WORK

The kind of art I create has to do with the environment. In my opinion a work of art does not have boundaries. I have been doing projects that combine photography or painting with performance art, or video art with objects etc.  The interfering of artistic performances is crucial to the era towards which we are going.

Installation art

Extended painting (2017 - 2019)

Fake Family (2020)

I take my inspiration from personal emotions, and then build an entire world surrounding each emotion. It is always a challenge for me to refer to contrasting subjects, such as daily routine and poetry. The way I am trying to express different subjects is by creating an atmosphere and proposing painting at its limit of becoming an installation.

For this painting I’ve selected convenient parts from reality and then, mixed them with vegetal elements from a fictional world, a world that I 

make reference to also in my 3D HOTEL iterative project. I had as a point of inspiration the Ogygia island, where it is known from Mythology that Ulises met Calypso and lived with her for seven years.

Ogygia (2017-2019)

I propose painting at its limit of becoming an installation. The main source of inspiration for this painting was the story of Calypso. It reveals my perspective over how Ogygia island, the place where she lived, reinterpreted becomes the environment of my alter ego.

Facing the other me

The artwork “Facing the Other Me” is a recall to identity, to the hardest thing that we are dealing with during life: ourselves. It really is a challenge to get to know yourself and to accept who you are. This artwork is part of the project “3D HOTEL” – a project through which I create an atmosphere starting from this character (a fantastic self-portrait) that I’ve named Calypso. One day she goes on a trip and gets a room at a small hotel. She suddenly starts to remember things that she didn’t know she ever lived. Just watching in the mirror, she remembers her past from the very beginning.

Each soul builds a room where the temperament is locked. On the other side of the door the character features are left free, the ones that are influenced by the habits, preferences and values of parents, but preponderantly, by society norms. I dare to call this phenomenon “intentional filtering of personality” and to remember people this way that is it in our power to decide how tight should the door to your room be locked, or until when. Facing the old you means loving yourself by allowing you to remember what makes you different. 3D HOTEL is a project built on the idea of identity, of mind liberation and aspiration for transcendence.

Notes of a painter (2016 - 2018)

It all started from an experiment I did in 2016 in Mulhouse, France. I created a collage on one of my bedroom’s walls, from images that I cared about throughout time. I was pretending to try to erase my memory. To some extent, people are able to select what they want to keep in their memory. Under certain circumstances, they are even able to control what they forget. This is what my exercise was about: to constiently select from my memories and forget the rest.Later on, I have created different versions of that wall, with canvases instead of pieces of paper this time.  The new installation can be regarded as the memory, an archive, a document, a testimony. The notes – objects are detached from their original context and from their own meaning as well (tickets on which some important ideas are written). It is saved only the form of a post-it, without being overloaded with useless information: coherent phrases. The most important is that these objects are are connected to each other, reminding of an investigation map.

More recently, from the essense of the pictures that were first taken to document the work “A Wall” I have done a group of six pictures, entitled “I AM ERASING MY MEMORY”. It is a collage of pictures and texts, disposed according to an imaginary horizontal line. I’ve imagined the mind as a cutting paper machine, which you can observe from the way I’ve apparently symmetrically mixed pictures and texts on these six notes.

Constellation on the Skin (2016-2018)

Constellation on the Skin got birth from a thought that once passed through my mind. I was in the bathtub full of water, washing my hair. With my mind empty, I was looking at the many beauty spots on my chest. I saw an entire universe with tiny stars shining. It was 2016. After shooting those fragments of my skin, they soon became an installation with 19 pieces of 113 x 42 cm each. 

I worked then to find a way of preserving this ”constellation” moment from the bathtub untouched by the time’s passing. As a metaphor, I placed each photography between the two layers of a Thermopane window. Since then, 16 skin constellations have become immortal. Over the glass surface, are drawn imaginary constellations as some „vectors” of transition: broken lines connecting  two points.

A very important role for the entire installation play the three left pieces, which are traditional linen canvases – collage and painting. The feathers can be touched and the painting does have a particular smell. Neither touch or smell can be kept frozen in a piece of glass, the way only a photography can.

