28 January 2011

Romanian painter Valeriu Boborelu

I don't know about you guys, but I'm no art buff.  I like what I like and I have valid reasons, but sometimes I just feel like "???" when I see certain things.  I have to ruminate for days afterward.  Then it usually takes one sentence one article on the artist/work and then it starts the brain chugging.  I'm not as much a visual person as I am a word person.  The magical combination is when I just get it.  I don't saunter through galleries enough to get art very quickly; I recognize it's a matter of exposure and not intelligence.  Like music.  It took me a while to fall in love with opera.  This is getting beside the point.

I want to feature a Romanian painter I just happened to find during an internet search: Valeriu Boborelu. 

The painting to the left is entitled "Resurrection" (all images courtesy of azothgallery.com) and I liked it as soon as I saw it.  It almost like if a Pollack painting was clay and God created Adam out of it.  I don't know if that makes sense.  The colors are brilliant, yet subdued, and the medley creates a beautiful shape with the anthropomorphic figure.  The movement feels like its swirling around the figure, but more like wind than water.  It reminds me of Duchamp's "Nude Descending a Staircase no. 2", which I saw in person at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice (obviously a great destination for contemporary art lovers) and Pollack (also seen there) rolled together.  This isn't to say his work doesn't have a unique quality to it.  The shape is defined by the movement of space and color (and not the figure) instead of being two disparate elements.  I wish I could see this in person because paintings are so much better a few feet away from your face than through a screen.

Azothgallery.com also tells me that Baborelu's early work was influenced by traditional Romanian art.  So I thought, "Well, what does traditional Romanian art look like?"  Google Images was showing more traditional folk art than traditional art, which wasn't helpful because folk art is far more geometric, something Baborelu does not seem to be influenced by (unless he was going against it...).  I was looking around and I couldn't find a whole lot that was really sparking an "aha" moment.  This painting to the left gave me a good idea of what I was looking for.  Any other painters I found on the internet were all modern or the beginnings of modern painters, like Nicolae Grigorescu.  When I found this painting by Grigorescu, I realized what Boborelu was influenced by because it seemed to have the same origins as Grigorescu's painting.  Peasant portraits.  Of course.  The colors in this painting are remarkably similar to the folk art I found, so the puzzle pieces fit together.  Clearly his work changed between this painting (I couldn't find a title!) and "Resurrection"; his painting went into the more intangible realm.  The bottom of this page (one of the few pages featuring Boborelu), there are the artist's explanations for  his paintings.  When I read them, I appreciated the paintings more and was able to grasp the idea he painted much better.  And then my Pollack's painting as clay analogy made a lot of sense for "Resurrection".  Find his explanation of "Resurrection" and you'll know why.

That concludes Art Week on Why So Red, but get ready for Music Week on Monday!  A teaser: SP and Dissziplin.