BORCESCU [ aka docmarcell ]

Born on the 26th of March 1980. Currently he lives and works in Bucharest, Romania.



  • 2004 - Graduated The University of Art, Bucharest
  • 2001 – Scholarship, University of Oslo, Norway


  • 2015 – "Garden-Gnomes-Miners" – University Square, Bucharest, Romania
  • 2015 – "The Miner's Child" – Lateral Artspace, Paintbrush Factory, Cluj, Romania

  • 2014 – "SCHLAFWAGEN" – NAG Pop Up Gallery, Magheru One, Bucharest, Romania

  • 2012"CRANIUM" – Vatra Collective, Bucharest, Romania

  • 2011 – "The Journal of Immunology by DocMarCell" – Studio Alert, Bucharest, Romania
  • 2010 – International Biennial of Young Artists, Bucharest, Romania
  • 2010 – “Fresco of The Romanian Capitalist Worker” – Press Square, Bucharest, Romania
  • 2009 – Galleries White Night – “Neighbourhood spotting”, Bucharest, Romania
  • 2008 – “Visions in the Nunnery” – London, Great Britain
  • 2008 – “Traces: Contemporary Romanian Art” – International Center for Contemporary Art, Pont Aven, France / Robert Else Gallery, Sacramento, California, U.S. / Selby Gallery, Sarasota, Florida, U.S.
  • 2008 – “The 1st International Roaming Biennial” – Istanbul, Turkey
  • 2008 – “The Biennial of Young Artists from Europe and Mediterranean” – Bari, Italy
  • 2007 – ”Art Shakes the Politics” – S. Lucia del Mela, Sicily, Italy
  • 2007 – ”History Evil Night Show” – Personal Exhibition – OTA Club, Bucharest, Romania
  • 2007 – “Visual Euro-Barometer” – Neighborhood in Romania – National Museum for Contemporary Arts ¾ Gallery, Bucuresti, Romania
  • 2006 – ”EXPORT 1” – Goldener Kalb Gallery, Aarau, Switzerland
  • 2005 – ”When Artists Ruled The World” – HT003 Gallery, Bucharest, Romania
  • 2004 - International Biennial of Young Artists – Bucharest, Romania
  • 2004 – International Arts Symposium Exhibition – Borsos Museum, Gyor, Hungary
  • 2003 - “Bucharest - Emotional Architecture – project by Calin Dan”, National Museum for Contemporary Art, Bucharest, Romania
  • 2003 – International Graphic Arts Biennial – National Art Museum, Gyor, Hungary
  • 2003 – “Preview” – National Museum for Contemporary Art, Bucharest, Romania
  • 2002 – “Salvinia Brewing Co.” – personal ehibition – The Studio No. 35, Bucharest, Romania
  • 2001 – “Inside – Outside” (dark - room photographs), – personal ehibition – International Center for Contemporary Art, Bucharest, Romania


  • "Proiect 1990. Art in public space program 2010-2014" – Bucharest, 2014

  • The Biennial of Young Art, Bucharest – Catalogues “Images of Violence” (2004), “Police the Police” (2010)

  • The Biennial of Young Artists from Europe and Mediterranean, Italy – Catalogue, 2008

  • "Visual Eurobarometer" Catalogue - International Center for Contemporary Art, Bucharest, Romania, 2007

  • "32 Romanian Painters" – Bucharest, Romania, 2006

  • "DeFish" Magazine – Belgium, 2006

  • "Sticker Award Book" - Berlin, Germany, 2005

  • "Omagiu" Magazine

  • Fanzine "INCEPEM" - made by Romanian young artists and designers - contributions on different fanzine themes - "Chemistry", "Future", "Cheap" - launched in different locations in Bucharest (New Gallery, Web Club, National Center of Dance), Romania, 2004


  • The Prize of the Contest “Visual Eurobarometer”, organized by The International Center for Contemporary Arts, Bucharest, Romania, 2007

Artwork and documentation

  • National Museum for Contemporary Art, Bucharest, Romania - artwork & documentation on different personal projects
  • International Center for Contemporary Art (CIAC), Bucharest, Romania - documentation on different personal projects
  • Art Museum of Gyor, Hungary - artwork and documentation


INSIDE – gelatin silver photographs, made with a camera obscura.

