Artsy Shark presents featured artist Laurentiu Todié. Originally from Romania, he now lives in New York, and creates images which are not what they may seem. See more of his work here.
What are your goals?
In the tradition of Julius Caesar and Alexander the Great (among others) I’m working on conquering the World. As was demonstrated by John Cusack in the movie Max, (how’s that for name dropping? I may behave like a Miss America contestant, but I know what and whom I like) warriors are performance artists. I’m using ink and paint in my quest, but I agree with John, Art is mightier than war; besides, I don’t care much for war, I want World peace.
My Pop Art endeavor is meant to show several aspects of my reality:
1. things are usually not what they look like
2. memory can be triggered in ways that make the visual experience very satisfying
3. Magritte’s lesson of what things are not, like the not-pipe, is of the utmost importance for understanding art that may embarrass or insult some people. Another personal goal inspired by an anecdote who’s author escapes me: I’m on my way to becoming immortal; so far so good.
What are you working on now?
I went from Abstract expressionism to Pop Art with a short pause exploring chronophotography (Muybridge). In Pop Art I didn’t study Warhol’s work much, because I’m an old silkscreen printer and his techniques are no surprise to me, but I found that as an old photo retoucher as well as an offset printer, Lichtenstein’s use of halftones was intriguing. The consensus among technicians is that halftones and rosette patterns are a necessary evil, a compromise, and he is elevating them to the status of expression medium.
Working with pixels while I was a professional retoucher, made that I became (as digital photographers put it) a pixel peeper. So why not take Lichtenstein’s example and elevate them instead? As I am a painter too, I made the pixels look as the object of my utmost attention, hoping to confuse the spectators into examining the brushwork close, only to tell them later to squint and step back to see the larger picture. And if the larger picture turns out to be a familiar one, as far from the built expectations, the surprise of recognition could be a pleasant one.
What inspires you?
There are a lot of things that inspire me, like a sense of humor, decent knowledge of Art history, various experiences with technology and hopefully a good grasp of human nature. I hope that my work will contribute to greater understanding of both prior and contemporary art among nations and generations.