Having been immersed in thrilling adventure books by renowned authors like Jules Verne, Mark Twain, and Rudyard Kipling during his formative years, Cătălin developed a spirit of adventure and an insatiable curiosity for exploring places, meeting people, and a fondness for mystery. Interestingly, in his childhood, his grandparents affectionately nicknamed him “kangaroo” due to his exceptional jumping and running abilities, making his eventual journey to Australia seem like a natural course.
The dream of his artist father, who sought to escape the oppressive Romanian communist regime in 1953, found continuation through Cătălin in the Southern Hemisphere. He brought with him the family legacy and his artistic pursuits, showcasing them in various exhibitions. Cătălin’s journey into photography began in November 1987, focusing on black and white portraiture and light painting photography, which he adapted romantically to the world of portraiture.
Driven by allegory and metaphors, his portraits are imbued with a romantic illumination, following the renowned chiaroscuro painting technique. With the intention of crafting a narrative alongside the subject before his camera, Cătălin embarked on this creative endeavor with a single question in mind: “What’s the story?”
Through the illuminating technique he discovered, Cătălin can unveil a story from an entirely different perspective, shedding light on the darkness and capturing it as a photographic image.
Cătălin’s dramatic interpretation within this style was influenced by his background in performing arts, having worked as an actor, puppeteer, and director. In 1992, he was recognized by the British Journal Of Photography and featured in its prestigious magazine. In 1995, he was invited to the International Festival for Photography in Burghausen, Germany, where he experimented with and exhibited his portrait studies and body light-painted images alongside fellow professional photographers, photography enthusiasts, and representatives of renowned camera brands such as Canon, Nikon, Fuji, and Minolta.
This experience marked the beginning of a long journey in Cătălin’s photography career, and his style enabled him to foster a deeper connection with the people he photographed, instilling in them a sense of confidence.
“The photographer and the subject are instantly connected through a beam of light, revealing the essence of the face or body and creating the story,” he expressed.
While people today lead busy lives (homo faber), they find true happiness and fulfillment when they make time for art (homo ludens). We all require art to enrich ourselves with the stories of others, to discover ourselves and see ourselves through a creative lens. This process is vital for bolstering self-esteem and finding meaning in life. The remarkable aspect of this style is that extraordinary stories can be created from ordinary things.
Nearly two decades ago, Cătălin arrived in Australia after extensive travels and exhibitions around the world, aiding individuals in their self-discovery and the celebration of their beauty.
Sydney, Australia – Laser Moments – Exhibition at Art Moment Gallery – 2007
Sydney , Australia – Projection Exhibition at TAP Gallery for the book launch OPEN 24 HOURS – 2005
New Zealand, 2002-2004 – The Edge Gallery
New Zealand, 2001 – Newtown Gallery
New Zealand, 2001 People, Traditions and Events – Cameleon Gallery
The Art Museum of Constanta, 1997
The Festival for Avant-Garde Photography – Burghausen, Germany, 1995
The French Institute, Bucharest, 1995
BJP – British Journal Of Photography – 1992
Association of Fine Art Photographers, AAF Bucharest, 1991 – 1994 photojournalism, portraits exhibitions
Publications & Exhibitions – selections
BEST EXPERIMENTAL PHOTO featured in BJP/ 1992
British Journal of Photography
FRENCH INSTITUTE / 1993
BURGHAUSEN PHOTOGRAPHY FESTIVAL / 1995 WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND/ 2001
THE EDGE AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND / 2002
ART MOMENT GALLERY SYDNEY / 2007