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The Coolest Art Bars Around The Globe (III): Sax, Cluj-Napoca

The Coolest Art Bars Around The Globe (III): Sax, Cluj-Napoca

There is no denying it, the art world and drinking go hand in hand.

Artists and writers have always been drawn to bars, which is often a creative space. So, it’s only natural that some bars would choose to feature art, as part of their very concept.

It is a trend, especially in big or up and coming cities with a significant art scene. You can find great contemporary artworks carefully chosen, shown in hip bars from London, New York, or Paris, as well as from cities as Cluj-Napoca, Belgrade, or Copenhagen.

Which seems extremely cool, as what better place to enjoy the artwork and take it in, than a place where, by definition, you go to relax and free your mind of daily worries.

So, let’s take a look at the most impressive art bars that we found so far:

Last week we introduced Sketch, London and La Colombe d’Or, Saint Paul de Vence. Today, we go to another favorite: SAX with friends – Cluj Napoca, Romania.

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Their theme is announced right from the start, with catchy lines telling who they are:

“Is it a wine bar? Is it an art gallery? Is it a jazz & blues concert hall? Is it a speakeasy? Is it a place for romantic madness? Or a place for lounging with your friends? YES.”

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Sax is the project of a group of friends aiming to prove that art does not only belong in a museum or an exhibition space. The artwork shouldn’t only be conventionally displayed, but, on the contrary, and in particular, it can be part of our lives and thus can be brought to life. So they mix art and daily life. Creating ”an escape from the routine, a place for dialogue with both the works and friends, where the guests are not mere spectators, but part of the experience, trying to prove that art can be a part of our lives, just like our lover, friends, music, wine.” Trying and succeeding, we would say.

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Cluj Napoca, in the last years, has become more and more a center of contemporary art. Drawing the attention of the entire world, with UAD (The University of Art and Design) growing prestigious, and its young artists becoming well-known worldwide. It only makes sense that a significant art bar would find its perfect place here. It also makes sense that it is a speakeasy.

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Situated in the vicinity of the University of Art and Design, SAX hosts works of contemporary art by trending Romanian artists, from paintings, sculptures, installations to fashion design, designer jewelry, and others, in permanent and temporary exhibitions.

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There are tens of painting in the permanent exhibition, by Romanian artists Ștefan Szakacs, Dan Crecan, Octavian Cosma, Lucia Bratu, Sorina Țibacov, Iulia Șchiopu, Martha Palli, installations and sculptures by Anadora Lupo and Misha Diaconu, art-jewelry by Alina Băncilă. Also, the Romanian artists Anadora Lupo and Leontin Țibacov signed the plates, and Dan Băncilă some of the glassware.

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SAX also hosts a series of temporary exhibitions in the Gallery, a dedicated space for an exhibition.

When entering SAX, you instantly feel that you entered a different and, as corny as it may sound, magical world. As mesmerized as we were at Sketch and charmed by La Colombe d’Or, we were fascinated here. Eclectic, mysterious, vibrant, colorful, with a thousand layers to peel, you cannot get bored or take your eyes off of it — off everything.
Next week, we’ll go to Belgrade.

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