FRAME OF REFERENCE
I do not know all the reasons we keep reincarnating here on Earth, why we choose this spiritual journey, but, besides learning, I strongly believe that among them are the desire to fully appreciate the mechanism of creation itself and the eagerness to experience emotions in all their variety.
Art, in all its forms, be it visual art or literature, performing arts or plastic arts, or any other art variant is one of the best vehicles that can lead us to experience first hand emotions, while being the very creators of the emotions we want to experience.
Since by definition an artwork arouses emotions, it does not necessarily have to have an association with the notion of beauty. Some artworks may be related to the notion of beauty, while others may not. Nevertheless, both are fostering feelings and emotions; there is no art form that does not lead to conscious or unconscious emotions.
I have used the term “notion of beauty” because beauty is something relative, it is not something universally valid or all-encompassing.
Based on Cambridge English Dictionary beauty is “the quality of being pleasing, especially to look at, or someone or something that gives great pleasure, especially when you look at it”. Another common definition says that beauty is “a combination of qualities, such as shape, colour, or form, that pleases the aesthetic senses, especially the sight.”
However, what pleases the aesthetic senses of the contemporary human being will please the aesthetic senses of the human living in the year 3000? Or would have pleased the aesthetic senses of the prehistoric man?
These are time related questions, but even nowadays, what is beautiful for one person may not be beautiful, or may even be ugly, for another person. Furthermore, one may consider something as being ugly, awkward or unpleasant one day, while the same thing can be beautiful or at least visually pleasing the very next day according to the energetic vibration in which one finds oneself.
I believe in energy, I believe everything is vibration, we, in our human state of being, thoughts, our creations as a direct result of our ideas whether it is a table or a chair, a painting or a photograph.
Artists are constantly seeking ways to communicate their inner nature, their thoughts and their beliefs, through everything they are doing. Any artist does the same thing when he translates what he is, or a portion of it, into an artwork. Art has nothing to do with time but with the physical and spiritual focus of those who produce it.
When an artist is creating an artwork, he is, out of his own feelings, out of his thoughts (not necessarily logical or coherent), out of the momentary vibration in which he finds himself, creating a vibrational “artwork”. Hence, the newly created work of art embodies the artist's energy vibration at the time of making. Once the artist has given “physical” form to the work, it is open to the observation and reflection of everybody, including the artist himself.
Without going into the nature and origin of inspiration, whether it is thoroughly thought out for a long period of time, whether it is part of the dream condition, whether it is left to chance or channelled, whether it is serious or playful, dramatic or joyful, under no circumstances can an artist through his work of art guarantee the opinion of the viewer regardless of the final physical shape, colours or content of that particular artwork. It is fair to say, however, that those who are in the same energetic vibration with the energy invested and encompassed into the artwork will be sympathetically vibrating with the work of art.
No matter what an artist wants to say, no matter what he or she wants to transmit, eventually it is the viewer, the observer who fundamentally assigns the meaning of each object or work of art, and by doing that the viewer determines the effect of that assignment as positive or negative, like or dislike.
It matters not if the viewer fully “mentally” understands the artist's enveloped ideas and concepts. However, one’s conscious willingness to observe an artwork is translated into an unconscious willingness to observe if he/she harmonically resonates with the vibration of that particular artwork. Furthermore, when the observer allows himself to vibrate sympathetically with the vibration of the artwork, when this synchronicity happens, he gets a good feeling, a positive effect, and implicitly he appreciates the work of art.
In this respect there cannot be such a thing as a ‘deadpan’ art, no work of art can be devoided of emotions. Not only the creator cannot control the viewer’s experience in front of the artwork, but even the mere act of creation cannot be devoided of emotions. No artist can be completely emotionally detached from the subject of his artworks or his artwork per se.
