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International imagofeminae.com Summer 2014 Nr. VII
"Lascivia" On Lust & Drawing
Ileana Pascalau (artist)
by Paiman Maria Davarifard
ILEANA PASCALAU is a young artist. Graduated from the National University of Arts in Bucharest , she is also studying Arts at the Universität der Künste in Berlin. Her paintings were exhibited in different Galleries and Museums in Berlin, Pont-Aven, Bucharest, Gdańsk, Bremen, Sofia, Kiel and Florence. Born in Caransebeş, Romania, she creates her views and art in Berlin. The Somos Art-Gallery in Berlin exhibited (June 6th -29th 2014) Ileana's work "After the party" in "Unclean" curated by Paulus Fugers, Nora Vera and Justin Ross, presenting "works by international visual artists, performers, film makers and lecturers that deal with issues of self-identification and/or social exclusion based on common taboos and prejudices" (from Samos Gallery- Unclean Project 2014). Ileana Pascalau speaks with imagofeminae about her perceptions of art, women and lust in her works.
image: Ileana Pascalau Berlin 2014 Photo: Christian Rose
image: a cut from the Painting "After the Party" ink & gouache on paper, 150x187 cm by Ileana Pascalau Photo by Christian Rose © 2014
imagofeminae: What do you deal with in your art?
Ileana Pascalau: I am interested in a specific European iconography of depicting women in relation to the pictorial traditions of the Renaissance and Baroque. I studied Art History before studying Fine Arts and this theoretical background influenced my artistic approach. It made me attentive to a genealogy in art, to the past of a present image. My works establish visual analogies between motifs encountered in our daily visual culture and motifs rooted in the history of art. Therefore, in my recent series of drawings, "After the Party", I am flirting with the comparison between nightlife-scenes in Berlin and pictorial representations of the Greek Bacchanalia, the orgies during which the female followers of Dionysus performed rites in a state of ecstasy inspired by alcohol and dancing. There is also a reference to antique theatre, to Euripides’ Bacchantes. In his play, the Dionysian orgies were regarded by men as something unclean, whereas the female celebrators saw in them a form of purification. Women experienced alcohol abuse, lasciviousness and collective hysteria as a manifestation of a deeper vitality.
imagofeminae: Do you have a concept for your drawing?
Ileana Pascalau: My work is connected to the thematic and technical aspects of the print culture. But I am employing drawing in a scenographical dimension, to intensify the visual experience. In larger than life-size works, I am exploring the theatrical aspect of drawing, trying to immerse the spectator into the scenery of lines.I was initially trained as a printmaker in art school and the particularity of my approach to drawing is derived from the technique of engraving. Printmaking was for many centuries the medium par excellence for the erotic visual genre, because engravings could be easily reproduced and distributed. Themes like copulating, urinating and masturbation were recurrent in erotic prints, which usually circulated in small format, allowing thus a private viewing, close to voyeurism.
imagofeminae: How do you explain lust in your artistic works?
Ileana Pascalau: The notion of pleasure is a key element in my artistic process. It is also expressed by the technique of large-scale drawing. Therefore, not only the depicted characters exhibit themselves in my work, but also the medium of drawing which is offering itself in all its details, to induce a lust for looking. On one hand, this concept is contained in the subjects I choose: women engaged in intimate body practices, amusing or exhibiting themselves by lascivious gestures. The game of establishing links, of comparing party-girls from Berlin to delirious nymphs from historical paintings is meant also for the pleasure of the viewers, when they discover those allusions. There is also my delight in textures, in rendering details of fur, skin and clothing. Most of the characters depicted in my drawings wear articles related to an animal motif, as to remind such qualities. In this respect, I am particularly fascinated by the leopard pattern as an iconic sexual design that has never gone out of style. From its early beginnings in the 16th century, the European genre of erotic engravings was confronted with censorship. Here one can recall the case of the Renaissance artist Marcantonio Raimondi, whose attempt to publish erotic material sent him to prison. I recalled this artist to insert an amusing episode from my personal biography: at the age of seven or eight, I made a cycle of erotic illustrations, drawing them in special natural science notebooks on the pages left blank especially for visual purposes. These drawings, which depicted naked women, were discovered by my mother who condemned them as “dirty” and threw them away. It censored the predilection to express myself in this way for quite a long time. The visual representation of “pleasures” have been always bordering on taboos.
imagofeminae: thank you Ileana for sharing your visions with us.
Image: "After the Party III" by Ileana Pascalau ©2014- ink & gouache on paper, 150x187 cm Exhibition:UNCLEAN at Somos Art- Gallery June 6th -29th 2014 Berlin.
Ileana Pascalau (artist) "Lascivia" On Lust & Drawing Interview by Paiman Maria Davarifard Copyright © 2014 by imagofeminae.com ISSN 2095-2000 # VII Summer 2014. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED