and people…
Most of the paintings, crafted with a particular rigour in watercolour, inspire warmth, light, love, joy. The play of light and shadow reflects in bright and vivid colours, sometimes with a pastel tone, enticing, without disrupting, the gaze.
The messages – of either autumn or winter, or drenched in multicoloured or faint light, send you to a dear, close world, wrapped at the same time in the nostalgia of forgetfulness.

The Armeneasca street gates in old Chisinau watercolor painting by Vasile Movileanu
The Armeneasca street. 2003. Watercolor, 45,5 x 31 cm.

Thus, Vasile Movileanu discreetly and with great dedication fulfils his duty as an artist who does not want to leave blank spaces, pointless in this world. It is work, a craft about which every soul blessed with the gift of creation should think!
This thought of mine was also encouraged by the writer dear to both young and old children, Spiridon Vangheli, present as well at the inauguration/walk through the corridors of the Municipal Hall. I’ve encountered, as well, on this chromatic walk the poet Dumitru Matcoschi.

Exhibition on the eve of Chişinău’s day in the Municipal Hall, Vasile Movileanu next of his wife Ana, Spiridon-Vangheli in the middle and Dumitru Matcoschi with his wife Alexandrina
Exhibition on the eve of Chişinău’s day in the Municipal Hall, Vasile Movileanu next of his wife Ana, Spiridon-Vangheli in the middle and Dumitru Matcoschi with his wife Alexandrina

It seemed we were all passing by, each experiencing certain emotions, a world from another dimension…
Landscape with alluring streets, with a “Yard in Chișinău”, then with other yards and alleyways, with a “Merchant”, with the much suffering “Cathedral”.

The Cathedral Nativity of the Lord Old Chisinau watercolor painting by Vasile Movileanu
The Cathedral Nativity of the Lord. Old Chisinau. 2006. Watercolor, 32 x 44 cm

An imaginary movement from an autumnal landscape to another wrapped in the white of snow, bathed in sunlight or flooded by green, so that in the end, to come back with the thoughts inside us, inspired by a music gifted in the same chromatic way through intimate images of peoples in love with the song of colours. These works remind us that any place, like any person, beyond appearances, has a soul…

Evening promenade in the winter Old Chisinau watercolor painting by Vasile Movileanu
Evening promenade. 2006. Watercolor, 36 x54,5 cm

Vasile Movileanu remains the visual artist that offers the world surprises…

Claudia Partole, writer