Abstract Artist Patricia Tudosa TALKS: on Vivid Beginnings and Endings
Liz Hazard sat down with self-described Loud Brain, Brooklyn-based artist Patricia Tudosa to explore and discuss the artist’s new series, Beginnings and Endings, and her very varied past. It’s a past filled with many different kinds of careers, from public relations, political organizing, human rights law, fundraising, writing and more, the Romanian-born talent has now found her passion in the creative realm as a fine artist and writer.
You have quite the resume. What drew you to finally pursue the more creative side of things?
Thank you! Creativity is in my DNA. Everything I’ve done, and I have indeed done many things, I have approached creatively. (As a sidenote, that’s something society proclaims to encourage, but I’ve found the hard way that most people are actually afraid of things being done differently.)
In regards to fine art, I’ve been painting on and off since early adulthood. About a year and a half ago my life changed abruptly, not for the first time, but for the first time I decided to take something of a sabbatical—I put behind 9-5 aspirations, at least temporarily, sublet my apartment, and left the country. Along with everything else that refuge and travel bring, there was also a distillation of three and a half decades of life: I came back to NYC in spring, and this visual creativity has just been pouring out. I am now painting all the time.
How would you describe your artwork?
My artwork is a distillation of many things. I am naturally curious about the world in all its aspects; complexity overwhelms me in a good way. I bring all of it to my painting. In terms of composition itself, I think of space, color, theme and texture as having the ability to take on the character and meaning of the other. My art is abstract, yes, but I also have a very literal mind. I think the reason people are responding to my recent artwork is that I can combine abstraction with literalness taken from a complex life contemplated deeply.
What inspires your artwork most?
My contemplation of the complexities of life. At a very basic level, light is very important, as it is to many artists: besides representing it through color, I will sometimes put a painting in front of the window and draw the lines and patterns that light makes on it, then use them as part of the composition. Beyond it, spirituality, politics, psychology, basic feelings, science, as well as the very texture and quality of the materials with which I work. I do believe that everything is significant and has a place in the world, and that’s how I approach my art. There is a lot of thinking that goes into my work.
Your Series Beginnings and Endings is so vivid. I'm really drawn to it. Can you walk us through this series a little?
Thank you. The three current paintings in this series are my most gestural, at least at a big scale. They all started with my throwing paint at the paper, minimally manipulating it, and interacting with the results once it was dry. Birth I made for a friend ready to give birth (she decided it was too avant-garde for her, so I ended up painting For Baby Ian instead; much calmer, and she loves it). I had this painting hanging in front of my bed for a while, and I would often wake up to see it in the early dawn light. Its quality would change dramatically: only the red was visible, and it looked like wounds, which is not something I intended, but I think it does represent the violence of entering this world—we idealize birth in the West, but it’s a painful experience.
At the Border, I am now reworking into a larger painting, a study of timespace and the idea of idolatry, or false selves. In its original format, the half-way split and the two calf-like figures appeared to me almost biblical, something like the idols that were prohibited in the Old Testament. So the painting evoked the pain of what’s been going on at the US border with Mexico: the evil that’s infringed on people looking for better lives in the name of exaggerated notions of patriotism and security—false idols. Beginning in Blue started with large slashes of black ink and red paint. I added all the blue at the end. I see an echo of the idea of the Big Bang in it.
I also really like your series entitled America 2019. Coming from Romania, tell us how your own background inspired this series.
Thank you. Yes, my background is very political. In the context of the world outside my home, my earliest memories have to do with the awareness that the walls had ears. I think every kid in Romania was raised being taught what s/he could and could not say, because fear of political retribution was a very real thing—people would routinely disappear in the middle of the night. It was a proper police state. I was eight years old when the Revolution happened and Ceausescu was deposed.
Collectively, we thought of the US as a land paved with gold—it could do no wrong. I moved here as a teenager, then 9/11 happened within less than three years. I ended up studying politics and history in college, and of course, that brought further dimension to the things I grew up with. I love the US for many different reasons, but I can still see it as an outsider. Its neuroses and fears are clear to me, as are the dangers of going into a nondemocratic direction, the very place I come from. I believe it the duty of my patriotism to criticize, or at least point out, the things I understand. At a fundamental level, I think that’s the duty of artists everywhere.
What do you hope to inspire through your art?
Thought and/or contemplation.
Tell us a little bit about any recent upcoming projects you are working on now.
A handful of people have been hearing me say this for a while, but it’s really true: I am in the process of finishing a first novel. I’ve been working on it for the past four years, and it’s grown right alongside me. Besides that, with some of the recent exposure of my art, some opportunities for collaboration with other artists seem to be arising. I welcome them and am curious to see where they go.
Readers: Please visit our Visual Arts Inspiration Gallery to view a sampling of the artists collection, Beginnings and Endings. You can contact the artist here for a private showing and to learn more about her journey and works for sale.
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Author: Elizabeth Hazard
Elizabeth Hazard is a creative director, producer and writer with several years of experience producing content for magazines, websites, brands and artists. Liz has worked with some of the most accomplished talents in the industry to conceive, develop and produce photos, videos and written work. A published author, she frequently writes about fashion, art and cultural topics for websites and publications. She also holds a certificate in curating from Node Center for Curatorial Studies in Germany.