Ileana Oancea – Portraits of artists | 11172014

Starting January 2014, Art Yourself Gallery hosts its marathon project – 11172014, with 17 participating artists, for a period of 11 months, with 11 themes and 11 exhibitions, held on each 17th day of every month.


Aitch, Felix Aftene, Gabriel Caloian, Codruţa Cernea, Mihail Cosuleţu, Cristian Crisbăşan,Suzana Dan, Amalia Dulhan, Andreea Floreanu, Cornel Lazia, Ileana & Cătălin Oancea, Dragoş Pătraşcu, Tudor Pătraşcu, Radu Rodideal, Adrian Sandu, Bogdan Teodorescu, Ioana Ursa.

Photographers Cornel Lazia and Cristian Crisbăşan are now revealing the Portraits of artists from 11172014 as they see themselves and are seen through the eyes of photographers.

Portrait of Ileana Oancea | Interview by Art Yourself Gallery

Ileana Oancea - Portraits of artists | 11172014

What are you doing in your life? 

Currently, my life is harmoniously divided between studio and family – a balance that I try to transpose in my works as well.
I feel that what I am doing has a good direction – but I like to believe that I am still at the beginning of my journey, and that I still have a lot of things to discover for myself and for others.

Ileana & Cătălin Oancea

Ileana & Cătălin Oancea

Are you born an artist or do you become one? 

A little of both – definitely not everyone has an inclination towards art, some prefer just the taste, while others don’t even know the artistic alphabet; and for the talented ones, the “you become an artist” part is mandatory – without a close inclination you cannot get anywhere, however talented you may be.

Photo: Cornel Lazia

What, where and how do you see? 

I “see” around me, I try to see more than others what surrounds us and then process all this through my personal filter – almost always figurative, careful at what material I choose, looking for the detail that makes it valuable and unique.

Photo: Cornel Lazia

How do you create and when are you ready to show yourself? 

Ideas are born from each other, they sometimes come as an avalanche (and then I write them down for another time). The idea is then processed in sketches until it finds its proper shape and will be completed in the final material – I always leave room for little surprises during the creation process – I build the work gradually, and it improves until I feel I “said” it all.

Photo: Cornel Lazia

How do you see yourself in the 11172014 project and what do you expect from it? 

I do not expect anything from the 11172014 project, but from myself – to discover how I react when working for a longer period with deadline, see what I can create on an accepted theme, and not created by myself, and last, but not least, the way my works intersect with those of others. Art Yourself brought together 17 artists who, despite stylistic differences, have found a common and quick language to coexist and at the end I want to see how this relation will be transposed artistically. It is certainly a good opportunity to meet other artists and learn about their activities.
I feel that me and my husband occupy a different position, as we are the only sculptors in the project. However, this particularity stimulates us further.

Photo: Cristian Crisbăşan

What is the role of creativity and art in human life?

Art is the necessary detail that transforms need into pleasure, that opens the eyes of those around you about things that they usually pass by without even noticing, it is a pair of glasses/ filter designed to reflect a different dimension of life.

Ask yourself a question and answer it. 

“What would make you give up creation, your art?”

Can I give up creation?


• •

I am an artist and I am a sculptor. My name is Ileana Oancea and I was born in Bucharest (1977) and I’ve been drawing since I can remember. I never imagined myself doing anything else – I have been studying art since 2nd grade, then at Tonitza high school and Art University, with post-graduate studies and PhD in Visual Arts. Some scholarships at the beginning, which opened the way to different corners of the world and opened my eyes even more – I saw art at its home in Italy, England, the Philippines, Morocco, Austria, Greece – and this contributed to my evolution as artist. I participated in group exhibitions and also had the experience of solo shows (the last one, “Little people“, in 2013 at Art Yourself Gallery). I saw what a creative camp both in wood and marble means. In the past several years, I experienced public space, with big works, permanent (Rm. Vâlcea) or temporary (land art experiment – “Oven-Goddess”, Vadastra; the “Expanded Space – individual and mass” project, “The Street” – Calea Victoriei, Bucharest; the SPAM Copy/ Paste project, with “The Countess” – Carol Park, Bucharest – work that received first prize of the jury; the Project 1990 – “Roşia Montană” – Piaţa Presei Libere, Bucharest). I sometimes like to write about art (my PhD thesis, the APLIMAT international conference in Bratislava, or Isomorphism magazine in Timişoara).

I like new projects that challenge me, force me to search inside myself, to discover myself and to discover, learn and grow.

Translation: The re:art/ Original interview here.

Photo credits: Cornel Lazia and Cristian Crisbăşan