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About Costel Iarca

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"A native of Romania, I studied painting and sculpture at The School of Popular Arts prior to pursuing a degree from The University of Theology. Before coming to the USA, I taught Religion and History to elementary school children. Since 1995 I have been exhibiting in Chicagoland and Soho, New York. From my hard-working middle-class Romanian family, I learned human dignity and persistence. I am driven to create powerful paintings.

Because I believe in the life of spirit, my art comes from my soul, my inspiration from the world. I use much blue, not only for the sky and sea, but for the soul’s striving toward the infinite. For me, green is hope; red, love; yellow, warmth, light, life—God. Color reflects the soul’s beauty though it is circumscribed by the body. My emotions fuel the squares, curves, and textures of my canvases. The radical energy of my colors reminds me simultaneously of life and death. Both are our destiny.

I pull my ideas from day-to-day life. Because I experience strong emotions while painting, I express them in strange shapes and brilliant vibrant colors. Sometimes I experience elation nervousness and anxiety when my dreams seem to vanish into thin air. Yet, the tornadoes of life cannot kill my spirit. I believe in myself; I believe in my work. I believe in the potential of each new day. Knowing about difficult lives of other masters drives me to paint with passion. I love the work of those who have gone before me, especially Picasso, Leger, Klee, Van Gogh, Matisse, and Giacometti. Because I constantly attempt not only to integrate but to transcend their learning, I believe my unique signature has evolved in my own work through my discovery of mixing caulking and acrylic paints to create a three-dimensional, textural, woven effect. As creative human beings, we simultaneously incorporate and transcend the past.

My philosophy of art is mirrored in my paintings: Since no human being is perfect, only God can create perfection. Our world is ever-changing, resulting in new phenomena, new events, turbulences, mutations. All creation is process. The art of the human reflects this evolving process. Thus, there is no “bottom line” in art. A painting, it seems to me, is always incomplete; that very incompleteness makes the creation of works of art fascinating and compelling, nudging us to reflect on the perfection/imperfection of the things of the world, urging me to strive for both what has been and is not-yet. In creating a painting, I experience myself at the center of an evolving, dynamic universe.

My use of straight or curved black lines has been central to my art. These lines have morphed into the wild three-dimensional lines of my experiment with whether caulking and acrylics. The caulking lines not only add depth and texture, but these lines both connect AND separate. Imaginary or physical, lines simultaneously limit AND lead to something else. Similarly, the line between soul and body is imaginary. Our human predicament is both to acknowledge our limits as well as to strive to transcend them. I have absolute confidence in my vision, in my drive, in my art. My painting makes me a creator in this vibrant, creative universe. Art is human magic." - Costel Iarca

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Still Life, 2016
Acrylic on canvas
60 x 45 in (152.4 x 114.3 cm)

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Costel Iarca
Still Life
  • Dimensions
    60 x 45 in (152.4 x 114.3 cm)