TIBERIU CĂPUDEAN

2022

Visual Arts

Recipient of the European Tolerance Award | ARTivist | Storyteller | Atheist | Chocoholic | Nomad

Tiberiu is a Romanian photographer and LGBTQI+ activist based in Madrid. He considers himself an ARTivist – someone that can change mentalities through art. His projects, apart from the aesthetical and narrative role, are also meant to educate. The men that Tiberiu included in his projects shared very personal stories with him, explaining how they managed to overcome homophobia, racism, body-shaming, ageism and stereotyping. Also, by photographing men of all ages, ethnicities and body types, Tiberiu is also fighting against today’s beauty norms.

His first exhibition, NAKED, hosted by the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Bucharest was a great success. He also had exhibitions in Paris (Bear’s Den), Brussels (Rainbow House) and Madrid (Cineteca Matadero).

“NAKED emerged from the need for visibility of the LGBTQI+ community and from my desire to help those who aren’t part of our sexual minority to get to know us. To understand our struggles and strenghts, our fears and victories. I want to give a face and a voice to those that the homophobes hate without even knowing.”

Due to the impact of his project as well as his constant commitment in building cultural bridges between Romania and other countries, especially for his role as ambassador to promote LGBTQI+ rights as human rights, in 2018 Tiberiu receives the European Tolerance Award 2018 from the European Cultural Forum.

His next project, FAMILY, was born a year later, in a rather troubling time in Romania. His second exhibition at the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Bucharest had the opening in the very day of the infamous referendum for re-defining the term “family” in the Romanian Constitution. Most political parties in Romania, with the support of most religious groups in the country wanted the term “spouses” to be replaced by “a man and a woman” when it comes to families. Luckily, the referendum wasn’t successful, but Tiberiu’s exhibition was. After Bucharest, FAMILY traveled again to Paris.

“I wanted to capture the intimacy and love between men. I hope people will eventually understand that diversity means normality and that we’re not less human - therefore, the human rights should apply to us too. Because that’s what we want – equal rights, not special rights.”

​His latest project, LOVE, it’s a tribute to… well… the love between men. Tiberiu photographed, again, a wide variety of men – interracial couples, couples with significant age differences, inter-cultural couples, couples that lived together for over 30 years, others that are in long-distance relationships, monogamous and polyamorous couples, as well as couples that live happily in open relationships.

In 2020, LOVE was included in the official program of Madrid Pride’s cultural events. Despite the peak of the Covid crisis, all the restrictions and limited access, Tiberiu’s exhibition at Casa de Vacas was a great success and was highly appreciated by the public. He was invited to showcase his photos in Romania, at Timișoara Pride 2021 as well as Paris. As part of Tallinn Bearty 2022 Visual Arts LOVE exhibition can be seen at Fotografiska Tallinn until May, 2022.

“I want LOVE to be an emotional journey. There’s no one-size-fits-all in relationships. This is what I’ve learned working on this project. There are so many ways to be happy. Love doesn’t abide by rules, nor should it abide by heteronormativity. That’s the beauty of it. As long as there’s true love, mutual respect and constant communication, love has infinite shapes. You should look for what works for you, what make you happy. And do that with pride. I hope people will take a good look at my photos and read all the stories, so they can see what true love feels like."