This is an archive of images, obtained through long exposures, which capture the movement of the light over the objects and the changing of space and appearance of the objects due to this constant movement.



Salvinia is a fictitious wine farm which I tried to describe in its most baroque details. Try to think of Salvinia as a game I used to play with my own childhood, that ideal Paradise that everybody needs (some of us transform their childhood into this Paradise, once they inexorably quit it). More you play and more precisely you reconstruct it, more you destroy it by transforming it in an artificially place of pathetic feelings and gestures. More you long for it, more you disintegrate it. This is the paradox.


“The Heroes”

The businessman Becali and the philosopher Patapievici, the pop and movie star Stefan Banica jr. and the Romanian President Basescu are the most different characters possible, but quite similar personalities, in terms of their brands. The same mass fascination, the same confused respect of the hysterical crowds repeating their names in an almost religious way, loving and hating in a sado-maso way the ones whom they’ve entrusted the future of the motherland. The anatomy of their power and the structure of the relationship between the personality and its target audience is almost interchangeable, be it Patapievici and Romania’s intellectuals, or Becali and the field workers.

The visual illustration chosen by Emanuel Borcescu is the autochthonous kitsch, adorable in its extreme, the kitsch of the living rooms, of the objects and of the suburbs, the kitsch of the lack of proportions in Romanian society.

Cosmin Costinas, art critic


On neighbourhood in Bucharest

“B 07 ROU” short movie, 2’16”, DVD

As a response to the neighbourhood topic I have chosen to illustrate the primitive attitudes generated by the distribution and unruly use of parking spaces in the dormitory areas with blocks of flats in Bucharest. Using a gesture just as primitive as the attitude – of the animal marking its territory – I tried to find a powerful visual equivalent that would place urbanity into discussion, but also the relationship between tradition/force and law, between usage and taking possession of the public space, of the way in wich neighborly behaviour may be enhanced or lowered by individual conduct. (from catalogue “Visual Eurobarometter”, 2007)


In Russian “stal” stands for "steel" A History Evil Night Show at OTA Club

This is the real history - individual traumas, kitsch, obsessions.
The evil in the official history as we know it is so abstract. In fact it's all about the evil in all of us. And some of us got the power.

I’ve conceived an alternative version of the official history as known from the propaganda posters. “The evil source from history is reduced to the evil source in man” (Ernesto Sabato). We should take into consideration our personal traumas, obsessions or subjective moods.

In the so called “propaganda posters” appear in my version flash-backs from the childhood of the cases I studied. The details which speak of the intimate thoughts, or traumas become important. Some “Educative” posters have slogans in accordance to the subjective experience of the dictators.


... also known as "THE BOOKS OF DOCMARCELL"

In which it is told about the myths, the values, the failures, the temptations, the symbols of the contemporary world... everything synthesized in the fables of doctor MarCell. The fables comment on personality cult, betrayal, greed, power, destruction, love and fear.

A spring at the offices invaded by wild animals. One of the most exciting experiences soon on


Fresco of The Romanian Capitalist Worker, 2010

(part of "Proiect 1990", curated by Ioana Ciocan)

Painting made of modular panels, set on the socle of the demolished Lenin's statue in The Square of The Free Journalism, Bucharest

“Fresco of The Romanian Capitalist Worker” represents, in an ironical context, some models of the new Romanian capitalist working class: the Romanian immigrant worker in Spain, at the strawberries farms; the corporatist - business man; the bricklayer in a rich residential area in Bucharest and the money lender.

I quoted, stylistycally, the "homage" frescoes from the Communist Era, which praised the workers in the socialist factories. This way, I made a paralell with the building of the new capitalist system - the new heroes are enrolled for the new values (the business status, the luxury car and house, the gadget), striving by any means (see the strawberry farm worker). We assist to the same destruction of the individual for the sake of the system, the same lack of liberty in the business parks, and the consummerism as opposite of the communist starvation. The new lack of liberty has other forms but it still exists.

This project wants to evaluate the construction of the capitalism in the Romanian way, especially emphasysing the original "local colour".

The Fresco covered the socle on his four sides. It was unveiled in the evening of the project's launching.


