Tudor Zbirnea: the Moldovan painter who became an administrator

The Moldovan painter Tudor Zbirnea knew about the struggles the National Arts Museum faced

When he was given the opportunity to change the course of things, he undoubtedly agreed to become the museum administrator and did his very best in order to save and enrich the cultural heritage of Moldova.


  • File

First name, last name: Tudor Zbirnea
Date of birth: 29.12.1955
Place of birth: Nisporeni
Education: Respublican College of Arts "I.E.Repin", Art’s University in Iasy, Faculty of Painting
Domain of activity: Arts
Achievements: Director of the National Art Museum of Moldova


  • Difficulties of the job

When I became the museum administrator I was aware that a period of time of intense activity follows. But, a surprise also followed and that was the fact that I would eventually have my first vacation in 5 years. Unfortunately, when you're involved in museum administration you do not have too much time left for art. Creativity in business management is displayed by searching for new forms of interaction with visitors, by the desire to attract more people to the museum, which, in fact means that it is a living organism, not an artwork warehouse. The museum is not just a place where you can get acquainted with art, but also a place where you can meet interesting people. We tend to organize very interesting exhibitions, going to a whole new level and setting new quality standards.


  • Our collection

Despite low funding, the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts continues to grow. In recent years it grew due to the donations that were made. In recent years the collection was completed with Auguste Bayar’s paintings and graphics, Vasilii Gorduz’s sculptures, Eleonora Romanescu, Ada Zevin, and many others’ paintings. Only a small part of our budget is allocated for the expansion of the collection. This is a painful subject which I often debate. We have no right to forget about the issue of contemporary art collections.


  • Complicated terms

In February 2014, many photos of the museum at the time when I was cleaning the roof appeared on Moldovan Internet sites. I was very surprised by the excess of interest for these photos. There was nothing special in those photos - unfortunately, in the Great Hall, which was recently restored had its roof leaking. The issue should have been resolved shortly to prevent damage to the decor deterioration. Nobody risked climbing on the frozen roof and I was not in the position to ask that from my employees, for it did clearly involve a risk and I decided to take heart and responsibility. I must say from the very beginning that I was supported by ropes and the employee holding the ropes actually took the pictures. By the way, I clean this roof regularly: in winter - from snow, in autumn – from leaves.


  • Painting is infinite

Although I am very busy, I dedicate all my time to art works creation. I work simultaneously on several paintings and I never know how much time I'll need to finish them. Painting is infinite. Usually, I return to my paintings again and again, but at the same time I try not to lose spontaneity. A work can be considered completed when all the details are in the right place in a painting. Ideas for my paintings come by themselves and rarely they are related to the outside world.


  • The creation process

I value the creation process that allows me to develop and to discover new techniques of artistic expression. Anyone can be taught to draw. But not anyone who draws can become a painter. In addition to knowledge and skills it takes much effort and work in the workshop, resistance to failures and lack of success, ability to analyze and self-sacrifice.


  • The sense of touch

Art must continually find new techniques of artistic expression, which will get you to the desired result. It is very important to feel the material you work with and through which you can express your inner state. In the same time your intellect must control your emotions. I have the following principle: the disintegration of the form and its integration into a new structure. It is a long process, but it increases the expression. I use many different tools: brushes, palette knife, spatula, fingers and other instruments.


  • The correct decision

I love Moldova and do not intend to leave my country. I think each of us is free to make a choice: to leave or stay. I had this possibility during past 25 years. Perhaps this is why I did not hurry to use this opportunity. I think I made the right decision.