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 Florentin Smarandache  (1954 - )

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Lived/Active: New Mexico / Romania      Known for: graphics, illustration, outer-art

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Florentin Smarandache
An example of work by Florentin Smarandache
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The following is from George Gregory:

Florentin Smarandache initiated the outer-art movement to ridicule that which modern art takes everything for and calls it. art! Thus, outer-art consisted in making art as ugly, as silly, as wrong as possible, and generally as impossible as possible!"

Now an American citizen, Smarandache was born on December 10, 1954, in Balcesti (district of Valcea), Romania. He wrote in three languages: Romanian, French, and English and became a poet, playwright, novelist, writer of prose, tales for children, translator from many languages, experimental painter, philosopher, physicist, mathematician.

He graduated with a Masters Degree from the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at the University of Craiova in 1979, got a Ph. D. in Mathematics from the State University of Kishinev in 1997, and continued post-doctoral studies at various American Universities after emigration.

Art was for Dr. Smarandache a hobby. He did:- graphic arts for his published volumes of verse: "Anti-chambres/ Anti-poesies/ Bizarreries" (mechanical drawings), "NonPoems" (paradoxist drawings), "Dark Snow" & "Circles of light" (covers); - paradoxist collages for the "Anthology of the Paradoxist Literary Movement", by J. -M. Levenard, I. Rotaru, A. Skemer; - covers and illustrations of books, published by "Dorul" Publ. Hse., Aalborg, Denmark; - illustrations in the journal: "Dorul" (Aalborg, Denmark).

Many of his art works are held in "The Florentin Smarandache Papers" Special Collections at the Arizona State University, Tempe, and Texas State University, Austin (USA), also in the National Archives of Valcea and Romanian Literary Museum (Romania), and in the Musee de Bergerac (France)

During the Romanian communist era he got into conflict with authorities. In 1986 he did the hunger strike for being refused attendance at the International Congress of Mathematicians at the University of Berkeley, then published a letter in the Notices of the American Mathematical Society for the freedom of circulating of scientists, and became a dissident. As a consequence, he remained unemployed for almost two years, living from private tutoring done to students. The Swedish Royal Academy Foreign Secretary Olof G. Tandberg contacted him by telephone from Bucharest. Not being allowed to publish, he tried to get his manuscripts out of the country through the French School of Bucharest and tourists, but for many of them he lost track.

He escaped from Romania in September 1988 and waited almost two years in the political refugee camps of Turkey, where he did unskilled works in construction in order to survive: scavenger, house painter, whetstoner. Here he kept in touch with the French Cultural Institutes that facilitated him the access to books and rencontres with personalities.

He left behind his peasant parents (although the only child of them), pregnant wife (he saw his second born son Silviu two and a half years later when the family reunited to America), a seven year old son Mihai.

Before leaving the country he buried some of his manuscripts in a metal box in his parents' vineyard, near a peach tree, and then retrieved them four years later, after the 1989 Revolution when he returned for the first time to his native country. Other manuscripts that he tried to mail to a translator in France were confiscated by the secret police and never returned. In March 1990 he emigrated to the United States.

Very prolific, he is the author, co-author, and editor of 55 books, and contributed to over 100 literary and 50 scientific journals from around the world.

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