"My primary focus in my artistic endeavors centers around the intricate relationship between an individual's vulnerable psyche and their surrounding environment. Aesthetically, I am particularly drawn to the human form and frequently incorporate symbolic elements into diverse, multicultural settings."
Ioana is a professional artist who embarked on her career in 2014. Her focus is on figurative paintings that express her ideas and concepts surrounding mental disabilities, poverty, and homelessness. Ioana believes that some individuals possess powerful emotions and unseen beauty that are frequently unnoticed. She gains permission to visit mental health facilities to experience and accurately depict what occurs inside them. Furthermore, Ioana occasionally interacts with homeless individuals to sketch them in their challenging living environments. In 2015, she showcased her first personal exhibition, "Anima Damnata," at the "Go Contemporary" gallery in Bucharest. Since then, Ioana has presented her artwork in various locations, including London, Milan, Bucharest, Alexandria (Egypt), and Timisoara. Her paintings have been featured in publications such as "ERGON," "MAIL ART" volumes - Bucharest, and Tagsmart - London. Some of her pieces are part of private collections throughout Europe and the USA.
Presently, Ioana is exploring the human psyche by creating works inspired by dreams, hypnotic trance, and stories about human origins, in which she incorporates elements from her own life. Occasionally, the painting's atmosphere and the character's attire are aesthetically influenced by London's multicultural diversity, where the artist currently resides and works. Ioana's project, "Recollecting Paradise," was awarded an Honorary Mention in the "Chelsea International Fine Art Competition" - New York in April of this year.
What inspired you to pursue art and embark on a career as an artist? Was it a particular occurrence, sentiment, or encounter that ignited your interest?
During my formative years, when I was approximately 13 years old, I had the privilege of watching an awe-inspiring movie about the renowned Italian painter, Caravaggio. As someone with a profound appreciation for the works of old masters, this film left an indelible impression on me. It served as a powerful reminder that art is a realm of boundless creativity and unbridled self-expression, offering limitless opportunities for artists to convey their unique perspectives and emotions through their work. Ever since that unforgettable viewing experience, I have continued to nurture my love for art, constantly seeking out new sources of inspiration and creative expression.
Could you please provide us with information regarding your background in the arts, including the techniques you have employed and the subjects you have thus far explored?
Throughout my academic journey, I have been deeply immersed in the world of arts and have honed my craft through rigorous study and practice. I am a proud holder of a Bachelor's Degree in Fine Arts with a specialization in Painting, as well as a Master's Degree in 'Strategies in Creation in Painting' from the esteemed National University of Arts Bucharest. During my master's degree, I was fortunate enough to receive a scholarship that allowed me to pursue my studies at the prestigious Brera Fine Arts Academy in Milan, where I gained invaluable insights into the world of art.
My initial research was primarily focused on mental disorders and individuals who have been institutionalized due to mental illness. I delved deep into the psyche of these individuals and explored the emotions and struggles they faced on a daily basis. However, my current work is centered around ancient Greek legends and myths, which have always fascinated me. I am captivated by the stories of gods and goddesses, heroes and monsters, and the complex emotions and motivations that drive them.
To create my art, I employ a variety of techniques and mediums. I mainly use oil paints, which allow me to create rich, textured surfaces and vivid colors. However, I also incorporate other materials, such as spray paints, neon paint, shimmer, gold, and glitter, to add depth and dimension to my works. Each piece I create is a unique expression of my artistic vision and my passion for exploring the complexities of the human experience.
Oil on Linen, 2021
215 x 300 cm
What is the origin of your creative inspiration?
When it comes to my work, I find that I am most productive and inspired when I am focusing on a subject that truly captivates me. Whether it's delving into the history of a particular culture or exploring the latest scientific breakthroughs, I enjoy immersing myself in a topic and learning everything I can about it. But while I am always seeking out new information and insights, I also find that I draw a great deal of inspiration from the small moments of everyday life. Whether it's observing the way people interact with each other on the street or discovering a thought-provoking passage in a novel, I am constantly on the lookout for new ideas and inspiration to bring into my work.
Could you explicate your artistic methodology and the affective response you intend to elicit in your viewers or patrons?
My ultimate aim is to captivate and inspire the audience with my current project by stimulating their imagination and taking them on a thrilling journey into the realm of fantasy. To achieve this, I have carefully chosen modern individuals dressed in fashionable attire to establish a connection with the viewers and make the experience more relatable. By doing so, I hope to create a sense of familiarity and make the journey more immersive and enjoyable for everyone.
May we inquire about your creative process? Do you engage in a spontaneous approach or do you undergo an extensive preparatory phase, drawing inspiration from technical aspects, art classics, or other sources?
At the onset of my creative process, I always start by making some initial sketches of my idea. These sketches serve as the foundation of my work, enabling me to visualize my concept in its early stages. Once I have a clear picture of what I want to create, I do thorough research on the topic at hand. This involves reading up on relevant materials, as well as taking photographs related to my subject matter.
