Chronicle   16 August 2013 / Interview - Bozeman Daily Chronicle              
glamour   05 August 2013 / Interview - Glamour Magazine Romania              
1. interviu Happy Hang Around 19 March 2012 / Interview - Happy Hang Around
2. Live Log   22 November 2011 / Interview - Evening Feed on Live Log TV
3 Deco si Eco   27 September 2011 / Interview - Deco and Eco        

Interview - Deco and Eco

Cristina Simona Marian graduated from the National University of Arts “Nicolae Grigorescu” where she majored in painting. She participated in creation camps and group expositions in her own country and abroad. She currently coordinates a series of workshops for adults at the Calea Victoriei Foundation in Bucharest (painting, small accessories, house hold objects, mosaic).

She has received several awards and has works in private collections in Romania, throughout Europe, and abroad.

Cristina, what is your artistic universe inhabited by?

I try to populate it with everything one can find in the universe of children and anything that can possibly exist. There are smiling houses, sleepy suns, donkeys that like to stroll, hopping sheep, clouds dressed in lace, crickets, other games and toys, fantastic plants and characters from other realms. My work has a lot of color, texture, and joy.

What does the world look like through the windows of your paintings?

In my paintings anything can happen. Wonder is a constant companion, just like in childhood. There is a lot of motion: crickets play football, clouds tease each other, sheep have contests where they jump over flowers or they gossip, birds are in love, the hills turn to waves after being given boats as gifts. It is a continuous transformation! In the end, the world is exactly as we want to see it, we just have to allow ourselves at least five minutes to dream. Now and then I gaze upon the world from the other side of the window (that sometimes is closed) to see what happens inside homes and how my characters are.

Your paintings are filled with children. Why? What kind of child were you?

My paintings are dedicated to children. I was a happy child. I remember perfectly all the games I used to play, the illustrations I used to admire, the pencils and pieces of scribbled paper I would always have around, the toys, the times I would tell Santa Claus poems in the hallway of my house (my parents still don’t want to tell me who wore that suit), the children back then, and my friendship with the farm animals. I even remember the things that got me grounded quite often. The funny thing is that until the sad moment where I lost all connection to that period, I never thought much about it, but afterwards I felt the need to remember everything, to paint those times.

How long before painting it is a piece of work born in your mind?

I get ideas all the time. Every day there is so much happening, that I see a lot of images, I am surrounded by children and I can see how they think, how they play, how they sleep. A topic can be born even from a simple dialogue with someone else. I have a lot of pages filled with notes, I just wish I had more time to dedicate to them. Alas, I live in a busy city just like everyone else, where everyone struggles for a better life. There is more to say on the subject, especially about those who should support artists, but then I would get sad. On the other hand, after a good friend and colleague from the Calea Victoriei Foundation told me that I could try to describe the stories with words as well,  I realized I use them very much and I just don’t have the patience to make sketches. I write down a few notes, sketch the drawing and then I immediately switch to the large surface. There I spend a lot of time, because I like details and consider that they make all the difference.

What painters inspired you?

There are a lot of them, I couldn’t possibly name all of them. Each has his or her own period and preferences. I started in 1st grade with my art teacher, Elena Stoica a wonderful woman and teacher, after which I went to high school, where I began discovering art from around the world. There was no library in my village, so I couldn’t browse through art albums. During high school I was in love with Japanese art, after that Van Gogh and Gustav Klimt. In college I was greatly influenced by expressionism, especially by the Germans and at the same time I fell in love with surrealism and also illustrations. As far as names go: Ando Hiroshige. Klimt, the jungles of Rousseau, the Tax Collector, Rene Magritte…the list goes on. Romanians: Horia Bernea, the surreal universe of Victor Brauner. I currently admire the talent and the work force of Francisc Chiuariu, an artist who taught me a lot. I thank him!

A painter sees the world differently. Do you see perfect forms?

