From a chemical standpoint, the wavelength range of the blue color radiation is 490-495 nm. The indigo-blue spectrum is always favored in medical technologies based on the use of lasers devices on human skin cells because it is the least invasive to the human body - if the indigo barely penetrates the epidermis, the blue continues a bit deeper into the next layer, the dermis.
The blue color was undeniably "arrested" in the collective mind of modern visual arts by Picasso, who, along with the serial works made between 1901 - 1904 predominantly in shades of Prussian blue and grays, instills for art lovers all the individual and visceral melancholy of the end of that century and the beginning of the modern, desecularized era. Of course, the IKB, patented by Yves Klein about 50 years later as a variation of ultramarine, by an artist who metaphorically claims the empty air itself - the sky - as his medium, could have been a sufficient restoration of this color, towards that ethereal spirituality of the early quattrocento, where blue represented both the soteriological Eden and the economic and implicitly social power of the church, perfectly captured in the "excess" of pigment used for the ceiling of the Scrovegni chapel, made by Giotto in Padua.
Returning to Picasso, if for him the trigger was given by a liminal experiential episode in his biography – the relative poverty doubled by the suicide of his close friend, Casagemas – for Andrei Tudoran, at the opposite pole, the impetus for this new series of works – made in several types of blue like cyan, ultramarine and cobalt – is also given by a capital event episode of his biography, the birth of his first child.
Perhaps not very convinced when I advanced this rather sensationalist hypothesis, on which we were going to build the exhibition, Andrei Tudoran, an artist-teacher with a practice based on meticulousness, careful observation of technical and iconographic methods, returning to his notebook where he notes the stages of the realization of each work, he notices that the first work in the blue monochrome style was started precisely during the period when his wife was pregnant, and from a clinical point of view when they were going to find out the sex of the childIf this seems insufficient, consider one of the series' most powerful works, a "maternity" in which a memento mori with its typical representation of cranial vanitas can be seen in the background, imperceptibly, as well as an ultramarine blue drapery, referring to the garment of the virgin, the very object for which this color is symbolically reassigned in Western painting.
In Renaissance iconography, the Virgin is invariably depicted in red-purple clothing in scenes prior to the birth and entirely in blue in scenes following the nativity, particularly in compositions that feature the Christ figure. As a result, until the contemporary era's reprisal of the hue as specific to a certain gender, in contrast to the rounded red of the other gender, and which truly reflects an inversion of the two colors' psycho-social meanings, this blue will be known as blue Marial. Blue is illusory because the other two primary colors, red and yellow, may be extracted directly from earth pigments. The sky and sea are nominally blue but, like those greatly exalted blue eyes of today's beauty standards, they are an illusion. If brown eyes are caused by a pigment, blue eyes are caused by a lack of it.
If Andrei Tudoran's earlier series was based on the color of the earth, red, and ethereal blue may be more suited to the specified biographical circumstance. Perhaps we can read his artistic, almost processual methods in this key, as in the previous series displayed in the past like " _:Out of Memory", also at the AnnArt gallery, where the works were all surrounded by the dominating color opposite to blue, the red. It should be noted here that the distance between the two colors and the simultaneous contrast is the strongest encountered in the visible chromatic spectrum, both as a technical and conceptual solution in the painting medium, such as the difference between the garment of the Virgin and the Savior in Renaissance iconography.
I mention this because, while Andrei Tudoran's central practice is almost entirely based on the medium of photorealistic painting, he is equally interested in its structural properties, in the specificity of the medium, as he lets it be understood in one of the large canvases, where on a white canvas we read: the medium is the message.
The photorealistic technique of his body of works has the camera's logic of the multiple as a background. His compositions, on the other hand, are poses of anti-icons since they relate to their referents – family, friends, urban dystopias typically to the Eastern European geography and collective psychologies – through the axis of similarity rather than by convention. Nonetheless, they too can be created or altered to include coded meanings: for example, the colors or the composition layout, which is typically dependent on the figure placed in the vacuum-like landscape.
Finally, I'd like to recall the introduction to the "recipe" for obtaining ultramarine blue, which, even though it contains technical instructions, appears so lyrical today, a color so rare in that 14th century, which Ceninno Cennini describes with reverence, as a eulogy, in his treatise:
„Ultramarine blue is a color illustrious, beautiful, and most perfect, beyond all other colors; one could not say anything about it, or do anything with it, that its quality would not still surpass. And, because of its excellence, I want to discuss it at length and to show you in detail how it is made. And pay close attention to this, for you will gain great honor and service from it. And let some of that color, combined with gold, which adorns all the works of our profession, whether on the wall or on panel, shine forth in every object.” (Il Libro dell’Arte, c.1400)
Horațiu Lipot, curator