Order within chaos

by Aarti Bahl
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Galerie Isa in Mumbai’s art district is hosting the first exhibition of Romanian artist, Radu Oreian in India. In his solo show, Farewell to the Thinker of Thoughts, there are artworks ranging from small to medium sized drawings with graphite, gold leaf and oil upto large scale oil paintings.

We had a chance to visit his show and see his works up close. The artist likes to create pulsating state of tension and relaxation for the viewer through his synchronisation of figuration and abstraction.
Radu describes his style as detailed and organic. His work clearly indicates process of repetition and meditation but also displays his broad range of techniques and skills. Every artwork speaks volumes of his in-depth knowledge of ancient painting techniques, sacred scriptures like the Upanishads and medieval legends, linking them all to the contemporary narratives.
Oreian’s artwork, Farewell to the Thinker of Thoughts, is an exceptionally unique abstract work and inspired by our sacred scriptures, the Upanishads, where the artist draws a sharp dense grid as a visible structure. He visualises the idea of the infinite division of the seeds of the soul and the eternal structure of the holy order.
His painting, The Snake Charmer, symbolises his fascination for the vibrant and rich Indian Culture.
Oreian’s vectorial paintings are visually very similar to the Magna Carta Document. These series creates a hypnotising effect through repetitive paint curls to create comforting order within chaos.
A must see for all art lovers in Mumbai, the exhibition is on until November 10.

Excerpts from an interview
You come from Romania, how did you get influenced by our ancient scriptures the Upanishads and the snake charmers?
At the age of 16, I was fascinated by the world renowned Romanian scholar and historian, Mircea Eliade. His novel Maitreyi, describing his journey into India and his encounter with the vast culture of mystical India, inspired me to read the Upanishads, the Rigveda and the Bhagwad Gita. Over the years, my regular meditation practice drove me to dig deeper into India’s spiritual history.
How do you manage to balance out the link between the medieval and the contemporary world in the same artwork?
I like to see my work as the melting point of all the art history I have studied over the years combined with the aesthetics and the deviant ideas behind the artworks. My series of vectorial paintings are very similar visually with the Magna Carta document. I talk about a collective portrait and the relationship between the flesh and the spirit in today’s world, but I have always been intrigued by the paradox of merging the ancient with the contemporary.
The longer we look at your work, it becomes more abstract and real at the same time. Can you explain it?
I like all my artworks to contain a pulsating state of tension between the organic colours that invoke a spectrum of the body tones and the hypnotic movement in which these colours are arranged. There is a dance of entangled body and spirit in the essence of all my works. In the more figurative (yet abstract) series of paintings exhibited in this show, I have recreated the portraits of philosophers who have influenced me in my journey.

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