The paintings of Ioana Antonov

Society cannot exist without constantly feeding individuals on its captivating mirage, and becoming aware of its illusion may be one of the greatest challenges of man, as by escaping it there is still hope to return to the long forgotten and ignored essence, beyond all that is material, ephemeral and artificial.

And it is precisely this belief in the human ability to transcend the limits imposed by a declining society and rise above a deceitful reality that enriches and brings visual force to the extraordinary works of Ioana Antonov, who chooses to speak of the human condition and “its incomprehensible state of unrest facing an environment constantly subjected to change, overwhelmed with information which grows in influence by quantity and persistency rather than quality and meaning.”

The artist perceives the world as “a heavy generator of materialistic illusions, throwing a dense curtain over the complex dialogue between the world and our deepest self.” Blinded by delusions and allowing our individuality to be shaped by external influences that we’d rather not question, at least for the sake of comfort and ease, leads to the dissolution of the soul. However, Ioana Antonov finds a way beneath the appearance of self control and confidence, inside the incoherent universe of the subconscious: “With its apparent senseless expression it reveals only confusion as the language of the soul is not one of common sense but one that communicates through feelings. The vibrant disturbing imagery of the subconscious has the power to submerge ourselves into a deeper understanding of the world, bringing us closer to the immutable state of the archetype as the essence and beginning of everything that comes to life.” To help the viewer experience this transition, she presents her characters in a state of passing and rebirth, where identity is no longer certain nor important, using the power of color and geometry to highlight the potential becoming of man.

Ioana Antonov - Before becoming, oil on canvas, 120x120cm, 2014

‘Before becoming’

I. Antonov - Losing ground, oil on canvas, 90x120cm, 2014

‘Losing ground’

I. Antonov - Standing still

‘Standing still’

I. Antonov - The birth

‘The birth’

I. Antonov - Passing to another stage

‘Passing to another stage’

I. Antonov - Focal point

‘Focal point’

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All images © Ioana Antonov

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