Bucureşti Optimixed 2014 | Interview with the organizers

Discover what friendship, passion and the desire to develop a positive image for your city can bring you in our exclusive interview with the great team behind Bucureşti Optimixed 2014.

Last year, we visited the Bucureşti Optimixed exhibition and we really enjoyed the idea of mixing photography with illustration, as well as the atmosphere and the selection of artworks. How was the first edition for you?

București Optimixed came to life at a casual encounter of a group of friends who share a passion for art and a preoccupation for developing a positive image of our daily Bucharest. So, last year, under the hat of Imbold, the Cultural Association (read interview), Atelierul de Print and București Optimist, we decided it was time we reactivated PAF! – Print Art Fest (a digital art festival) with a new special event that would bring together the most appreciated photographs taken by Cristian Vasile (IGU) for his photo project București Optimist (Optimistic Bucharest) and a handful of the most loved contemporary artists around.

Bucuresti Optimixed 2013

Considering it all started with a spontaneous idea discussed between 5 friends over a cup of coffee at Acuarela, the result was quite overwhelming: the varnishing day brought over 1000 people at the gallery, the visitors enjoyed the live drawing sessions with KITRA and Lartist, the live set of Minus, a jazzxperiment (involving glasses and bottles of wine) with the guys from Cats in The Rain, a memorable live concert with Fierbințeanu and Plurabelle and a lot of other fun activities.

Bucuresti Optimixed 2013

Bucuresti Optimixed 2013

This year, București Optimixed becomes an independent project: the main exhibition will gather the works of 22 artists,  there will be an anti-kitsch souvenir shop, live concerts and fun activities with a social impact.

As you already mentioned, this year Bucureşti Optimixed will be back with a new edition between May 16th and 23rd. What’s on the agenda so far?

For the upcoming edition of București Optimixed, we plan to extend the area of the artistic intervention. Among illustration, we’ve also made room for typography, sculpture, fashion design and product design. The pop-up shop with a limited series of București Optimixed personalized objects (the anti-kitsch souvenir shop mentioned above) is a newcomer for this year’s edition, as we plan to bring to light the cool side of Bucharest. For the vernissage (May 16th) and for the Night of The Galleries (May 23rd) we’ve got some surprises in our pockets, along with a series of live performances – concerts, art battles and live drawing sessions.

Paula Rusu - Bucureşti Optimixed 2013

Paula Rusu at Bucureşti Optimixed 2013

In 2013 you collaborated with 12 Romanian illustrators and this year you already announced 22 artists and you plan to include not only illustration elements, but also typography, sculpture, fashion and object design. Who are these artists? Are there also artists from last year’s edition involved in the project?

This year we are very proud to announce 22 artists who will remix street photography with illustration, photomontage, typography, sculpture, fashion and product design. The variety of visuals to result from their interventions is set to offer new perspectives over the corners of Bucharest.

The artists: Andrei Argaetic, Andrei Robu, Buzu Ana Andronic, Cristina Ciobanu, Dominus, Evelin Bundur, Ghica Popa, George Roșu, Ioana Şopov, Kitră, Loreta Isac, Mădălina Andronic, Misha Diaconu, Pisica Pătrată, Paula Rusu, Paula Duță, Robert Obert, Răzvan Cornici, Raluca Băraru, Veronica Neacșu, Victor Fota, Wanda Hutira.

Only 8 of them participated in the first edition of București Optimixed.

George Roşu wip preview Bucureşti Optimixed 2014

George Roşu work in progress preview for Bucureşti Optimixed 2014

Loreta Isac wip preview Bucureşti Optimixed 2014

Loreta Isac wip preview Bucureşti Optimixed 2014

Loreta Isac work in progress preview for Bucureşti Optimixed 2014

What’s the story behind this year’s logo?

We wanted to choose the “one” most expressive symbol of Bucharest. We couldn’t agree on one, so we decided to derive the logo into a series of symbols which gather many of our memories related to the main character of our festival: Bucharest itself.

We have the architectural symbols – The Palace of the Parliament, The Romanian Athenaeum, one of the most “popular“ recent statues, the legendary Tram #41, an old Dacia car which used to carry our childhood years here and there, the imminent stray dogs and the ubiquitous smell of bagels. Cristi Dobrescu drew them and the list is open, if we find more relevant symbols, we’ll add them.



Do you plan to extend the festival on a national level?

For now, we try to focus on Bucharest only, but we have big plans ahead regarding other optimistic cities in Romania as well.

See you on 16th of May, at Imbold, Galeria, for București Optimixed #2!

Ioana Sopov - preview

Ioana Şopov work in progress preview for Bucureşti Optimixed 2014

Victor Fota wip preview Bucureşti Optimixed 2014

Victor Fota work in progress preview for Bucureşti Optimixed 2014

Raluca Bararu - preview

Raluca Băraru work in progress preview for Bucureşti Optimixed 2014

All images via Bucureşti Optimixed and the artists.

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