You were in that make-believe place

I get much too often questions regarding my portraits, questions that for a long time I wasn’t able to give an answer to, because everything looked too obvious for me, so I kept repeating endlessly the gesture of drawing myself, something I first did when I was three or four years old: two wide eyes under big dark hair, with a puzzled look and a small mouth. A drawing that summoned in itself everything I had always felt about the world.

Drawing and painting are acts of knowledge. Painting a portrait is a meditation upon humanity and oneself, it is a means to get to know the Other. How could I explain, simply, that my weird or androgynous figures, the melancholiac women, the playful men, are infinite questions and meditations upon myself, the world, the other, and again upon myself, and all the others, on the human being?

That there is a primordial consolation in being capable to draw two eyes and a mouth and call it a “face”, that thus I keep repeating the gesture of the caveman who was scratching his own outline on a wall, or of the hunter from the Paleolithic, modeling his figures out of mud, the gesture of the child who forever is drawing two eyes and a mouth and calls that: “I”.

Many things change, interrogations blossom and expand like branches, while aesthetical or chromatic obsessions, fixations with form, become more raffinate, but still – the gesture in its essence remains the same. The gaze, the mood, the mouth, the perplexity. In the end, I gathered these works, finding them representative for my work during the past four years, gathering them together as an answer to my own astonishment, but also to a question that frequently puzzles me in meeting the human being, in which I believe converge the miraculous, as well as the horrendous.

In my collection of imaginary people, who function as a mirror to the world, you will always find both the potential for good and for evil. The question that haunts me is the essence of the point of shifting, of change from the one to the other. How can we say when someone misses the realization of his own being? Or how can we define the moment when someone starts rolling, like a snowball, starting the avalanche that will make that happen?

Confronted with the Other, whoever she/he/it might be, I hope you will not stagger,

but that you will take this meditation with you and make it your own.

(Ioana Nicoară)