Laila Ionescu

Bio

Traveling through life with a strong connection to her Transylvanian heritage is a definitive mark for artist Laila Farcas-Ionescu. She accepts this as a matter-of-fact, aware he journey is to walk the double-edged sword of physical and metaphysical experience. In her artistic production she was always interested in weaving yet untold stories by unfettering the characters who populate her personal universe. The world of her sculpted figures evolved though the years, permanently drawing breath from notable events of her labyrinthine life. The sculptures are a cumulative result of indelible events: childhood and early life spent in truly surreal Transylvania; schooling under the communist regime, surreal all the same; reluctant immigration; exotic travels; various coexisting careers; strong interest for and study of spirituality; witnessing the life/death cycles; deep admiration for a long list of artists from all periods. In the end, all these occurrences led up to the categorical resolve of allowing the beings of her inner forum to come alive. Some of the sculptures are executed in porcelain, with silver, occasionally gold inlays (evidence of her work as a jeweler), engobes, glazes, mixed media and encaustic. Other sculptures are done in bronze with various colored patinas. The porcelain sculptures are characterized by the contrast between intensely colored areas and faces/hands left mostly white in order to showcase the stark beauty of the material. The sculptures bring to the viewer's mind scenes from Georges de la Tour's paintings, through both narrative and physiognomy. Although by deliberate decision these characters cannot be placed in a definite period or geographic location, they irrefutably belong to the realm of magical realism, where numinous beings in enigmatic interaction are but the norm. This body of work is unique because through material, size, color and subject. It brings the other-worldliness of magical realism in close proximity to the viewer, making ever so small the gap between reality and dream world. The artist's quest is to create beings so close to being alive, in spite of personal interpretation of proportion and form, that the viewer might be readily startled by their power to alter perception and feign vague movements. Through her characters and their stories Laila Farcas-Ionescu invites the viewer to mirror himself in these little creatures and have a glimpse of a parallel, palpable world and its undisclosed yet familiar rituals and undertakings.