Curator: Diana Marincu

DOCMARCELL’s laboratory, containing his archive of texts and images, reveals a distorted vision on ordinary, harmless objects. It is a space defined by all the fears of the contemporary man, obsessed with hygiene and aseptic environment, living in the presence of genetic experiments and fatal germs.

DOCMARCELLis first of all a witness; but at the same time, through analysis and his fake constructs related to the collective "virused" subconsciusness, he becomes a valve for letting off steam.

Film Stills

- an image archive part of DOCMARCELL project -

This image archive comments on the apprehensive vision over the things arround us. It is a socio-political commentary on the issues of the science evolution in the XXth century, but still keeps an aesthetic, almost abstract form of the visual expression.

The fake film stills are created by me from personal photographs of diferent objects and visual "accidents" from the daily life, played on a TV screen and rephotographed as they are real stills from movies.

The composition, the light, the noise of the image, they all lead to a distorded vision of the real thing - a cable, a hole in a wall, the detail of a lamp, the leaves of a flower, a broken glass become in my photography images as taken by microscope in a scientific laboratory. They take the form of menacing microbes, metamorphosed structures. They are all the distorded visions and fears of the contemporary mankind, living today in the presence of genetic experiments, fatal microbes some of them created in vitro, or by contrary living with the obsession of the perfect hygiene and sterility.

Find out more here: Marcell

drawings/installation (scrap iron from an old factory)

Borcescu chooses to describe the recent history, in which major events occur, with the main collective character in absentia. Trapped within the history’s schlafwagen, the collective character misses, by means of lack of involvement, all historic events it could contribute to. The artist creates a visual conversion of a broken landscape, a reliquary of factories and industrial plants, the sleeping wagon symbolically passes through. Covering Nag Pop Up Gallery’s walls in a semi-fictional drawing of a spectral landscape describing a past now lifeless, Emanuel Borcescu is closing the “25 Years After” program.

Curator: Ioana Ciocan

Architect Attila Kim

Organizer: Ephemair Association; Partners: Magheru One, R77, OBOS Foundation, MNAC


// First of all, for understanding the context of this project, if you are not familiar with the so-called Mineriads, please read about the violent interventions of miners in Bucharest during the period June 13-15, 1990. //

Borcescu transforms the miners in garden gnomes, creating an ironical alternative to the mainstream discourse, which transferred to the miners the principal culpable responsability of The Mineriads. In Romania of the last 25 years, living with the grotesque has become a "domestical relatioship", therefore irony can provide the relaxation for an objective view and thinking. The Garden Gnome-Miner, as an assumed kitsch object, repositions us in a new perspective of an accurate critique concerning the errors in recent Romanian history.


Industrial machines, abandoned, in different closed factories. 

Diana Marincu - "The Journal of Immunology" / installation by Emanuel Borcescu

DocMarCell’s laboratory, containing his archive of texts and images, reveals a distorted vision on ordinary, harmless objects. It is a space defined by all the fears of the contemporary man, obsessed with hygiene and aseptic environment, living in the presence of genetic experiments and fatal germs.

DocMarCell is first of all a witness; but at the same time, through analysis and his fake constructs related to the collective "virused" subconsciusness, he becomes a valve for letting off steam.


Oana Tanase — The Journal of Immunology by DocMarCell

Last days I became alert (an allusion to the name of the gallery - Alert Studio) because of the exhibition of the artist Emanuel Borcescu, The Journal of Immunology by DocMarCell. (curator: Diana Marincu, coordinator: Catalin Burcea, April 15 - May 5, 2011)

A fiction made of multiple realities, the laboratory of DocMarCell is "a space of the contemporary man's anxieties, obsessed with perfect hygiene and aseptic medium", we are warned by the press release.

The instalation proposed by Emanuel Borcescu for Alert Studio (fragile and fluorescent, on purpose hardly legible, pervert and menacing) is just a sequence of a bigger project developed by the artist since 2006 - an image and texts archive (sources or commentaries) constructed around the "observation" of an increasing attachment that humankind has for autodestruction. The archive can be accessed at the web adress, where you can inevitably balance between a micro and a macro vision of the theme. Don't miss the show!


