Irina Botea – Alice and the paper fairy
One of the first signs of adulthood is the appearance of the nostalgia. Childhood can be serene, happy or unhappy but there is no longing for the past to it. Irina Bucan Botea is using the nostalgic effect of children images, trying to reconstruct eerie places from the time when “les jeux n’etaient pas faites” and we were having the outrageous serenity to believe that “growing up” was a noble goal.
Still we have Art to reach for. That is how Irina wants us to look at painting: to abandon ourselves to the pure pleasure of seeing.
How is Irina selecting her images? By using other old photographic images. Those photographs have a clumsy – kitschy atmosphere but they still remain unfamiliar. Nobody makes photographs this way any longer, dress that way, pose that way or interact in that manner. It’s a lost world, the world of Nicolae Leonard (the prince of Romanian operetta in the ‘30s), which is shown with the intent of reviving it. The revival is incomplete, but it has the power of haunting us. The backdrops are deliberately made to look “old”. The faces of the children of the 30’s are becoming timeless faces. Fabulous little animals can bee seen in familiar and domestic postures. Irina Botea has a classically post-modern method for those in need of these procedures: The Paper Fairy that is attaching itself parasitically to the painted photographic images. But the curly fairy is doing it with wonderful childish exuberance.
“It’s all about how to live forever”, Damien Hirst said about art. We can talk about death and the human condition like Hirst does or we can try with Irina Bucan Botea to bring back the only psychological situation that allows fairies to roam freely and doesn’t make an issue from time: our lost childhood. (Dan Popescu)