Anaid Art Gallery is pleased to recommend the solo show by the renowned Romanian artist Alexandru Rădvan titled "The Oldest Day" at ARCUB (Bucharest Cultural Center), Lipscani Street, Nr. 84 - 90, Bucharest, Romania. The opening will take place on Tuesday, 14th of May 2019, starting from 18:00 o'clock, curator Ioana Ciocan, exhibition design arch. Attila Kim. The exhibition can be visited between 14th of May until the 23rd of June 2019.
Conceived as a solo show, "The Oldest Day" by Alexandru Rădvan, spanning 26 (twenty-six) artworks - paintings, sculptures, collages - was created in the last for years.
Mythical and mythological characters parade in front of our eyes, taking the shape of goddesses, titans, centaurs, hunters, explorers from ancient times. Alexandru Rădvan is moving freely among these created characters, as they were friends coming from the darkness of times, eager to question the world of today. The artist's reference to fundamental myths of humanity and their analysis from the perspective of contemporary society is the foundation of his creation. Rădvan is fascinated by mythology, symbols, fabulous and ineffable, story and the legend in itself. His heroes emerge from the artist's deep desire to take possession of the myth, to understand the underlying springs, and to deliver it to the viewer in a manner that does not take account of norms and conventions.
"The Oldest Day" is about the beginnings of mankind, about those days when goddesses, centaurs, titans populated the earth causing jealousy, fights, desires, sacrifices. Rădvan dissects the myth, the legend, with the finesse of a surgeon. His large canvases depict the fundamental rituals using the entire arsenal of art history, such as the peacock, shadow, lily flowers, idol, muse, siren, etc. The oversized sculptures recall the ancient Colossus of Greece and ancient Rome, which by their mere presence dominated the world. His collages bring in the forefront a hidden desire of the creators to give life to the characters they created. The myth of Pygmalion is not a random choice, the beautiful statue of Galatea comes to life, giving its creator the fulfillment of a dream.
The juncture with the contemporary world is made through Narcissus. A present-day Narcissus dominated by the permanent and selfish comparison with himself. A Narcissus obsessively mirrored in every single character. Rădvan's multifaceted self-portraits are also a reference to Narcissus, a mirroring of his own "I" in various interpretations. This is how the four self-portraits - "Self-portrait as a Cautious Hero"; "Self-portrait at the Beginning of History"; "Self-portrait at the Beginning of Time"; "Self-portrait as Marsyas" - are born, by representing an "I" enhanced.
"The Oldest Day" is described by Alexandru Rădvan along these lines:
"Through hundreds of breasts, the Mother of all things is nursing the Time. Conceiving new days, every day, nourishing them day by day, gazing how they fade away in the night, giving birth endlessly, till her exhausted sex turns into minerals and her breasts dry out. Ancient beings, present at the first birth gather the past days and preserve them with care. They saw all of them rising and fading away, as they will see it continuously. I realize that I have billions of years, that all of the previous days have been left to me, to which I have to add those happened to me, then I will go along with the centaurs, gods, titans, to gather the rest of the days. Then among all the old days, I will search for a day when the parents were young and happy."
At the beginning of the world - Pygmalion, Prometheus, Marsyas, centaurs, goddesses - lived organically and naturally their sexuality, dramas, jealousies, desires, making legends happen and stories to come alive. As it appears in the work "May We Live in Interesting Times", the mystery was destroyed, the story or the legend lost its majesty; we have been left only with two individuals - him and her - disconnected from each other looking directly at the viewers eyes and having a single item which unites them, the barbecue (the grill). It is the moment when reality killed the myth.
Diana Dochia, art historian