The Toporaş story
Our gallery is called Toporaş [ t ɔ p ɔ r a ʃ ].
When I started searching for a name for our online art gallery, I wanted to find one that would resonate with those of the most elegant galleries already existing, but a name that would at the same time sound less pompous and show acceptance of all categories of art-lovers around the world.
One day my husband and I were driving from Godalming to Haslemere on a beautiful road in southern England that curves its way through a forest where the trees on either side arch overhead, creating a tunnel of green. Americana music was keeping us company while I was searching for names, annoying my husband by blurting out words that entered my mind.
I wanted our gallery’s name to be beautiful, but also powerful and expressive. Names matter, and they can have lasting effects.
I rummaged through the different languages I speak and came up with the Greek word Acropolis. Then the gears in my head started spinning: Oraşul de sus, Uptown, Top Oraş, and then, finally, Toporaş – the violet flower, and the name for which I’d been searching.
This is how it became our name, our symbol and our theme, and it gave us our main colour.
All in one – simple, beautiful and powerful, full of love and elegance, predisposing one to imagination and allowing us to get in touch with our deeper thoughts while feeling both the strength of red and the spirituality of blue.
The second meaning of the Romanian word toporaș is hatchet. Art can also be perceived as a tool. But rather than a tool of propaganda we prefer art to shape the world, including Moldova, to make it better: reasonable, peaceful, tolerant, with greater freedom of expression.
The integrity of all these meanings made us want to guide art-lovers around the world toward the discovery of Moldovan art just as tiny toporaşi, invisible at first, can be spotted on the forest floor.
Our logo spells out the word Toporaş replacing the letter A with a flower. A – art – is Toporaş, which gives art the power of freedom.
As the Romanian art connoisseur Valentine Ciuca has written, “Only freedom, well understood and managed, offers real space for self-expression.”
Our gallery’s website – fineartmoldova.com – launched to provide a new way of discovering, collecting and investing in Moldovan art. We are presenting a collection of paintings and fine art prints new to the online art market. They are the work of the Moldova’s most talented artists, including young painters with great promise.
So sign up for our newsletter, and take the time to enjoy the elegance of our site, which displays stunning artworks, offers artist profiles and news of the art world, and makes insider guides available to people worldwide.
We are also happy to offer expert advice from leading collectors, gallerists and curators (upon request), as well as comprehensive editorial comment from knowledgeable critics and writers.
Toporaş online art gallery is a service to Moldovan artists. And more than that -- regardless of where you live or how much you know about art -- it is for all those who love fine art.
Beyond all borders
The Toporaş online art gallery is launching to offer Moldovan art beyond all borders, supporting artists born in Moldova in developing professionally and enriching other cultures with Moldova’s traditional and universal values.
The idea of starting an art business arose from a discussion several years ago. The ambition to do it right made us determined to give it great thought and effort. Since then, the project has travelled with us to Belgium, Turkey and now back to the UK.
It has proved challenging because we have chosen a less travelled path: to create the first online art gallery from abroad to offer art-lovers around the world the opportunity to buy the finest original Moldovan paintings and high quality fine art prints.
I love Moldova, this small and beautiful country sandwiched between Romania and Ukraine. I was born in the Soroca district. I left in 1998 to study abroad. And I am returning now in a unique way, to apply my knowledge and skills in taking Moldovan art on a new journey.
Buying art online has come a long way since the first online art business emerged in the late 1990s. The international online art market has developed slowly, because of the specificity of its products, but also continually, driven by technological progress.
People started buying art online more often to save time and effort in finding a place where they can buy what they desire. After all, online business activity is not replacing the traditional. Rather, it is enhancing it, presenting its participants with new opportunities and challenges.
Our online art gallery is launching to give you a taste of Moldovan art. Its most precious quality is that it reflects, through an idiosyncratic prism, the reality of our artists’ lives, their experiences and surroundings. Their finest work explores beauty and reason, complexity and dissonance.
Moldova’s art heritage, both recent and more distant, provides rich fodder for the artist and a rich experience for the art-lover, too. At the intersection between Romanian and Russian cultures, Moldova is a land of arts where the joy of freedom and its attendant hardship have become sources of inspiration and allowed creativity to flourish in myriad of styles following the fall of Soviet Union.
The artists we feature in the Toporaş online art gallery offer testament to that. These are some of the best among many artists we will add in the future to give you a more complete picture of what Moldovan art is and why it matters.
These original paintings and fine art prints will add grace and depth to any collection. These less known treasures are coming onto the international market for the first time. They can be bought for enjoyment, education or investment.
I encourage you to read our artists’ profiles, browse their work, ask any questions you have, and select the art that resonates most with your tastes and ideals.
Founder and Arts Organiser