Painting and Photography by Radu Tuian, an american artist born in Romania and living in France

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

artist statement 2013




         I see my work as the record of a conversation with Painting.
         Like other non-representational painters, I do not consider my work as abstract since I work from images. These images that seem to me highly significant from the start, I codify, I distort so that they become difficult or impossible to recognize. This in order to come close to a language of hieroglyphs, to produce encrypted emotions with no particular passion attached.  Visual information is the only means available to penetrate the mystery of these images. In the end, I play with expectations and frustrations, mine or those of my spectators.


         My bag of tricks is a bric-a-brac of painting techniques and visual devices: paint applied with brush or knife flattened and crushed into the picture plane, oil painting or acrylic, sometimes both at the same time, paint applied with rags, scraped or rubbed into the surface as if to move back and forth on the two sides of a mirror, sharply cut edges with masking tape, colors are cracking up, shapes degenerate.


         If my paintings have an emotional life, it is hidden behind the appearance of a child's play, my primary concern: a serious game.
         I look for the image that intrigues and makes me curious like a puzzle would do. When images appear in my paintings or drawings, it is as if bumping upon myself while turning around a street corner.  Suddenly, I see a sober distance and a familiar smile overlapping each other. When I notice contradictions, hesitations or disturbing elements in my work, I take them as far as possible. Without denying them, and without losing sight of what seems to be solidly accomplished, I find there a particular view, a specific distance only a mental space would require, a bird’s eye view. I inflame color into strident, forms towards the grotesque but not totally, just enough to find myself off track, out of sync.



         I ask myself questions about harmony, elegance or balance, about the classical ideals of beauty. I try to see what would be the impact of dissonant elements, that of disorder, at what point and under what conditions the integrity of the whole is lost. How much stress can the system take?
         Sometimes I paint backwards, in reverse gear; the background is applied at the end around already stated shapes in the foreground.  I reverse moonwalk; I carefully remove with the palette knife the paint applied quickly in the beginning.



         I do not paint because I have something to say, I paint because what I say, succinctly perhaps, seems better said in painting.

Radu Tuian 2013

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