ARTISTIC PRACTICE IN THE PUBLIC SPACE

Incomplete keyboard (2016 - 2019)

Returning home is another way of dealing with the decomposition of traditions that myself I am experiencing, living for no longer periods of time in various countries (Italy, France, USA etc). Therefore, Romania is the place of birth of artistic endeavors, less constrained by the conventional painting rules regarding the employed medium.
“Incomplete Keyboard” is not only a series of 19 pieces, but an infinite field, performance area for a liberated painting act. This painting is gestural, focusing on the relevance of the line and the artist’s instinct. The topic is “the universal word” – the synthesis of an idea, better said, the result is a new language, the association of images, letters and emptiness.

ITERATIVE PROJECTS

3D HOTEL (2016 - 2019)

I install my artworks in spaces that I find emblematic in the places I go. They are presented as a hotel in a solo exhibition. Each time I recreate the intimate but also cold atmosphere of a hotel room, digging deeper and deeper. Instead of admiring art from a safe distance, with “3D HOTEL” visitors can immerse themselves in the artwork and experience it with all their senses.
No Dinner For Tonight - 2018 - 38 x 36 x 5 cm slash 15 x 14 x 2 inches - plaster, metal, acrylic paint and ceramic pieces from the work Saturation by Alina Buga

From Painting to Life (2018 - present)

During this performance, I give a peek into the world of a painter, by bringing together colour (the traditional element of painting) and time (representative for other media such as video, that are not conventionally characteristic for painting). The concept is a performance where you can experience a painter in a show-window on a stage, in a created context: an intimate image that reveals an environment from the artist’s intimacy. This allows the viewer to enter for a few minutes in the mind of a creator, and implicitly in the middle of an artwork.


The staging can take different forms each time the performance is repeated. The major marks to obtain the concept for this performance concept are: an artist (me), in a show-window (wood/metal structure) on ”a stage” with a specific background and prop. The wall behind the scenes is a background with a picture, a zoom in from the “Frozen with liquid” facility, part of the 3D HOTEL project. This image is the basis of the bas-relief. From it, two reliefs come forward. The first one is the show-window, positioned at varying heights (20/40/60/80 cm) from the ground, depending on the space. Inside the window I stand, dressed in my alter ego’s costume (Calypso). The second relief is an object installation (a table with plaster objects on it), exposed as a live sample of the snapshot in the background.
This three-dimensional composition suggests the transition from 2D to 3D, from painting to life, seen through the eyes of contemporaneity: a screen shot, an image numbed by a handheld shooting. Contrary to this finding, the idea of life is suggested by the background sound: a recording with the voice of several individuals reading the paragraphs of the text “A day in a painter’s life”.

Iele (2017 - 2018)

Event during the night of The 23th of June (the night of the Sanziene) – a mythical story that comes from the dacians. The legend says that during this night a group of young and unbelievable beautiful ladies are dancing in circles, burning the grass and punishing the men they meet (especially young men) with blindness or other terrifying curses. They generally have been seen in groups of three, five or seven.

 

COLLABORATIONS

Dialogues (2019-2020)

HAVING LUCH WITH DANIEL SPOERRI

Having Lunch with Daniel Spoerri represents an ”imaginary dialogue” between my artwork and the Eat Art movement, of which father is Daniel Spoerri. The idea of creating this artwork came to me spontaneously, when I was with my two month old baby, eating something in a hurry. I took a picture of that moment, of the composition that we, by being there, just created. Domestic activities and daily routine are elements that connect my entire artistic process. The structure on which all the artworks I make are based is the essence of my life, the way I live it and I document it. Having Lunch with Daniel Spoerri is an example of considering life a crucial element for art nowadays.

Spoerri’s imaginary dialogue takes place during lunch – a three course meal that leaves room for debate and conversation. The moment in my life that I extracted (a rushed lunch that turned into a photo session with Filip) is rendered in the form of dessert, a wooden object and ceramics that also combine the technique of collage. The glass window in the context of this composition symbolizes the “baggage” that I bring in conversation with Daniel Spoerri, the shop window being a motif found in many of my projects, as well as the shapes that have as a point of departure elements of vegetation. Through this artwork I argue that dialogue can be carried out between artists of all times, because works of art become fundamental landmarks of orientation and thus, timeless. Just like that, one day, at lunch, because I placed Filip on the table, I ended up having this “dialogue” with Daniel Spoerri, which I started by confessing him that for me “art is life itself ”.

MIND HAS NO SEX

The artwork is the outcome of a collaboration between an artist and a philosopher (Gabriel Vacariu). It consists of an installation with three portrait type photographs, a mirror and a pair of headphones next to each photo. It is a process that occurs in different moments, in the end the installation leading to the idea that the “mind has no sex”.

Each of the pictures is a different version of myself. The first embodiment is the unknowing character that does not distinguish between body and mind. The second immortalizes the moment when the crucial questioning comes, followed by the understanding of the fact that the “self” (different than the “body”) is the loneliness. The last character represents the immaterial” self” separated from the material “body” (the “nature” itself).

Each image is accompanied by the voice of Gabriel Vacariu, explaining the fact that this transformation process is universal, having no restrictions of gender. Both the photographs and the mirror will be framed in boxes with mirror on the interior walls, creating an intimate atmosphere for each object (involving Dostoevsky’s double and Kafka’s Metamorphosis). Visitors will become protagonists of the story, facing a framed mirror like the other three objects.

REMEMBERING REMBRANDT (2019)

CURATORIAL PROJECT

Institutions and museums around the world mark this year 350 years since the death of Rembrandt van Rijn, organizing various events in memory of the master.

The world we see when we look at a Rembrandt painting has not been portrayed by anyone else. We do not want to recreate this world. How can we do it in a digitized world, a world of neon lights, light boxes, white nights, and explosive colors? We intent to highlight different manners in which light enriches our life today through our “senses and feelings” (R. Arnheim).

Over the years, the human eye has changed, getting to  see more and more colors and lights. If in Holland of 1600-1700 the way to illuminate a room was with a candle that offered the indispensable warmth present in Rembrandt’s paintings, today we can enumerate many more ways. To highlight this diversity of contemporaneity, in the Remembering Rembrandt exhibition there are presented four different interpretations of the light.

For the artist Simona Vilău it is about the light-color. Her painting reminds of the strength of the color that the Fauvists speculated in the early 1900s. The easiness and courage with which she uses color in contrast to subjects based on sensitivity, emotion and self-knowledge led her to paint the two self-portraits, Lady Rain and Self-Portrait with cut trees, << exercises of acceptance and love for own body as for the Others’ >> as the artist declares. The artist-model relationship built between Rembrandt van Rijn and his wife, Saskia, based on a noble love that remains immortalized in portraits and nudes, is reinterpreted by Simona Vilău, which invites us to reflect on the human-nature relationship of our time.

The work “Dialogue with the Self” that I’ve painted at the beginning of this year reminds of the philosophical “mind-body problem”, as a replica to the “Aristotle with a Bust of Homer” painting.  In the post-modernity era, the human being considers abandoning the body for something better, for breaking the limits for transcendence. Together with this comes the idea of metamorphosis which I speculate in my art. Everybody can leave the mediocrity to become extraordinary. To make a visual representation to this Nietzschean belief, “I have separated my mind from the body” and I have created so two distinct entities.

But I think Rembrandt’s work is much more about two other entities: light and darkness. Some of my most pleasant memories as a student are the visits to the studio of Professor Aurel Vlad, located just behind the University of Fine Arts in Bucharest. I used to go there from time to time to enjoy an amazing show of warm and cold lights, different according to the moment of the day. For an exhibition dedicated to the light, I really wanted to bring a corner out of his studio and settle it exactly like a play, like the story his characters tell when they are placed next to each other (wooden objects over metal objects), as they can be seen in the studio of the sculptor Aurel Vlad. The main element of the scene created for Remembering Rembrandt is the work called Accident (The Anatomy Lesson). Nine years ago Mr. Aurel Vlad saw an accident that made him think of the Dutch master’s famous painting The Anatomy Lesson. Taking it in a humorously way, the Romanian sculptor immortalized the moment.

Mihai Teodorescu, a sculptor of the young generation, chose to build especially for this project a sort of a street lamp with led, which symbolizes the becoming from the light of Rembrandt’s fire and the cold one, the one of today, encountered at commercials or street lights, << which transform the street contrasts from a dramatic movie into a thriller >> as the artist mentions.