I don’t really seek perfection, I don’t think I like mathematical shapes, made with a ruler and a square. I look at something and I either like it or not. On the other hand I look for harmony, balance between day and night, empty and full, beautiful and ugly, smooth and bumpy, transparent and opaque. I like contrasts, all in all you know what they say “every light has its shadow”. I find harmony in nature, but I still have to work on me.

How is your work perceived?

I am extremely happy, because I have met people who still feel like playing and who still hold onto a piece of innocence, so it makes me feel very content when they admire my work. They contact me, write to me, and tell me about their childhood. Although I think of children when I paint and dedicate my work to them, somehow my work ends up in offices, bedrooms or living rooms of adults, parents or grandparents. I have buyers of every age. This year I will go on with a change of style and technique. I will paint for adults, but still be inspired by childhood, bringing up-front certain characters and stories.

You have painted abstractly, created religious icons on glass, you have dabbled in photography, collage and mosaic. What style is closest to you, what would you like to study in depth and refine?

I am currently coordinating my thoughts and designing my next project. I won’t say much, don’t you like surprises? I would like to try mixing media. I have tested many materials: paper, cloth, wood, glass, ceramics, and metal. Now I would like to combine a few of these. Just like a child who is surrounded by all kinds of toys and objects when he is playing, I would love to have them all next to me and try to combine them into a story.

What is the difference between a book and a painting? Can they remain with you the same way?

Both carry messages, information, and create a wonderful refuge, where if you seek shelter for a small amount of time you can forget about hardship. On the other hand, they can be alarm signals for people just like critic art is. As my visual memory is trained better, images stick with me longer. When I read, I convert everything into images, it’s a bit difficult when I am reading a surreal novel, because I unintentionally take that idea and reach other scenes and it’s hard to get back to the starting point. Sometimes I run to my notebook to write down the story I imagined.

If you were a painting, you would be…

Beautiful question, hard to answer. I never thought of it. I wouldn’t want to be a specific painting by a famous artist. I think I would like to be an endless painting, like a series with no end, where characters appear and disappear, things happen, the seasons change, we shift from south to north, from sadness to joy, from a flat line to powerful vibrations, from here to there and so on until we reach infinity.

The most beautiful painting you would do would be about…

I paint because I love the action itself and because I have a story to tell, and color is the simplest way to express myself. I believe that any artist hopes his next work will be the best, better than the ones before, more interesting, richer, and perfect. An artist is permanently exploring, perfecting himself, and is constantly seeking. Each period has its themes. I currently hold in my pocket Childhood.

You day-dream about…

I dream of journeys, flying a hot air balloon, visiting the great museums and galleries of the world, I dream of people from other lands, and the way they live, important expositions and constructive dialogues, I dream of the freedom of sitting in my studio and painting exactly what I feel, with no restraints, without having to manage my time and energy to survive. Surely this is the most important dream of many Romanian artists.

A personal definition of clouds would be…

To me clouds represent traveling. Traveling over the ground, in space (if we take into account the fact that clouds exist in the atmosphere of great planets such as Mars, Venus, Saturn and Jupiter as well). God was generous with clouds and he created them in the very first days, and gave them the chance to see Everything. Even in my past work, clouds have eyes so that they don’t miss anything from their journey.

At the end of the day, you think about…

Although my work is joyful, my dreams at night are heavy. I have to compensate somehow, right? I have started an exercise that is doing me a world of good: instead of thinking about the day that passed with all things good and bad, I try to relax, and just before I fall asleep, I imagine everything I want: I imagine my studio, its location, the objects within it, my exhibitions…

If you weren’t Cristina Simona Marian, you would be…

Well, I would really have to consider this, tough question! I like the way I am, I just have a little more work to do. Something crosses my mind: perhaps a song that would touch everyone’s soul and never go out of style.

4. Senso TV  15 June 2011 / Mosaic workshop at Senso TV      
5. radio RFI  12 January 2011 / Interview - Radio RFI Romania, "Zebra" Show      
6. revista Good Homes    10 December 2009 / Stories without words in Good Homes Magazine      

See the larger images in the gallery below: