In just one year, her pop art paintings worth five times more. In just one year, a young Romanian artist goes from one name in a collective exhibition in the contemporary pavilion to… a dedicated solo show in the whole contemporary pavilion. This year, at Art Safari 2022, Irina Dragomir is the true superhero of the Romanian artistic scene. Therefore, an interview with the artist Irina Dragomir was, of course, something not to miss.
At Art Safari 2022 – www.artsafari.ro. – „Red, yellow and blue” – the first personal exhibition curated by Art Safari for a contemporary artist.
Irina Dragmoir – you can find her on Instagram – @instairinadragomir.
In February 2020, Women with Weapon was sold with 600 euro, in November 2021, Queen takes King was sold with 3.500 euro.
How is it to have an entire Contemporary Pavilion at Art Safari just for you? Flattering, scaring? Why?
Sometimes we have to make an effort and get out of our warm and safe nest, despite our fears and insecurities. After all, you only live once- as the saying goes. Of course, I am nervous because I was given a huge chance and I have to live up to the expectations. Art Safari is the largest art event in Romania and the standards are very high so everything has to be perfect. It helps me a lot that I have a very good relationship with the Art Safari team and, of course, I have the best curator – Alexandru Rădvan, my former art professor from UNARTE – National University of Arts.
At the same time, it is more than flattering to have the entire Contemporary Pavilion at Art Safari just for me – my first solo show! I’ve been visiting Art Safari since the first edition in 2014, but it never crossed my mind that one day I will have at Art Safari a solo show. It’s amazing!
What is the main theme of the exhibition? (I would say, knowing your work, that is power of the women – correct me if I am wrong 🙂
Red, yellow and blue, the primary colours and the Romanian national flag were the colour inspiration for my show. It is true that many of my works are about women and power, their relationship with power. It’s easier for me to paint women because I know how it feels to be one and I can tell you from my experience that women are not as fragile and weak as one might think. We can do a lot, everything actually! Power is one of the fundamental qualities of women.
However, I would like men to resonate with my work as well, so I would rather say that I paint the human nature with a special focus on women.
If I have to see just one work from your exhibition at Art Safari 2022 (I will see them all, of course) what would it be? Why?
I can’t say too much because it’s kind of a surprise. What I can reveal is that the one won’t see only paintings, I will also show different techniques and installations with surprising techniques. My practice will tell a story of colour and power. Plus you can’t miss my main lobby installation, it’s quite big!
How far (in terms of other countries far far away) one of your works has gone?
My paintings traveled more than I did. I hope to catch up with them one day because I love traveling. My latest art collector is from New York, but I do have works in Europe as well France, The Netherlands, United Kingdom. Oh, and Israel, of course.
Which ones were the first 3 moments that counted most in your career as a contemporary artist? Why?
The first important moment in my career was when I decided to go to the art university. What I have learned with Alexandru Rădvan over there opened my horizons and helped me grow much faster than I would have done on my own. Those years also helped me build my confidence that I could be a good artist.
The second decisive moment was when I was discovered by Ioana Ciocan – General Manager at Art Safari. She saw my work at the graduation exhibition organized within the art university and she loved it on the spot! Ioana Ciocan also has one of my work in her collection so I am proud about that as well.
As for the third moment, I think it will happen starting with May 12, when Art Safari 2022 will open its doors at Dacia-România Palace in the heart of Bucharest, and everyone will be able to see my latest work.
Instagram. NTF. Yes or no?
There are many artists who rely exclusively on Instagram to present and sell their work. I think that this is an extremely useful tool because it offers visibility, but it is quite demanding to be permanently connected and to create attractive content for followers. Not to mention the fact that the algorithms behind it are always changing, which creates great frustration among users.
In order to be successful on Instagram you have to put a lot of time and resources into it. However, when you draw the line, Instagram is a must-have tool for anyone interested in visuals and it has more pros than cons.
Regarding the NFT phenomenon, I am currently researching about it. I’m not in a hurry to enter this new market and I think it’s wiser for me to wait for things to settle down and see what’s left after the fireworks go out. Now I am still connected with the „real world”.
About Irina Dragomir, beside paintings, we should know…
I am very passionate about people and I spend a lot of time analysing them and trying to understand their behaviours. The riddles that people have inside them are fascinating to me and they keep my mind very busy. I believe I try to discover their secrets with my paintings.
Photo: The Storyalist / (c) courtesy of Art Safari.