To refine and edit my compositions, I often utilize software like Photoshop. This allows me to experiment with different color schemes, lighting effects, and other elements that may enhance the overall visual impact of my work. Once I am satisfied with the final composition, I begin the painting process, using my preferred medium to create a piece that truly captures the essence of my creative vision.
Oil on Canvas, 2023
41 x 32 cm
Do you employ a particular work methodology? If so, could you elaborate on it and highlight any original elements in your approach? We would appreciate your sharing any insights with us.
Throughout my artistic career, I have dedicated much of my time and energy to experimenting with various techniques that help me add a touch of novelty to my work. Although oil painting, with its rich and vibrant hues, has always held a special place in my heart, I have thoroughly enjoyed incorporating a myriad of other mediums, such as collages, layering, spray paint, glitter, resin, oil pastels, and bars, into my artwork. The interplay of textures, colors, and brushstrokes that I employ in my paintings imbues them with a distinctive and captivating quality that sets them apart from others in the same genre. In addition, I am particularly discerning when it comes to the structure and composition of my art, meticulously selecting color palettes that complement and enhance each other to achieve a synergistic effect. For instance, in pieces such as "The Survivors" and "Recollecting Paradise," I focused intently on layering colors and creating an impasto texture, which allowed me to create a sense of depth and dimensionality that truly brings the pieces to life.
Would you happen to have a preferred format or medium for communication? If so, may I ask what it is and perhaps if you could provide some insight on why you find it most comfortable to use?
I have found that I greatly enjoy working with oil on linen canvas when it comes to painting. Ever since I was young, I have been drawn to the unique texture and versatility that this medium offers. While it may be considered a traditional choice, I firmly believe that there is still so much room for exploration and innovation with oil painting. Through continued practice and experimentation, I am constantly learning and finding new ways to express myself through this medium.
Do you create your works in a home-based setting, a shared workshop, or a private studio? How do you manage your creative process within that space?
I am a London-based artist who produces stunning paintings in my personal studio. I take immense pleasure in dedicating all my time and energy to my work, constantly brainstorming new and innovative ideas to bring to life on my canvas. My usual studio routine involves starting my day with some sketching and reading, which helps me get inspired and motivated for the day ahead. After that, I gather all the necessary materials and get to work.
My sanctuary of creativity, my studio, is not just a place where I paint. It is also a space where I store my collection of literature and art albums, which serve as a constant source of inspiration and learning for me. Art supplies are always within arm's reach, and I have a small office space where I can take care of administrative tasks. In my studio, every element is meticulously curated to create an environment that fosters creativity and encourages artistic expression.
Do you frequently travel in the course of your professional duties to engage with new collectors or attend fairs and exhibitions? If so, what advantages do you acquire from these endeavors?
I have been contemplating attending Art Basel this year, and I believe that London would be the perfect destination for artists like myself. I thoroughly enjoy immersing myself in the art world, attending exhibitions, meeting other creative individuals at events, and engaging in thought-provoking discussions at art fairs and talks. London's vibrant arts scene, with its rich history and diverse range of artistic styles, would undoubtedly provide me with an unforgettable experience and an opportunity to expand my artistic horizons.
How do you envision the evolution of your work and career as an artist in the future?
My ultimate goal as an artist is to gain recognition and exposure by having my artwork displayed in some of the most notable contemporary art museums around the world. I also hope to establish a strong partnership with a well-established gallery that can help me expand my reach and audience. In terms of my painting, I am committed to conducting thorough research and staying focused on my goals. I aim to continually evolve and experiment with my art to push the boundaries of what is possible and create truly unique and impactful pieces.
Path of the Unicorns
Oil on Canvas, 2023
165 x 140 cm
Could you kindly provide me with a description of the theme, style, or technique employed in your most recent artistic creation?
At present, I am deeply engrossed in a creative undertaking that seeks to redefine the traditional notion of a goddess, paying homage to her exquisite beauty, unblemished purity, and indomitable strength. This ongoing project involves the creation of captivating oil paintings on both canvas and linen. The artwork is characterized by a figurative style that seamlessly blends gradient hues, mythical creatures, hyper-realistic details, and human figures, rendering each piece a true masterpiece.
Would you be willing to share a notable experience from your participation in an exhibition?
It was an absolute pleasure to attend the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition event. The caliber of artwork on display was truly remarkable, and I was delighted to see my own piece showcased alongside such talented artists. The location of the venue was ideal, and I found the overall atmosphere to be quite invigorating. As luck would have it, I was even given the opportunity to take part in a televised interview for BBC2 during the private viewing, along with several of my fellow exhibitors. All in all, it was a truly unforgettable experience that I will cherish for years to come.
If given the opportunity, which renowned piece of artwork from history would you choose to create and why? Please provide your rationale for selecting the particular artwork.
As a passionate art enthusiast, I must admit that I have a profound emotional connection with Botticelli's "The Birth of Venus". Having been fortunate enough to witness this masterpiece firsthand at the illustrious Uffizi Gallery, I can attest to its captivating allure and timeless beauty. It is truly remarkable to reflect on the fact that a work of art created centuries ago can still evoke such a mesmerizing effect on its viewers, a testament to the enduring power and significance of art throughout history.