Slag Gallery, Blooklyn
The dreamlike paintings of Romanian artist Dan Voinea exhibit the past and present in works that are at times alienating, at times disorienting, and at times foreboding but always powerfully rendered. Voinea blends traditional and contemporary practices in his emotional pieces ―building scenes by staging live models, taking pictures of variations of their moves and interactions, then painting using an Old Master’s technique. At a first glance there is an eerie tone underpinning these works, yet longer one’s gaze lingers on these ambiguous surfaces, mysterious depths and bold perspectives herald a life-affirming uplift.
The strange protagonists in Voinea’s works are cast in tones from ashy grays and ruddy brown to vivid greens and blues and strike highly readable poses loaded with social symbology. Voinea’s penumbral paint handling ― sometimes light and fluid, sometimes dense and deliberate― renders his subjects in an ethereal pseudo-clarity. Details can leap out of the paintings ― individual veins, evocative facial expressions ― but also slowly emerge from the haze – a golem, the hinges of peculiar machines. Paradoxically, his painted surfaces are at once ominous, nostalgic, and heartening.