DOCMARCELL - Autodestruction up to date

The cyanide ion > if used as poison, is generally delivered in the form of gaseous hydrogen cyanide, potassium cyanide or sodium cyanide

Mechanism of toxicity

Cyanide is an irreversible enzyme inhibitor. Cyanide ions bind to the iron atom of the enzyme cytochrome c oxidase (also known as aa3) in the fourth complex in the mitochondrial membrane in the mitochondria of cells. This denatures the enzyme, and the final transport of electrons from cytochrome c oxidase to oxygen cannot be completed. As a result, the electron transport chain is disrupted, meaning that the cell can no longer aerobically produce ATP for energy.

Tissues that mainly depend on aerobic respiration, such as the central nervous system and the heart, are particularly affected.

Plants contain an alternative pathway for respiration in their mitochondria. The alternate oxidase is not as efficient as the normal pathway, but immune to cyanide. As a result, plants are insensitive to concentrations of cyanide that are lethal to animals, and a few species (e.g. the Giant Bamboo in its shoots) are known to contain cyanides.[4] Interestingly, the Greater Bamboo Lemur is able to consume lethal doses of the Giant Bamboo shoots with no effect. The reason for its immunity is not yet understood.

Clinical symptoms

It is difficult to give dose figures in this section due to the rapid metabolism of cyanide in the human body. Animal studies are of little help, as different species have widely different sensitivities to cyanide: it is quite possible that there is also a considerable range of sensitivity among human individuals. The Regulatory information section below may give some guidance.


Cyanide salts are sometimes used as fast-acting suicide devices. Cyanide is reputed to work faster on an empty stomach, possibly because the anion is protonated by stomach acids to give HCN. Famous cyanide salt suicides include:

  • Erwin Rommel
  • Adolf Hitler (likely, see article on Hitler's death)
  • Eva Braun
  • Wallace Carothers
  • Joseph Goebbels
  • Hermann Göring
  • Heinrich Himmler
  • Alan Turing
  • Odilo Globocnik
  • Martin Bormann
  • A North-Korean agent identified as Kim Sung Il, who along with a female accomplice in police custody in Bahrain bit into cyanide tablets hidden in cigarettes after having left a bomb onboard Korean Air Flight 858 which subsequently exploded over the Indian Ocean on November 29, 1987. The woman's life was saved by a quick-thinking police officer who knocked the cigarette away at the last second.
  • Ramón Sampedro
  • Gavrilo Princip attempted suicide, but failed
  • Nedeljko Čabrinović attempted suicide, but failed
  • Behzad Nabavi attempted suicide, but failed

Some espionage agents also carried glasses with cyanide in the frames. If they were caught by the enemy they could 'casually' chew the frame, releasing the cyanide, and die before having information extracted from them.[citation needed] Members of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam which operate in north-eastern Sri Lanka are probably the most reported to use capsules made out of cyanide compound/compounds, where each member of the militia wears a capsule round their neck, which is used to commit suicide when they are about to be captured by the security forces of Sri Lanka.

Some Conclusions of DocMarCell

This project based on an image archive, at its start in October 2006, has a web platform for the development, at the present.

We can make this statement, without the shadow of any doubt, that humankind developed from destruction towards its inexorable autodestruction. This is our thesis to demonstrate. That looking from these days back, to the early days of diseases and wars, the concept of destruction is old-fashioned and it seems to be less demonic. What really scares us is the quickly spread of a brand new concept (its date of birth cannot be precisely established, but could be indicated arround the beginning of the XXth century). This new concept is AUTODESTRUCTION of the humankind and this is what we call the contemporary phase of development of the humankind. This is the baroque phase, the summum and beyond it we cannot foresee anything for the moment. The evil which affects humankind has now this shape. Who would have been the turning point from destruction to autodestruction, what would be the causes, and can we nevertheless foresee something after this autodestruction point in which we are stuck?

"The Conclusions" of DocMarCell  are some of them based on true facts, some of them are visionary, some come from his subjective memory.

Everything is gathered in an archive of images that shouldn't be forget. This archive is a possible memory of humankind. A history of the Evil which affected it. And this archive contains probably the ideas about how would appear to be a new era to come.

The images of the archive, in the form of "print screens", illustrate the concept of destruction (human pandemic, war, terrorism) and the concept of autodestruction (DNA code manipulation, autoerasing of electronic information). All the history of human Evil from The Archaic, to The Modern Era, until this baroque Phase is intended to be illustrated in the course of development of this project.

One immediate conclusion comes at light: if destruction makes us think about macro structures, autodestruction would action especially at the cellular and informational level.

Find out more here:


Cosmin Costinas - 32 Romanian Painters

Emanuel Borcescu is the typical representative of his generation, the young guy after «Parazitii» and «Academia Catavencu» of the post-Ceausescu and post-Iliescu Romania, still cynical but lacking the catastrophic hysteria of the nineties. Emanuel Borcescu mocks, first of all, painting itself, understood as a place to represent the representation-worthy, as a mirror and an ode to the power, a high class prostitute for the most beloved sons of the motherland. Then he passes to Romania of the year 2005 that has (finally!) found the elites it had looked for in the nineties, elites perfectly resembling it, based on the slogan “anything for everyone”.

The businessman Becali and the philosopher Patapievici, the pop and movie star Stefan Banica jr. and the Romanian President Basescu are the most different characters possible, but quite similar personalities, in terms of their brands. The same mass fascination, the same confused respect of the hysterical crowds repeating their names in an almost religious way, loving and hating in a sado-maso way the ones whom they’ve entrusted the future of the motherland. The anatomy of their power and the structure of the relationship between the personality and its target audience is almost interchangeable, be it Patapievici and Romania’s intellectuals, or Becali and the field workers.

The visual illustration chosen by Emanuel Borcescu is the autochthonous kitsch, adorable in its extreme, the kitsch of the living rooms, of the objects and of the suburbs, the kitsch of the lack of proportions in Romanian society.

Cosmin Costinas, art critic


Sebastian Big & Emanuel Borcescu - About Norwegian Women

Article and photos in Omagiu Review no. 2, 2005

The hardest thing is to approach them, to explain the fact that you want them to appear in your picture. You can say you want to situate them in the landscape to enliven the place, you can lie with all sort of things. There can be an embarrassing silence until they answer you, but it’s worth it. You do whatever it takes to get a picture of them. And then you zoom on their figure, you cut out the landscape which is not your concern, you get a step closer and frame what is really appealing: their smile, the sensation of intimism radiated by some of them, the extravagance of others, their candor, the self confidence of a winner from their looks (arisen from the feminism belief), their exulting or nostalgic expressions.

The thing is to get lost into details: a girl having fun at “Love Parade”, another one sweeping after the techno crowd, a pregnant woman updating her wardrobe, a waitress smiling on her way to the restaurant’s kitchen. Of course, the tattoo in the lumbar zone can’t be unobserved. Besides, there are women in all kind of hypostasis, in every day life, mothers who still have the genes of ex-Viking-wives (in their eyes and in their DNA also), lovers, students, little girls. It is known that you can understand better a place through its people, that physique and psychic resembles the place. But, in the case of Norwegian women, this can be deceiving. At first sight, they are rather cold, just like the fiords, but their inner side is Mediterranean and it reaches out from time to time. Maybe the discreet charm of Norwegian women comes precisely from the fragile balance between cold and warm.

Their world crosses the city and passes over it becoming gradually your main interest. You don’t use anymore all your photo films for Rathaus, Karl Johans Strasse or the Parliament. You don’t even take interesting pictures in bars any longer. Although in Oslo you can be attracted by the spectacular colored windows, the simple architecture, the airy urban spaces, the huge parks in which you can tread upon the grass without being questioned by the public guardians, you start to look for pretences everyday to stick with images of the Norwegian women.