Likewise there is no form of art that can be viewed as hermetic, impenetrable or self-reflexive except to the mind that divined it, even if we are talking about proto-conceptual, conceptual, post-conceptual art or any other form. Everything that we “see” or better say that we experience is contained within our consciousness, within the already existing infinity of our consciousness. From our infinite point of view there is nothing hermetic or impenetrable for these are linear terms, from our Earthly linear point of view. Eventually everything comes down to the conscious willingness to observe an artwork, to the conscious willingness to connect with the artist’s energy through our infinite consciousness. Without the conscious willingness to observe a work of art, if the momentary energy of the observer does not resonate or does not match the energy of the work, he simply cannot see the artwork.
In a larger sense each and every individual human being is an artist, is a creator. Out of our thoughts, our ideas, our belief systems, we paint daily our lives, we picture our future, we act in interacting with others, we form the living sculpture of our body and this is far more important to us than any other work. It can be conceptual or not, it can be random or not, but at the end of the day our life is our most Intimate work of art. And even this artwork is open to the observation and reflection of everybody, including the creator himself.
The above mentioned ideas are in no way intended to be considered as the “absolute” truth. They are just part of my truth at the moment I wrote these lines or rather I have expressed my thoughts based on my experience, my present belief system, and my reality I chose to create at the moment of writing. Each viewer or reader may have its own truth, which is neither truer (more accurate) nor erroneous, it is just his truth at the moment of reading in accordance with the reality one is creating at that very moment.
London based artist Cristian Stefanescu was born in 1968 in Bucharest. He obtained an MSc degree in 1992 at the Technical University of Construction Bucharest, specialisation in Water and Wastewater Treatment followed by the second MSc in 1994 obtained at University of Liège, specialisation in Groundwater Engineering.
After having spent more than a decade of his life teaching at the Technical University of Construction Bucharest, Cristian moved from academia to photography working in the fashion industry. The passion for photography developed in the early years of college and became a constant element of his life. After long and constant collaborations with fashion brands in Romania, in 2018 Stefanescu moved to London with his wife the painter Anca Stefanescu where they opened their own studio.
Photography was born black and white and he chose to continue this tradition, while working on evolving the visual aesthetics of this raw art form rendering his beliefs. Cristian Stefanescu’s distinctive monochrome photographs are an exploration into the psychological and metaphysical. He captures nature or buildings in specific moments in time – through highly visual heartbreakingly dark images often overlapped with low-contrast minimal landscapes – to create works that stretch the idea of a hypothetical time.
His photo installations exist in dialogue with the elements and perceptions of space and time. “Seeing is using your senses, your intellect and your emotions in order to interpret the world around you according to your own personality, frame of reference or system of beliefs” he has said. “I like to use as starting points the elements already created in our reality, fragments of nature or made by human hand. I like to reorganise the images I am taking just as I like to reorganise my thoughts, in order to be able to change my interpretation, or better say my perception. This is perhaps why I love photography, because it is simply a visual capture of something already created in the world and is always changing through our interpretation, it is more like a reflexion of our thoughts.”
Always preferring to focus on the space rather than its subjects, Stefanescu is obsessive about the contrast of his photography, in order to channel the intensity of light and texture of the storied buildings or nature elements.
He documents concrete buildings, using the subject as representative for its physical referents, while considering metaphorically the world as the concrete representation of our emotions. Concrete thinking requires facts and representation about everyday life, palpable objects in a three dimensional world.
Stefanescu uses his photographs to deconstruct and alter reality in order to obtain abstract images, since by definition the abstract thinking involves a mental process and an abstract object does not exist in time or space, but rather exists as a thought, as an idea. “I use art in a reversed process of creation. I believe thought forms what our eyes can see, so I take what was already created by the thought of another and I try to place it back into what is known forever in the mind” he has said.
Cristian Stefanescu believes in the energy of every being, of each object or nature element. He upholds that photography renders the ineffable combination of the object’s energy and the photographer's one while taking a picture.
