Interview: Alida Velea | ITSLIQUID

Interview: Alida Velea

Interviews | January 21, 2023 |

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Image courtesy of Alida Velea

Interview: Alida Velea
Luca Curci talks with Alida Velea during the 16th Edition of VENICE INTERNATIONAL ART FAIR 2022, at Palazzo Bembo.

Alice “Alida” Velea was born in Slanic, a very small town in Romania. Having grown up surrounded by nature and old, traditional and mystical stories, her orientation towards art has come naturally. With a background in engineering, her decision to change fields and pursue fine arts came easily. The step she took towards art has been made by enrolling in the hobby painting classes organized by the Romanian visual artist and writer, Alina Gherasim. A few years later she graduated Fine Arts at University of Hertfordshire, in the United Kingdom. The artist is interested in exploring her own cultural identity and Romanian traditions and folklore. She engages with social events and how they have an impact over us. Living in an era of huge technological evolution, her works can be seen as a contemporary representation of what she considers important to be remembered and what is important to be conserved. Velea approaches a figurative style in painting, which she considers part of her national identity. Sometimes, she combines this approach with new technologies using digital collages or films in order to preserve authentic models. Her classic style is inspired by the Impressionist masters who made her love painting. The fragmentation of objects, I believe came from Cubism, from great painters such as Gris, Braque and Picasso. But many other contemporary artists influenced Alida’s work: Julie Mehretu, who, through her works addresses political, social and cultural themes, Victor Man – who approaches themes from his own biography and Alina Gherasim who expresses her experiences through collages and paintings. Velea needs to translate the mental images, related to contemporary events and her feelings within, into forms that can transmit her intentions to others; the artist’s works are her experiments and represent the desire to convey messages to the world!

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Image courtesy of Alida Velea

Luca Curci – What is art for you?
Alida Velea – For me, art is passion, emotion and mystery; an image imprinted on the retina. All are captured together to render a moment in time.

LC – What are you currently working on?
AV – I’m working on two big projects; usually, I paint in series (several paintings with the same subject). The first one addresses feminism as a current movement; the place of women in a revolutionary technological society and where I want to capture the woman who covers various roles, preserving her femininity. The second project has a slightly more personal touch and approaches the movements of a performer on an instrument: violinist, cellist, pianist, or flautist … So, I can say that it will be a series of works about the art of musical performance.

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Image courtesy of Alida Velea

LC – How is your creative process?
AV – It’s quite an elaborate one! First of all, I choose a theme and decide what I would like to express. Then, an extensive research process follows (Internet, books, galleries). I write down roughly what each of the works will contain; from which perspective I look at the subject, how much I want to reveal from it and how much I want it to be a challenge for the viewer. Then I start the sketches, which can be drawings or digital collages. After I have created them, I choose the dimensions of the canvases and try to adapt the sketches to the dimensions; the process which I emphasize certain shadows, delete objects, change total the perspective and so on. I put the drawing on the canvas and I start painting. Of course, the colour or brushwork also changes. Maybe this is the reason why I only manage to finish one series per year (with more works if they are small and with less for larger canvases). Of these I choose to present a few to the public; usually the ones I consider the best.

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Image courtesy of Alida Velea

LC – Which art themes do you pursue? What is your preferred subject, if there is any?
AV – I am part of a typology of artists interested in exploring spaces and objects, as many times I said. I have a figurative, geometric and multi-dimensional style of seeing things; probably as a result of my first background: engineering. I am passionate about static nature but at the same time, I am also a landscape artist. I like also to work geometrically, on portraits, as will be seen in the next theme. In general, I approach all subjects but from a geometric perspective. And doing this sometimes I fail, and other times I succeed.

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Image courtesy of Alida Velea

LC – Do you use art to express something in particular? Is it your medium of expression?
AV – I want to be an artist who gets involved in contemporary events, especially those with a social nature. So, I am inspired by social events that discreetly I try to put in my work. I say discreet because I want my works to be agreeable to the viewer, not to disturb but to intrigue. We live in an aggressive, violent world; it seems to me that we are chasing the ugly, the shocking. This is the reason that I choose my presence in front of the public to be a pleasant one. Regarding the second question, during this time, I have learnt to paint the difference between what I see and what I feel. Therefore, I can say that my work is the best way, for me, to express both frustrations and joys.

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Image courtesy of Alida Velea

LC – What is the message linked to the artwork you have shown in this event? How is it connected to the theme of the entire exhibition?
AV – Sensitivity to the social environment means, for me, presenting the different perceptions that we can have of reality. The concept of my works is inspired by the desire of exploring geometry through still life and their message is the complexity of perception and, hence of a different understanding of events.

LC – In which way the artwork presented in our exhibition is connected with the exhibition’s theme?
AV – The theme of the exhibition was the relationship between body and space, and the hybridization between identities, in different contexts, in contemporaneity. The decomposition of the elements of the composition of static nature into geometric figures from my works analyzes precisely the personal experience within self-consciousness, for a hurtful period of time. The different rendering of lights and shadows in tones of the same color accentuates the connection between the body and the space in which it exists, complemented by the complexity of individual understanding.

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Image courtesy of Alida Velea

LC – Did you enjoy cooperating with us? 
AV – Yes, definitely yes. You are a young team, good professionals, good connoisseurs of interpersonal relations, and careful with those around you. I felt very good at the official opening of the exhibition as well as in the following days when I visited it.

LC – What do you think about the organization of our event?
AV – Palazzo Bembo is an extraordinary old building and a very attractive place for an exhibition! The event organized by you – the exposition is a very successful mix of art with different mediums (including performance art, black and white photos, sculptures, and paintings with different mediums on different supports). I wondered how you managed to combine everything so well! You did a very good job!!

LC – What is your idea about ITSLIQUID GROUP?
AV – Among the many definitions contained in the description of the organization (on your website), the most appropriate one I found is in the following words: “It is an architecture that dances or pulsates, becomes tranquil or agitated”. A company is essentially defined by its staff. And here I met energetic, well-prepared, warm people with an extraordinary artistic sense! This is what I saw at the opening of the exhibition and yes, this is my idea of the ITSLIQUID GROUP.

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Image courtesy of Alida Velea

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