Borcescu - Interview

Article from “Observator cultural”, no. 126/August, 2007

I believe that influences exist in every artist’s work, especially in the contemporary period when the amount of information has grown. Now, living out of the influences means assuming the risk of reinventing the wheel. I also believe that being influenced by something does not stand for imitating. I perceive influences as a catalyst for one’s work. For me, I think that some images are born from the lust of other images created before. To point out the influences I should start chronologically. Influences in my technique existed in the high-school – college period. From the Renaissance to contemporary artists such as Anselm Kiefer or Ryan McGinness, I let myself influenced by them, one at a time, in order to gather as much knowledge as possible. I think this is the secret: to let yourself be influenced and to forget what you’ve learned. However, I would consider more the artists that had a conceptual or attitudinal influence upon me. To start with, there are the French Intimists (Bonnard, Vuillard, Valloton) and I never placed Bonnard at the top as he is usually placed in art history. Admitting in Bonnard the existence of a genius is the same thing as killing the state of mind of that period. The influence of all the Nabis (including Maurice Denis) upon me consists of their approach towards nature and the apparently little things which happen to us every day. It was then that I understood that you can easily miss the phenomenal if you don’t pay attention. And there’s more to it, there is the joy you get in time, the joy of noticing the seemingly banality and placing it into a light which reveals the part of latent beauty, of the intimacy that you can’t find in Place Vandome, but in the neighborhoods of Place Pigalle. And so I truly discovered for the first time painting and realized that it can never die because of the simple fact that some things can be conceived only through painting. Afterwards, I was impressed by the 80’s German Neo-expressionists. Looking at them I’ve learnt the power and the simplification of the language. Immendorf, Lupertz, Kiefer, Baselitz. Later on, a contemporary artist with almost the same structure, Neo Rauch. Other artists who marked my evolution are Jeff Wall, Cindy Scherman, Helmut Newton and from cinematography Antonioni and Passolini. Viewing their work I admired for the first time the world as a stage show and the world became more spectacular as the setting became more artificially scenographied. Then I was affected by the minimalism, the power and the visual ascetic of Bauhaus. That is how I got to the Soviet poster and the totalitarian art in general.

At the moment my concerns are centered on a concept and an internet work platform ( and on an image archive (drawings and photos) which study the evolution from distruction to autodistruction in contemporary history.

I don’t believe in style in general, I believe in it only if assuming it temporarily (or quoting it, or miming it) it helps you develop an ideea. I don’t declaim against style like Stefan Sagmeister did when he shocked the world of graphic design saying that „Style is fart”. Besides, Sagmeister had pulled back his words and reconsidered his option from that time. Therefore, even the most radical people against style can’t deny it’s existence. I think the style can be dangerous when it becomes a manner for the artist and his work is drained of content. I for one have been in love with certain styles and i practiced them, I revisited them because they visually sustained my ideas and because they were the shortest way to the emotions I wanted to deliver. There are two styles which I have to mention: the Rococo and the graphic of Soviet propaganda posters. Artistic markers can be found everywhere (including media or books), it all depnds on the selection you make. If you are motivated to reflect something you should be able to choose some means that can help you to do that.

I didn’t have masters, but I admired a few teachers who knew how to offer a path to a personal system of thinking. The rest of them knew more or less how to teach you a technique and that was all. I think that you can avoid what masters teach you when you become a personality, and at that moment you can have some models which transcend the local recipes belonging to one school or another.

I don’t belong to a school because I don’t serve the visual programme of one of them. I make only the projects that run through my head. And even from these ones, I select.

I don’t have any reluctance towards the Romanian educational system; I think there are teachers who can offer you a classical education. What people don’t understand, or what they don’t want to understand yet, is that other kind of teachers can also be used or other people who can expand the experiences offered to the students. And by that I mean to offer them the possibility to prepare for the society we live in and moreover, to face the present art world. Overall, I believe that in time there will be an import of “fresh blood” even in the Romanian art education.

I’m not disappointed by the Romanian art and I believe there are many artists who can make a difference even at an international level; some of them already did it. The problem of the Romanian art is the environment in which it takes place; until now it was very limited, but new and very different spaces appear form one year to another and this is a good thing. Generally the trends in the art world must be very diverse and people who make the selections should also be very different in order to provide as many options as possible. I feel sorry sometimes for not leaving the country. Other times I think that I couldn’t have made certain projects in any other place. And at the question of leaving the country only the future can give an answer. I think that my talent has been acknowledged in Romania through some awards and expositions, but it’s important that you keep at least the same high standard of your work. The East was and will still be interesting; there is indeed a risk and we have examples of artists who tended to follow the means of expression from the West.

What is important is to remain original in thinking without being disconnected from what happens in the rest of the world (not necessarily the West).