The artist’s mission is to surprise, said in an interview the painter and sculptor Andrei Mudrea. The visit to the master’s gallery surprised me with the artworks created from forgotten world pieces, especially the sculptures with a patriotic theme. See how good and impetuous the Battle Flags, the Soldier, the Gladiator, the Horse Trojan, the Armored Car, etc., look, among others dedicated to the sky, phenomena, or people modernist style paintings. I immediately wanted to know the story of each sculpture and the man who gave them life. I wondered why this artist, who has nothing in common with the army, turned his attention, however, to this field? Did he do military service? Did the military experience mark him? ..
Yes, the emeritus master of arts, Andrei Mudrea, joined the army … two years. Half of the year was at the School of Sergeants in Eupatoria and then in the X battalion in Ukraine …. in a forest, far from civilization, where he suffocated: „Twice a year we were taken out of the woods, straight into the desert to shoot. At the same time, the culture feels a deep void. I have the impression that the principle at the time was to keep the world in the dark. Somehow I envy today’s soldiers, who have the opportunity to visit museums, theaters, exhibitions… The army passes, and it’s appreciable that it takes care of the human soul to make it vibrate beautifully. „
The unstoppable artist soul often challenged Sergeant Mudrea to break the unit rules, and even if he was aware of the consequences, he went searching the Rays of Light: „I used my talent, given by the God and I worked at night. I would go to the bathroom or other more hidden places and secretly read and draw. My friends sent me books, sometimes I asked the officers to bring me books from the public library, and I didn’t let myself unnecessarily spend the time. I lived with the beautiful, and it saved me.”
And this is not all. Periodically, Sergeant Mudrea escaped in the middle of the forest, lit a fire and meditated: „I could hear my colleagues, bosses calling me, I knew that I would stay up to 10 nights in the cold, but I felt free, for at least an hour, with the firelight in front of me and I was happy. I needed these places because the rupture was too sudden – from freedom to very harsh conditions in a semi-wild life. „However, he managed to give suitable behavior lessons to the ten soldiers under his command and to create a fairytale atmosphere, full of colors, especially during the winter holidays, which probably made him less of a coward, but charismatic.
During his military service, he developed a series of sketches, drawings in small format, including the peace theme, which later turned into works and received the first appreciation from his idol, Mihai Grecu. The mentor’s encouragement and family circumstances (his mother had died, his father was ill) made him forget his dream to study at the Moscow Academy of Arts and applied at the College of Arts – here, at home.
The plastic artist Andrei Mudrea constantly creates more than 40 years, but never the same. He continually experiments, works in series, and at the end of each one, we enjoy an exhibition. The last „Rays of Light” also includes the sculptures I mentioned at the beginning of the article. Through these creations, the master „takes to heart” with Picasso: „The first spark was in 1990 in Paris, at the Picasso Museum. There I saw the real modern painting, and there was a revolution in my concept of art, and Picasso’s sculptures amazed me – simple, created from nothing, but as symbols – extraordinary. Since then, I have been working on this concept, and I have created a lot of sculptures that I only have room for.”
The time has come to know the story of some military sculptures, created without taking into account the time and money invested in them, confesses the creator:
The soldier – consists of folk art objects: spindle, wool comb, pieces from the weaving war, so I created a symbol of the folk craftsman, who fought for all that is beautiful or our people can’t live if they don’t do something beautiful.
The armored car – was born without a plan. I started from a small detail. Along the way, the idea of a military car was outlined, and I got this surprise. The charm of true art is not to repeat nature, so this car ended up being a gray one and not a green one.
The Horse Trojan – initially it was like a dedication – the fall of Troy. Still, I realized that I don’t want a copy of the historical moment, and I decided to introduce a more modern connotation. My nephew, Cristian, came with a computer part and I dressed the whole horse with such parts. The moral is that we received the computer in the houses, which is also a kind of Horse Trojan, and if we don’t control it, we don’t know what we end up with.
The Bulldozer – has been dedicated to a sadder event since 1974, when several artists displayed their non-conformist works outdoors in Moscow. Three bulldozers destroyed all work. I created this meditative work for visitors in their memory, and I found it appropriate to stick the buckle on my military uniform. It was the last object from the army used in my creations.
Civilian people and the soldiers of the Guard Battalion, the 22nd Peacekeeping Battalion and the Anti-Aircraft Missile Regiment visited the exhibition „Rays of Light”. Also, the military-themed artworks and others can be admired at the creative workshop of Master Andrei Mudrea, which is opened from spring to fall.