Ediorials - Interview with Alina Gurban
Tell us a few words about the beginning of your artistic career.
I have always been attracted to visual art. I was very young and I remember that my mother had an art album with Claude Monet`s works. As a child I was flipping through it and felt that I could reproduce those works. I remember the painting "Poppy field" when I was outlining on my own paper starting with the drawing of the child in the middle of the poppy field. I remember that it was not a reproduction, I drew a personal interpretation. I did not know at that time what attracts me, I knew only that I like it.A change that I did not decide it myself, maybe fate decided, was when my parents went to Russia. I was only in primary school when I had to confront with Russian rigor and perseverance in art. I graduated there the school of fine arts for children. You could come to attend the school only as an extracurricular activity. I was attending the art school three days a week and had the following courses in order: drawing in pencil and charcoal, painting and art history. I remember the teacher explaining the reproduction of contrast between light and shadow and many others things about which I will not talk so not to increase the extent of the response to this question. Yuri was professor of art history, Tatiana of drawing and Marina of painting.
After I was in Russia the fate decided once again. My parents had to go to the US and I was still a minor. I had to leave with them and attended high school in Texas. I think I learned their pragmatism and the struggle to be the best.
After graduating high school I returned home and I attended the Faculty of International Economic Relations of the Academy of Economic Studies in Bucharest in the Roman Square. I was admitted to Georgetown University in Washington DC but because I did not receive a scholarship I decided to quit and go to university in Romania. Indeed studies in economics were just pragmatism. After I graduated the economic studies I returned to "my first love" - art- entering sixth on the list for admission to the National University of Arts in Bucharest to the class of professor George Moscal.
Why painting and not something else?
Why painting? We talk about art, we talk about things you feel. The fact that you like something is radically different from the explanation why you like it. Maybe you do not know why you like, you just like it.
What style do you think suits you best? Is there an artist or an artistic movement that have influenced you in your art?
Impressionism, Fauvism, Abstractionism, but most of all Expressionism. I believe that the painter leaves his mark of his state of mind in his works. We live in a world of technology where I believe that realism is outdated. Many say that our emotions are just a biological reality. I would like to think or even lie to me that I am more than that. A strange, mystical reality, something still unexplained, something that the artist leaves his paintings. Edvard Munch, Marc Chagall, Vincent Van Gogh and of Romanian painters Piliuţă and Murivale whom I personally appreciate.
What is your favorite theme? What inspires you the most?
Life inspires me. The topics in my mind to which I don`t find an explanation. Or maybe I find but do not accept it. Or simply I like to think of a topic and to transpose it into my works. "I think, therefore I am", I simply think of something, even if ultimately I do not reach a conclusion. The topics are diverse, varying by my emotional state, starting with couples and reaching choices in life.
Are you using several painting techniques or are you faithful just to one? Did you happen to come back to a painting or go all the way with a theme set from the beginning?
Oil painting, action painting, sepia. I never return to a painting of mine to modify it. As I said above, I consider that the painting retains the excitement of the moment of the painter. When the time passed and I am already in another emotional state I can not continue a previously started painting.
What do you think about the young Romanian contemporary art and artists? Do you think you can live from art today?
Art has lost ground to technology. I believe that art is a higher level of our being and must not be done stressed. The society specialized increasingly more. When art is your only income the stress is enormous. The truth is somewhere in between. Nor does the society consume as much painting because of the technology that was imposed, nor do the graduates specializing in art offer the consumer society as much as it should. Thus, living from painting is much harder than what I read about it in the past. There are exceptions, people who earn very much from painting but unfortunately there are too few to speak of a rule.
What do you think about the fact that some painters prefer to cover "in fashion" trends and don`t go on their own way?
If you do not have your own way it is a simple plagiarism. Or as we, artists, call it more beautifully, a reproduction. What to see? Van Gogh`s emotion when he cut off his ear infested with the shaking hand of the copying artist? No, I want to see how the color falls (thickening) on "Starry Night".
Tell us a little about your most important exhibition. What are your future plans?
It seems strange but the most important exhibition for me was at the "Art House" when I was a student. Then, when you passed the exhibition threshold small and timid, you felt like you have the whole future ahead. It is the most pleasant feeling that someone may have. As I said I concentrate more on feelings, which is why it was the most important event for me.
About future. I spoke with the organizers at CERN Geneva for a future exhibition. I already have a reserved slot but I do not want to think about it because it will be barely over a year and a half.
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