Oil on canvas
Dimensions: 130cm (H) x 100cm (W) x 3cm (D) / 51.2" (H) x 39.4" (W) x 1.2" (D)
Note: Actual colours may vary due to photography & computer settings.
Looking at this painting of an exotic landscape with lush natural beauty, you might not realize that it was found in the heart of Brussels. An island of spring on which the eye can rest and breathe a sigh of contentment. This is the story of a controversial place in Brussels: a meeting point for both beauty and decrepitude. The masterfully crafted web of plants and vividly colored vegetation are barely covering up the putrefied structure of the city behind it, creating a powerful and impressive contrast. An exotic jungle landscape is always perceived as a thing of beauty and mystery. It is a symbol of primordial abundance; the initial Garden of Eden. But this is also a savage place, where wild beasts of all kind lurk in the shadows. Metaphorically, it is the place, in our subconscious, where we hide our darkest fears and frightful thoughts. This work is inspired by the Brussels botanical garden.
Based in: Roubaix, France
Dominic-Petru Virtosu was born in Bucharest, Romania in 1983. He completed his formal artistic education with a License in painting (2006) class of renowned Romanian artist Florin Ciubotaru and a Master’s in 2013 with professor Catalin Balescu at the Bucharest National University of Arts; also attending a semester as an Erasmus exchange student at the prestigious Hochschule fur Grafik und Buchkunst in Leipzig where he was guided by the style and color of his professor, Annette Schroter.
The artists’ German High-school education proved to be a founding element for his work-ethic and discipline – this led to him continuously developing his artistic practice even through 10 years of employment within the tourism and audio-visual industry of Romania. Works created between 2009-2013, while the artist was employed at the biggest private television conglomerate of Romania, are a strong testimony of this effort: to question his environment and society’s consumerist tendencies in a broader sense. An array of flamboyant characters and surreal situations present themselves with the most relevant element being the depth of space. The complex compositions of this period are developed using image manipulation software and then painted with meticulous care on the surface of the canvas.
After 2013, his focus shifted towards integrating the paradox of image representation vs. pure painting – an essential pathway for Virtosu’s development. His style merged the two directions into an organic vivid mix in which color and subject matter are unified and produce an exceptionally powerful image. Each work thus becomes its own unique path and requires its own technical solutions – both plein-air and works of fantasy became unified in style.
Virtosu’s artistic practice includes regular exhibition activity (both as solo-shows and in group events) in Romania and abroad. “Cats of War” (2004) – where installation and drawing were presented at the UnaGallery in Bucharest; “Painting” (2006) at the Art Jazz Club of Bucharest; “World Wide View”(2009) at the Opera Gallery in Budapest; “…after Cremaster” (2010) at the Center for Visual Arts in Bucharest; “Police the Police” (2010) at the Biennal of Young Artists in Bucharest; “Constantly out of Space” (2012) exhibition in Leipzig, Germany; “In search” (2013) at the National Library of Bucharest; “Here and Now” (2015) at the Academy of Economic Studies of Bucharest, “Convergent” at the Vasile Grigore Museum of Bucharest and Art Safari Art Fair Bucharest; “PainTing” (2016) at the Polytechnic University of Bucharest; “Do you have a Motive?” (2018) at the Art Frontieres Gallery in Lille, France.
Dominic-Petru Virtosu’s French heritage also played a part in creating a strong connection to the cultural and artistic environment of Paris at a young age. His travels to the capital of France for extended periods of time where the most relevant and prestigious museums and exhibitions of the time were readily accessible prompted the artists’ curiosity and stimulated his artistic eye at a young age. His French legacy and fluency in the French language also helped the artist secure a scholarship at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts de Tourcoing in France where he studied art-teaching in 2017-2018; thereafter being employed as a painting professor at this same university to this present day.
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