We had the good fortune of connecting with Bianca Turner and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Bianca, where are your from? We’d love to hear about how your background has played a role in who you are today?
I was born and grew up in Romania (Europe), during the Communism regime. Life was very tough for me then, because I didn’t have the freedom of expression, I had to be extremely disciplined otherwise I would have risked to be punished by the Communist Party, or my parents would have suffered tremendously, and I had to follow orders to a T when I was in school. Everything was unimaginably harsh in my childhood, from not having any heat in schools during extremely cold winters to studying at candle light every night because the Communist Party was giving all the water and power to the USSR. Daily, I lived with the fear that my parents would be arrested and thrown in jail as my grandfathers were, one of them never making it out and being a political prisoner for life. After I graduated college, I had the opportunity to immigrate legally to the US, with a Diversity Visa Program (the DVP offers Green Card to the immigrants and the American citizenship after five years of being in the US). I came straight to Los Angeles, over 25 years ago, not knowing anyone, being alone, but happy to be free of any constrictions I suffered in Romania. I embraced the American culture from day one and not being surrounded by any Romanians, it was very easy to “Americanize” myself quickly by speaking the language and behaving like everyone else who was born here. I thought that it was enough for me to live “the American dream”. I was wrong! My accent and sometimes my looks got me in trouble with the white American population of Los Angeles. I was physically attacked several times in the posh areas of the city due to the fact that I have an accent, last time being in 2017. Working in sales, I was in contact with many people and almost daily I was bullied by someone, either it was a client or a manager or a colleague, because of my origins and accent. “Show me your Green Card”, “You are a Mail-Order Bride” (because of my last name), “You are stupid because you have an accent”, “With your accent probably you didn’t even graduate high school” were the most common things I have heard from most people when they addressed me. “Go back to your country!” was something that I didn’t even consider an insult anymore; I was just expecting to be told to go back where I came from. After almost twenty years of taking this abuse, I realized that I will always have to deal with it, in our country, if I have a job where I have to interact with people. And in most jobs you have to work with people. I love all people but it seems that certain people don’t accept me here because of my accent and/or my origins. Since the beginning of 2000, my safe zone, where I was always able to escape, to relax and to meditate, was painting. Therefore, I decided to focus on my artistic career and in the last four years I invested all of my efforts in becoming an internationally recognized artist and now I paint for the public’s enjoyment and my peace of mind and soul. After college, I received a Master Degree in Economics and a PhD in International Economic Relations. The discipline I have gotten while in Romania, along with the one I have obtained when studying for my postgraduate degrees, is currently helping me because I have a daily routine when I paint systematically for a good amount of time. The business acumen I have is helping me with promoting myself as an artist on the social media channels and developing lucrative relationships with other artists and art galleries. At the beginning of my artistic career I was getting inspired mostly by nature but in the past two years I started to create a lot of compositions based on societal and political themes. Through my creative work, I want to raise awareness of discrimination, human rights, mental health, nature conservation, tyrannical political regimes and climate change. However, no matter what theme I select for my art, because I am an optimistic person and I love and respect people and nature so much, I like to see the beauty in everything, paint it on my canvases and bring it to the world to make it a better place and hopefully to enrich and heal it, as well.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My paintings are deeply inspired by nature and its vivid colors and reflections of light. The shiny quality in my work, created by mixing bright colored paint with glitter, represents a fantasy world where my imagination and the elements of the universe intertwine. I see art as “the definition of infinity” and my work explores the continuous transmutation of the evolving essence of life and nature. Visions and words turn into colors and textures to create new narratives in this dimension of infinity. I am a self-taught artist from Romania. I hold degrees in economics and biochemistry. My paintings hang in private and corporate international collections (New York, Los Angeles, London, Tel Aviv, Rome, Honolulu, Kansas City, Miami, etc.) and at Haegeumgang Museum in South Korea. My work has been featured in British Vogue, London Lux, Diafano Art Magazine, MUSA Contemporary Art Magazine, Masters of Contemporary Art Guide of Santa Barbara Museum, and other specialty publications. I received the Woman Art Award from MUSA International Art Space in Madrid, Spain in 2018 and the Certificate of Excellence in Art from Creative Circle in Lyon, France. Recently I was awarded with the Leonardo da Vinci International Prize – The Universal Artist, which I received in Florence, Italy, in January 2020. In October 2020 I was “The Artist of The Day” at See Me Community which works in partnership with The Sotheby’s Institute of Art, New York City. I currently live in Los Angeles, California and work from my home studio. My 2021 art projects include several group exhibitions, one in Buenos Aires, Argentina one in Tel Aviv, Israel, and one in Shanghai, PRC. I am also working on a book about the economics in art and in 2021 I will publish a few articles related to this theme, in art magazines in Spain and Sweden.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I usually start my tour with a trip to the ocean. From my house I like to take one of the scenic routes to the Pacific Coast Highway: Topanga Canyon or Las Virgenes Road; the road I choose depends on who I have in my car with me – my dog prefers Las Virgenes Road over Topanga Canyon. If she is not with me then Topanga Canyon is the option. When I arrive in Malibu I must stop at the Moonshadows; in my opinion, if you want to make a strong first impression when someone comes to Los Angeles, that is the spot in town. I like to go there for lunch and sit outside, at the wooden bar area, that is the closest to the water. My next stop would be a visit at Getty Villa and from there I would take the PCH all the way to Santa Monica and go to the 3rd Street Promenade. Second day would be reserved for a hike on Fryman Canyon and from there I would take Mullholland Drive to Laurel Canyon (where I used to live fifteen years ago) and go to the Sunset Strip. Of course, from there I would make it into the Beverly Hills. I like to stop at Eataly to shop for all the European gourmet foods and also for lunch or dinner. On a third day I would go to the Olvera Street, taste the good Mexican food at El Paseo, visit the down town and then go to The Broad Museum. On the fourth day, I would take a trip to Rancho Palos Verdes, have lunch at Terranea Resort and from there, take a drive back into town, to the Getty Museum. My trips start with ocean and art and end with the same hobbies.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I want to give a shout out to ALL the frontline workers in the world that are making sacrifices for us from the beginning of this pandemic. There are a lot of workers who were probably not recognized, yet. We know that the health care workers are fighting hard against this virus and are always there for us; we will always appreciate them for what they do. I also think of all the grocery stores, pharmacies, other retail stores and the banks employees (thank you Brian and the rest of the team) who all this time, when we were able to protect ourselves in our homes, were hard at work, serving us. They deserve our thanks, respect and gratitude. I am very appreciative that Rite-Aid employees in my area (Ana, Raj and the rest of the team) were there for my family, from the beginning of this pandemic. Although they knew that they were risking their lives, they were always there, filling the prescriptions, going the extra mile, even delivering the medication home, to protect us.