Maia Stefana Oprea

More than a review on my Dust exhibition

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I am very happy and honoured to post a a review on my “Dust” exhibition,

part of an article wrote by Florin Toma,

“one of the most important Romanian stylists of current Romanian prose”,

 as Tudorel Urian describes him.


The original article in Romanian can be found here:




MAIA STEFANA OPREA – Serious Games on Terror


Sometimes, it is enough to sit, in order to advance. The famous respite of sustenance. The watershed, the moment of alveoli refill, with fresh air, necessary to the breath of the future. In this way, you won them all, forever. And if you’re lucky and the world is busy with other things, no-one stops you until you reach your goal. But the tragic alternative to this victory is rotation. Which, because the arc is too big, you don’t feel, you don’t notice. The route can only be seen from the very top, just like the Nazca drawings. Thus, the circle of perished strivings is formed. Rarely and with a lot of luck, after long groping, you may find the only way out of it: connection to time. At the core, even if they rotate in the same space until dizziness, the clock’s hands forward until way! further, close to the edge of eternity. And that’s a victory too. Couple of years ago, Maia Oprea was the child prodigy of contemporary painting in Romania, conquering one by one the redoubts of distrust defended by the skeptics on duty. After just entering the Fine Arts, she seemed a retiree among freshmen, a grown-up twisting, lonely, in a kindergarten. Everything, because her author biography was, until that moment, when she became a student, extremely rich (with very early stages of study in the Anglo-Saxon space!). Through the fresh scent, but deep, of her painting, through her solid visions, ripe, fulfilled, even if later on, in a painful way (which she has exorcised over the years, skillfully and in a downright order! ) as well as by an extraordinary maîtrise of color, supported by a surprising accuracy of the duct, Maia Oprea has earned the right to a follow-up, from which, generally, benefit only the great masters with serious conquests. I was remarking, at that time, a refreshing paradox. Bracing, because, besides the initial suspicion, natural after all, it gave the impression of dispelled doubt. Between the dilation of the imaginary, amazingly mature, almost of classicity and the playful innovation, with justified accents and impossible to be detracted juvenile, which opened a semiotic door toward the into the beat zone , it stretched the territory of certainty (the nonchalance of depth taken up to the limits of insolence made felt also a slight scent of Kerouac, Burroughs and Ginsberg … was it the outcome of her American studies?). It was certain: Maia was running face towards the future. And she had, as I said, the right to be watched. After generous experiences gained during years of study, here she is today, at the end of this important phase of training. The series of artworks entitled Dust* (it’d be Ţărână*, but could also be dust, which spectacularly enhancessemantically the whole endeavor!), exhibitedatMelenia Art Gallery, constitutes Maia Oprea‘s final undergraduate work. At first glance, one can see that her artistic psychecomplicates. And, just like any complication, it slips its foot in tragicness.Thus, unfortunately, the space of playful imagery got compressed almost to the form of a line, letting itself invaded (though, yes, we know that the phantasmagony never has the same expressions, not even in the case of a single artist’s creation!) hence, it leaves itself invaded by another species of chimeras. Firmer. More nervous. More frightening. Moredepressive. More grey. Like a sky of lead, which recalls it was, once, serene. Perhaps even more scientized (holding, thus,by hand Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, who said:Connaître ce n’est point démontrer, ni expliquer. C’est accéder à la vision!). The undefined silhouettes – at the border between anthropomorphic and zoomorphic – make us think(that being, an act of knowledge!). Lowering the observation (and implicitly the perception) at the time of the creative eruption presumes, firstly, giving up the stylistic adornments that produce redundancy. We have, in this cycle, Dust, a manifesto of the i-(m)mediate of a silent violence, as well as the loss of childhood par délicatesse, as the poet used to say. And, now, the artist has the word: The characters which populate the space of these works are emphasized precisely by their lack of indiviuality (…) They are ordinary bodies centred around the supressed memories or half-forgotten intimacies that are personal and at the same time as individual to each of us.However, just as nothing is certain in this world, any exerciseof predictability regarding the dynamics of an artist‘s creation – be it a teenager, a young adult or a mature– is risky. But maybe also this interval that Maia Oprea covers belongs to the aesthetic code of her age, as a new relationship with Time. On the other hand, she must be careful and intensify further on her aesthetic impertinence, so necessary in order to get out of that tragically famous merry-go-round of inventions, a danger that lurks every creator. However, but in my mind I think it’s already a truismthe observation that behind every great, serious man, hides, frolicky, a huge pride of pampering, cattishly enough, of a child sulky that not all its pleasures were fulfilled… Only if it weren’t suffocated!


* there is no exact translation of the title from Romanian language to English > in Romanian the series of artworks is entitled „Ţărână”, which is the ground finely crushed, the upper layer from the surface of the earth; it also has the connotation of mortal remains, of ashes and dust (artist’s explanation)


Author: maiastefana

Visual Artist portfolio: available artworks: blog:

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