New Contemporary Art
Artist: Valentina Brostean
Interview by: Denise Otero
On the surface, artist Valentina Brostean’s beautiful digital art and traditional paintings are surreal and grotesque, with its audience appreciating the subject matter, skill and curiosity it conveys. However, the pieces she creates offer deeper meaning and reflects the artist’s views on life and personal experience. Not only does she create these wonderments, she designs posters, mixed media collages, characters and books.
Valentina Brostean is a visual artist /illustrator & designer originally from Novi Sad, Serbia, a beautiful European city on the river Danube on the north of Serbia. Valentina lived and studied in Novi Sad before she moved to Italy five years ago…when she fell in love and let passion and an intense love story lead her to Turin, where she’s currently living, working and enjoying life – with her husband and dog.
Valentina in her own words…
When did you become an artist? I would say that art and I “found each other” – it was kind of love at first sight 🙂 It all started in a very early age, so spontaneous and natural. I remember myself at age four or five, a small little girl surrounded with a bunch of papers and coloured pencils all around me, drawing my fantasy worlds already at that stage and trying to explain to my parents who are all those characters and what do they represent or do.
It was just a “channel” that I had inside of me, a way to express, a way to feel, and a way to be myself. I was very lucky that my parents recognized all my artistic needs and I was always encouraged to freely enjoy and develop my skills across the years. Straight away from art high school, I began studying art. For some reason, I always knew I would study art.
Eventually, I went to the Academy of Arts Novi Sad to pursue a Fine Arts degree and later went on to Master studies where I specialized in Illustration under the watchful, inspirational eye of Ivica Stevanovic, a very famous, respected Serbian Illustrator. After finishing my Master studies, I started working at the Academy of Arts and became his collaborator – teaching assistant in the department of “graphic design and illustration” for three years, before I decided to move to Turin.
In what period in time would you have liked to live as an artist? With this time distance I would say the beginning of the 20th century seems like a very exciting revolutionary period when the world was changing rapidly and so was art. It seems like a very inspirational and visionary time for being an artist, when the basics of contemporary art were founded and the juices of innovation and creative freedom were flowing.
Which artists have influenced you? Across the years I was strongly inspired by the Urban Surrealism movement, street art and Contemporary Pop culture. This direction was kind of my personal interest that went beyond formal education I had at the Academy of Arts. During the period of my student years, I was highly fascinated by old masters and their magnificent technique and dedication. I appreciate and follow the art of many contemporary, active artists, working mostly in California, even if not necessarily Americans.
Few very important artists to name would certainly be James Jean, Joe Sorren, Camile Rose Gracia, Mark Ryden, Greg Craola Simkins, Jenny Saville, Travis Louie..talking about old Masters Heronimus Bosch, Breugel and Flamish school in general left a deep and important impact on me and at some further stage of my life, of course, all great contemporary classics like Schiele, Klimt, Lucian Freud, Francis Bacon and many, many others..
How would you describe your artwork? My body of work is built of a melancholic interaction between man-made status symbols and frozen moments of Utopian childhood memories. Strongly focused on figurative narration, my characters simply reflect us – modern society without its masks. Yet, the only place where we are truly revealed the way we are – is from the inside.
If you examine my work closely, you might come to the realization that my creatures are really, kind of, self portraits set in fantastical landscapes of an imaginary world which echoes of her own… a bitter, yet sweetly coated prescription for modern life. Across the years I was strongly inspired by urban pop culture, the surrealism movement, street art, fables and narrative folklore stories but also, more than anything, life in general – people and their relationships, animals, nature, even dreams.. all those aspects helped me to build my own, very personal, technique and style.
I never accepted direct influence or copying someone’s work, style, appearance etc..I like that subconscious influence that is not obvious at first look. I was always very much into cartoons, illustrated books and I had great passion for good quality music – so I guess my influences came from those sources.
If I have to ‘define’ my work, I would say my style is “new contemporary surrealism” with elements of pop. It is hard to give an exact definition considering that I am very eclectic and I am also working on my style all the time. So, it is an evolving organism which is always in a process of change 🙂
What advice can you give aspiring artists? Work hard, do not copy, be original, try to find deeper real meaning in the message you’re sending trough your art…be honest in what you do! Also, a hard but important fact nowadays, try to do your public relations the best you can. And always believe in what you do, don’t give up easily…even when your goals seem hard to achieve or seem unreachable.
For more about Valentina Brostean and to view more of her artwork, visit:
Valentina Brostean’s Art Porfolio: https://www.behance.net/valentinabrostean
Commercial work: http://www.behance.net/vale24
Valentina Brostean’s Etsy Shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/valentinabrostean
Facebook Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/VALENTINA.BROSTEAN
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