The kind you’re born with, the kind you choose, the kind that teach Catholic school
Subscribe and Save up to 55%
Florin Ion FirimiȚã is an artist, filmmaker, and writer who traces his interest in art to his father’s photo lab in Romania, where at the age of six he was entrusted with mixing dangerous chemicals and printing photographs. When not sunbathing in southern France, he battles snowstorms in Winchester, Connecticut.
Most Romanians hated winter, because it meant waiting in line for food in front of empty grocery stores, waiting for the daily two hours of hot water, and sleeping in their clothes while using their kitchen ovens to heat their homes. And most hated the snow, because it made the city look dirty. I liked the snow, because when it fell, everything was suddenly quiet, and when it stopped, time seemed to stop as well.
For twenty-five years I lived an unsettled life in a city abandoned by history. Successively occupied by the Ottomans, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Germans, and the Soviets, Bucharest was slowly transformed from a cosmopolitan Romanian capital (the “other Paris,” it was nicknamed in the 1900s) into a Stalinist Disneyland.
I was painting on the night my mother died. Without realizing it then, I was saved by my obstinacy, my insistence on painting no matter what. Although painting has never been a replacement for tears — or for joy either — it was a healer for that moment.