Being equally classic and modern, going through some important eras in the history of Romanian sculpture during his existence and activity, the Moldavian artist Mihai Onofrei is a master of Romanian statuary. Both trained in a national sculpture school, but also in a French one and an Italian one, witnessing the successive styles and views of the twentieth century, to which he adds his own vision and approach, the sculptor gifted the public space in the country with numerous pieces of evidence of his prodigious / astounding artistic activity. Following the spirit of the times in which he was trained, Mihai Onofrei focused his artistic preoccupations on the portrait, so today we owe to him the presence of many especially cultural, but also political figures, in emblematic places in Romania. The creation of Mihai Onofrei is, mostly, proof of the talent for public forum art which the sculptors trained in the times before the First World War and the Interwar period were especially known for. Even though his debut was in painting, later on the artist changed his option, becoming one of the most prolific sculptors. He has a notorious preoccupation for an elaborate amount of research before the actual production of the portraits of personalities destined for public exposure.
The result of this meticulous documentation has evidently led to retrieving the traits immortalized in stone or marble of each represented character, so that Mihai Onofrei’s works themselves are today a precious visual document, meant to establish in the public conscience the image of those who contributed to the birth of modern Romanian culture and civilization.
Luiza Barcan (2014)