“And what is the energy of a photograph? Is it the energy of the space that is framed in the viewfinder, is it the energy of the photographer? I think it is an ineffable combination of the photographer's energy when he pressed the shutter button and everything that forms the energy of the photographed space, the sun and the earth, the land and the sky, the clouds and the air, the animals and plants, the wind and rain.” He focuses his camera on a distorted reflection of a hypothetical reality, since what one perceives to be real is a mere reflection of his own reality, and he is looking for the feeling that makes him click the shutter button.
2020 - 'Sand and Water', Solo Exhibition, Romanian Cultural Institute in London, United Kingdom (upcoming)
2020 - Arsenale of Venice, 'Arte Laguna Art Prize', Venice, Italy (upcoming)
2019 - ’Summer Exhibition', New Artist Fair London, The Old Truman Brewery, London, United Kingdom
2019 - 'The Other Art Fair London', Art Fair by Saatchi Art, London, United Kingdom
2019 - ‘In Between’, Open Studio Solo Exhibition, Stanmore, Greater London, United Kingdom
2019 - 'Black and White', The Motif Collective Photography Gallery Online, Florida, FL, USA
2019 - '3rd Annual Black & White' Art Exhibition, Fusion Art Gallery, Palm Springs, CA, USA
2019 - 'Reflexions' Art Exhibition, The Motif Collective Photography Gallery Online, Florida, FL, USA
2019 - '2nd Black & White' Art Exhibition, Art Room Online Gallery, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
2019 - '4th Annual Artist's Choice' Art Exhibition, Fusion Art Gallery, Palm Springs, CA, USA
2019 - 'Cityscape Photography x Filter', Marumi Photo Contest & Online Exhibition, Nagano, Japan
2019 - '10th Annual Abstracts Art' Exhibition, Light Space & Time Online Art Gallery, Jupiter, FL, USA
2019 - 'All Cityscape' Art Exhibition, Contemporary Art Gallery Online, Annapolis, MD, USA
2019 - 'Hope' Exhibition, Menier Gallery, London, United Kingdom
2019 - 'All Photography' Art Exhibition, Contemporary Art Gallery Online, Annapolis, MD, USA
2018 - 'The 2018 Open / No theme' Art Exhibition, Contemporary Art Gallery Online, Annapolis, MD, USA
2018 - 'Bitter or Sweeter', Solo Exhibition, Molecule-F, Bucharest, Romania
2018 - 'Love Art, Wear Art', Solo Exhibition, Molecule-F, Bucharest, Romania
“Finalist”, Arte Laguna Prize, Arsenale of Venice, Venice, Italy March 2020
“Shortlisted” Black and White 2019, The Motif Collective Photography Gallery Online, Florida, FL, USA, April 2019
"Honourable Mention” 3rd Annual Black & White Art Exhibition, Fusion Art Gallery, Palm Springs, CA, USA, May 2019
“1st Place” ALL Cityscape Art Exhibition, Contemporary Art Gallery Online, Annapolis, MD, USA, April 2019
“Shortlisted” Reflexions, The Motif Collective Photography Gallery Online, Florida, FL, USA April 2019
“Honourable Mention” 2nd Black & White Art Exhibition, Art Room Online Gallery, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, April 2019
“Honourable Mention” 2nd Black & White Art Exhibition, Art Room Online Gallery, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, April 2019
“Honourable Mention” 4th Annual Artist's Choice Art Exhibition, Fusion Art Gallery, Palm Springs, CA, USA, April 2019
“Special Recognition” 10th Annual “Abstracts Art” Exhibition, Light Space & Time Online Art Gallery - Jupiter, FL, USA, March 2019
“Certificate of Excellence” Artist of the Year 2018 Award, Circle Foundation for the Arts Magazine - Lyon, France, January 2019
“Gallery Choice” The 2018 Open / No theme Art Exhibition, Contemporary Art Gallery Online, Annapolis, MD, USA, December 2018
Society of Scottish Artists