We had the good fortune of connecting with Mihai Liviu and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Mihai, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
To be honest, I had many moments when I thought I could have done something else in life, but not painting. I feel truly fortunate to have pursued this path. I did not have to grope like others and look for a suitable activity, job, a sense of purpose. I was lured into the artistic world without even noticing. It must be vocation! I do not think that you can make a choice at a certain time, a logical and clear one. The creation simply starts to have control over you. Like being trapped in a beautiful dance, you just glance around from time to time, but never stop dancing.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My art usually lies between figurative and abstract. I simply love the spontaneity of abstract, but at the same time I am addicted to drawing and figurative art – it is somehow a struggle. It often happens that a figurative idea, which I started from, changes so much in the painting process that I hardly recognize what it originally was. A curator once said that I have been gifted with the talent of drawing, and I have realized that I could explore more the figurative style since I feel comfortable on this side. I am part of a devouring generation of imagery, and I, in turn, create images, ideas and art. I, myself, am a cog in the machine that creates cultural content and – paradoxically – culture that have been inspired by culture. For instance, as I was visiting a library, I bought a book about Marilyn Monroe (the cover, too, made it seem appealing). Reading about her intense and dramatic life I just felt inspired. I have taken this iconic imagine of Marilyn, who is the ultimate pop culture icon and a Hollywood product, and created a painting called “Evening with Marilyn”. This is how I often work, my emotions serving as basis for the painting. The human figure has always had a place in my paintings or drawings. I approach psychologically, historically, politically and socioculturally the human subject. I have a series of paintings that have been inspired by Romania’s communist past, a dark time. I was very young in the last years of the Communist regime, but as I grew up I became more aware of the social trauma and imprint left by all those years. So, I laid it on canvas. . I believe that my role as an artist is that of a mediator, having the ability to show people another face of reality, a different angle. Art is transcendental, just like poetry. I am trying to make the viewer part of the creative act, to question himself further. I believe art gives a vaster depth to the immediate reality.

When we look back, the things always seem simpler, but not in art. When pursuing a career in art, I think only the calling, the passion and the ambition can keep you afloat and then push you forwards to achieve what you want. But for me it’s more than that. It is the passion for creation itself. I cannot live unless I express myself through art. It is not easy, since you may come across many situations and persons that could be a source of diversion, making you lose your confidence and focus. Art is so subjective that you need a sense of quality, while paying attention what values you choose to embrace, as well as where and what you exhibit. Throughout the years I have understood that it is beneficial to exhibit your artworks, to give yourself to the public and to build a community around you. The art galleries can support you in this process, and I, too, work with art galleries. I think the most difficult thing for me to achieve was to enter the art market and to be known as a contemporary artist. With a lot of perseverance and dedication I have succeeded to. Actually, you have to convince the public and the art community that you have something to say and it does matter.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Since I live in Bucharest, I think this city offers plenty of interesting cultural and entertainment places to visit and spend time. First, I would take him/her on a tour of the art galleries and museums (if he/she has enough patience), then we would enjoy a stroll in one of the city’s parks. We would likely spend the rest of the time in bars and restaurants or even clubs. Bucharest is well-known for its very fancy nightclubs. Of course, we would end it all with a visit in my studio, which should be the most exciting part. Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I believe the enchainment of events, persons and things, which leads you to the point where you find yourself at a certain time in life, is highly complex. Perhaps if one morning you hadn’t woken up at a specific hour and hadn’t drunk your coffee in a certain place where you met a person that introduced you to another one and so on, you wouldn’t have seized some opportunity. I deeply believe in the idea „the right man in the right place at the right time” that further creates a series of things and events – be they either right or not. We live in an interconnected universe. As for me, I could say that the first important piece of my career puzzle was my middle-school art teacher, who noticed my potential and suggested me to enrol in the Arts High School. She also asked me to bring my parents to school, and convinced them to allow me to continue studying arts. Initially, my parents (my father particularly) wanted me to enrol in a military school.
Thus, I may say that this middle-school art teacher played a huge part in my career. Of course, my parents have supported me as well, especially my mother (She is such an amazing woman!), as well as my friends and everyone around who have always encouraged me. I think it is very important to have people that believe in you. We cannot succeed all on our own.

Website: www.liviumihai.com

Instagram: @liviumihaiart

Facebook: Liviu Mihai Art

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