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Gheorghe Frantz locked his workshop from the inside. Stop calling, stop knocking on the door. For several days no one answers. The artist “reads” the last page of the “Journal of a Romanian”. The first one can be found in “Amateur plastic artists from Bacau county”, from 1980. He was 19 years old, he had participated in a creative camp in Berzunti, where he was together with his master and idol, the painter Gheorghe Velea, with whom he would be linked by the the most beautiful friendship between a student and a teacher. Participate in the first group exhibition. Sever Bodron, in the mentioned album, says about the young Frantz that “he stands out for his mood, for his lyrical predisposition, line and sensitivity”.


Artist and skilled craftsman

He started as a decorative painter, at the former “Constructorul” cooperative, plastic art (painting, graphics, decorative art, photography) becoming not a hobby, but his reason for living. He was an artist and a craftsman, a skilled and talented craftsman, hours and days, months and years he bent over everything that the human mind can think. Gheorghe Frantz did not pursue academic studies, he perfected his art and talent in the workshop of the man and artist he idolized: Gheoghe Velea, but also in the workshops of the great artists Constantin Piliuta, Constantin Blendea and Ion Gânju. Innovative spirit, always restless, with the star of the gifted with talent, he created and exhibited in large museums in Europe, participated in international plastic art camps, always returning, richer, to his small workshop.

“Gheorghe Frantz was not a member of the Union of Plastic Artists, but he was a full member of all Bacauan artists. Open-minded, with a wide artistic culture, he was always present at all our events. Gheorghe Frantz was a character, a “character” of his own person, a man with a big soul, always willing to cultivate new friendships. It is a great loss for us, for the artistic environment of Bacău.”

– Dionis Puscuta, president of UAP Bacau

He exhibited in Bacau, at the ALFA galleries, at the “Saloanele Moldovei”, in Onesti and Moinesti, Vienna, Paris, Budapest, the public and critics being unanimous in their appreciation: a local artist, with influences and roots in popular art, but also in the great themes of humanity, also inspired by Enescu’s music and Nichita’s poetry. “In fact, the painter reconstructs a territory of sister arts where the primordial Word determines the meaning, and the architecture of the image the access to ethereal areas of the spirit. To the question, natural, of course, what does Frantz say?, we will answer unequivocally: the painter invents the gothic altars of poetry without which our existence would undoubtedly be much poorer…”, writes Valentin Ciuca, art critic.


Visionary, artist and creator of beauty

He was also a pioneer, a daring investor, Gheorghe Frantz created, from nothing, worked hard, changing an almost ruined manor house into a charming place, open to happy artistic events. Therefore, he created a private art gallery (Oituz 32) and named it Velea, as a sign of great appreciation for the one who was his teacher and mentor. He also experienced a terrible drama, after he purchased, with legal documents, a part of the house that belonged to the regent Buzdugan, where he set up the gallery, he found himself dragged into numerous lawsuits, being left alone in front of the bunch of lawyers, who they claimed the building. He fought until exhaustion for justice, for what he believed was useful for the community.

He didn’t give up the fight, he leaned more generously in another project. Through the Transart Foundation, he established the Cultural center “Sura cu dor” from Magura, a meeting place for the arts, for the creators of beauty.

He received one of the most prestigious awards, the one from the Salone Moldovei, close to his heart being, as he confessed to us, the AWAKENING Award, awarded in 2012.


Gheorghe Frantz, photographer artist

Those who knew the plastic artist Gheorghe Frantz remember him as a multivalent practitioner in the field of visual arts. He combined his passion for photography with his artistic experience, thus offering works of symbiosis that art lovers could admire in the photographic salons organized on the premises of the Bacauan art galleries. The artist-photographer Ioan Viorel Cojan, the curator of the photo salons mentioned above, remembers Gheorghe Frantz, his good friend, as par excellence “a man of experiments. He combines his pictorial technique with photography, intervening plastically on the photo prints, giving them a personal touch through the spontaneous effects obtained. Thus, he creates works on the border between painting and photography.”Liviu Maftei, photojournalist

Gheorghe Frantz closed his workshop from the inside. He didn’t say goodbye! Now we can enter. Gheorghe Frantz is everywhere, the Knight of Friendship invited us to a Retrospective. Of life, of his art, open to the world.

Frantz was part of the rare breed of the delicate souls

It seems like yesterday I was talking to Frantz. Since the Athenaeum’s editorial office is about two steps away from the Velea Galleries, I would often run over to his place to talk. I would look at what he was working on, ask him what other projects he had, browse through an art catalog, exchange impressions about an exhibition. The last time I talked more with him was at the end of the year, before the 25th anniversary of the Awakening, when he made the beautiful and expressive trophies. Because, beyond his modest, calm, kind appearance, his always benevolent smile, Gheorghe Frantz hid unsuspected creative energies. In the confusion of our days and in a world that is often boisterous, abject and apathetic, he proved that he has a vivid constructive imagination, spirit of initiative and a lot of other practical, administrative qualities that no one had anticipated.

I am very sad that I have to talk about Frantz now in the past tense. He was a sensitive and generous man, a good friend, jumpy when needed, attentive, affectionate, being part of the rare lineage of the delicate souls. I will remember the gentle inflections of his voice and the warm smile that lit up his face and gave you a feeling of well-being.”

– Carmen Mihalache, director of ATENEU Magazine

Frantz Gheorghe was born in Agas, Bacau, on November 7, 1961. He attends the Normal School of Arts and Crafts in Agas, and in the period 1976-1980 he attends and graduates the Art High School, Bacau, with Gh. Velea as his teacher – what , over the years, became the spiritual patron of the “Velea” Art Galleries in Bacau. 1980-1981- he studies privately with the painter Constantin Piliuta, perfecting himself for several years in the workshops of the painters Constantin Blendea, Ion Gânju and Gheorghe Velea. Participate in the creative camps at Berzunti and Poiana Sarata. 1991-1993 Creates the TransArt LTD Bacau Foundation and organizes a Creation camp in Runc – Buhusi. It is documented in Vienna on the creation of Klimt and Hunderwasser. He creates the Vogue Center – Bacau and participates in the Salzburg-Austria Creative Camp in 1993.

In the years 1994-2006, he opened exhibitions in Bassel-Switzerland (1994), Eysines-Bordeaux (1996), the Romanian Cultural Center, Budapest (2004), the International Salon of Contemporary and Religious Art, Paris (2005), the Thoughts and Images Exhibition at Cultural Institute, Budapest (2005), etc. He participated in the Creative Camps in Grintzing, Vienna, Geneva, Tenerife, Arena-Austria, Aachen-Germany, Firenze Pessaro and in Frejus-Santaugule, France.

(The biographical data are taken from the Illustrated Dictionary of the Fine Arts of Moldova (1800-2010), published by the ART XXI Publishing House, Iasi 2011, made by the critic Valentin Ciuca – Iasi).

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