Jury-GRANDS PRIX DU DESIGN / Published on April 28, 2021
Dimitar Lukanov Studio
Bulgaria / New York, United States
PROUST QUESTIONNAIRE – PEOPLE OF DESIGN VERSION!
What prescient youthful memory relates to your present career?
I was six years old when I first touched plasticine. It was a gray, bulky, 1-kg-heavy and hard as a rock material which was difficult to mould. And yet, I was fascinated in the power to transform it into animals, some of which I had never seen before…
What are three basic rules you learned from your mentors?
■ Concentrate on drawing, as Henry Moore wrote to me in 1983. I was overjoyed when I received his positive letters… Just imagine… a kid behind the Iron Curtain getting this kind of correspondence!
■ Be aware of the context, in all senses, in all directions .. what is happening around your creation; observe, “breathe” the environment…
■ Happiness is in the unknown, the unseen…
What project launched your career?
Any music playing while you work?
I believe that music resides at the heart of the artistic creation. Since I was a little boy, I have always loved the radio because we don’t know what will be played next..There is no predictability, just like in life. It’s the unknown that comes next..no certainty of the following instant. I am quite fond of jazz and classical music in particular.
Do you work in PJs or three-piece suits?
What is your current design state of mind?
Sculpture remains a fundamentally manual occurrence. We may or may not succeed..there is no “in-between”. Every inch of my work is issued from my two hands. There are ideas that excite me all the time! I observe and I imagine. It is a state of parallel simultaneity. The wind blows throughout the leaves, and suddenly, each one of them moves in a unique way, not two move identically. I “see” projects of great scale. The artist always operates with more honesty than anyone else, monetary success matters little to me.
What living designer/architect do you most admire?
Her absolute perfection inspires me and saddens me a bit at the same time. I realize that everything is already there, done..the rocks, the movement of the water, the colors, this labyrinth of beauty; nature – with all her splendor – breaks my heart.
What past designer/architect inspires you the most?
Frank Lloyd Wright, Oscar Niemeyer, Malevitch, the builders of Château de Chambord, Konstantin Melnikov, Henry Moore, Teotihuacan… all part of a list which grows daily…
What is your most marked design quality?
Perseverance. I work nonstop. And my utter belief is that the light will shine and love will have the last word.
I would never accept the “sanitizing”, the convenience in the arts.
How would you like your designs to go down in history?
There is always valid hope for structural longevity for posteriority, and also that perhaps the works will leave a veritable unique construction of spirit, mind… and concurrently, they would and will remain as ephemeral poetic gestures.
What peer quality do you most value?
Collegial friendship; early 20th century’s era of simultaneity has always been a telling sign of a collaborative venue. There is no need to work in total isolation..I do take to heart one of the pieces of this period, Blaise Cendrars and Sonia Delaunay’s “La prose du Transsibérien”.
Which project is the epitome of your work?
My last large-scale project in the public realm, the three sculptures of the pedestrian bridge in Amsterdam NY, including DreamRiver and Entrance to Now.
Amsterdam NY Pedestrian Bridge, United States, 2019. Photo credit: Dimitar Lukanov Studio.
Entrance to Now,
Amsterdam NY Pedestrian Bridge, United States, 2018. Photo credit: Dimitar Lukanov Studio.
How are your country of belonging’s values reflected in your work?
I carry with me the mix of two countries.
First and above all, it’s the “all possible” country – the United States (where I live) with all its promise, its optimism, the immense grandeur and ensuing dreams of large scale work; the other one, is one of the most ancient and small European country, the 8000-year old Bulgaria. France and the epoch of Enlightenment inspires me profoundly also. I regurgitate these rather asymmetric experiences as my preferred “nourishment”. This unusual whirlwind is my inspiration.
What also transports me is the historic stratigraphy and the architectural meanders of Plovdiv, the city I was born in, engraved in my childhood memories. I quickly realized that we do carry on our shoulders millennia of history… and then comes..the responsibility to create by knowing and studying the past.
All along I recall Montesquieu’s brilliant postulate: “I am foremost a human, and a Frenchman only by chance”. I am always ready… The artist must “circulate” as says the Russian Futurist poet Khlebnikov… and so I remain an adventurer, a nomad…
What always inspires you?
The beauty of humanity, and the power of nature, the movements of the sea always perfectly synchronized and at the same time each wave is strictly individual; the choir of birds… always a wonderful spectacle.
To be against the open road. You don’t have to mark any limits. In art, it’s all or nothing. I am a collector of coincidences.
If a spell were to transform you into an object, by all means, what would you like to be, and why?
A flower, or Baudelaire’s albatross.
The wind blows near the sea. A purifying wind. I would have the impression of belonging to infinity…
What is your favorite place in the world?
In the sea…
What design or architecture project do you wish you would have thought of yourself?
The Eiffel Tower!
If you could host any three guests, past or alive, over for dinner, who would you choose and what would you dare serving?
It would have to be my mother to prepare a meal to it would be incredibly tasty – a true culinary sculpture so that full enjoyment of the feast would be ensured. She, Vessela (with great design ideas herself) had the intimate knowledge of that direct path between the stomach and the brain!
For the sides, well, Vonnegut (whom I met in New York few weeks before his passing), and then, to attempt to bring together those giants… Leonardo, Emily Dickinson, Rousseau, Nina Simone, Neruda, Beethoven, Exupéry, Anna Akhmatova, Mayakovsky…
|Kurt Vonnegut||Leonardo Da Vinci||Emily Dickinson||Rousseau||Nina Simone|
|Pablo Neruda||Beethoven||de Saint-Exupéry||Anna Akhmatova||Maïakovsky|