Marcel Rusu (b. 1989, MediaČ™, Romania) is a contemporary artist living and working in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. He completed his D.A., M.F.A. and B.F.A. studies at the University of Art and Design, Cluj-Napoca. His paintings has been exhibited in numerous museums, galleries and independent art spaces including The Museum of Art Cluj-Napoca; Palazzo Rici Museum, Macerata; Sector 1 Gallery, Bucharest; CFHill Gallery, Stockholm; Galateca Gallery, Bucharest; Richter Fine Art Gallery, Rome; Boccanera Gallery, Trento; Rosenfeld Gallery, London. His artworks are part of private collections in France, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, The Netherlands, Romania, Sweden, U.S., U.A.E. and the U.K.

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Artistic Statement

Starting from a rhetoric about the role of representational painting in the new artistic realities, my practice is based on a symbiotic use of traditional techniques with the new, technological mediums in rendering the final image, using processes and materials as diverse as: oil, acrylic inks, air-brush, cutter-plotter, or digital manipulation software. At the heart is a dispute with the objective medium of recording reality, which is the photographic or video camera. After finishing my studies, still oscillating between abstractionism and figuration, exploring surface and materiality as medium in itself, I began to enter into direct and mechanical competition with photography. In addition to its formal aspects, I was also interested in how the image is currently perceived in an age of images, whether we’re talking about press, advertising, or informal images from the social networks, each of which has a distinct set of structural characteristics as well as an informational vector that is often manipulative and precisely encoded in its code. The subjects of the works are usually taken from the sociopolitical circumstances typical of an Eastern European nation, where the daimon of history took care of the incongruous coexistence of modernism with traditional Soviet architecture. This is, of course, the structural part that is immediately evident, containing intrinsically all the incomprehensible transitional and experiential states that occurred suddenly and irreconcilably between two opposing political systems. These experiences range from personal ones like typical vacations at the Black Sea resorts to collective ones like the emergence of the consumer society at the end of the 1990s, the significant political and economic shifts that took place when Romania entered in the Western political alliances, or the recent threats of an war that takes place on the border with Ukraine. I like to think that all these incongruences, this new hybrid reality, give a heterotopic feel to the final pictures. A reality that is also suggested in compositional binomials like interior-exterior, local-global, night and day. To say it informally, what interests me is to be able to play as much as possible with processes typically used in the Western art field, such as airbrush technique and the photorealist style, in order to create unique, frequently challenging to translate images, distinctive to Eastern Europe.

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