Added on date: 2020-17-09 by Petrovici Vasile

101 Self_portraits by Mihai Sarbulescu

Self-portrait as subject matter is currently frequented by Mihai Sârbulescu, in order to either exercise face representation, or to approach attentively his own self. Therefore the artist turns into an object of study, into a subject of investigation. They say that, in fact, any portrait made by an artist conceals his/her self-portrait. In this very case, things are quite the contrary: the artist willingly conceals his image by highlighting certain connotations of his human condition, yet preserving the subjectivity drawn from their fertility. Accomplished without any mirror, these self-portraits are realized mentally, from imagination. They are inviting, formal, intensely experienced; they are elaborated rigorously and at leisure. It's haste, fear, doubtful and fugitive emotions, impatience... The works seem to narrow or to load the paper surface. The lines defining the images are broken, scratched, crooked or discon- tinuous; they cover the features and increase their tension and intensity. Accentuated by rough colours, overlaps, accumulations and tactile mixtures of matter, they remind the making of a human being. The series includes figurative representations achieved minutely and obstinately, some of whom are redrawn, reinterpreted and even duplicated. Several self-portraits are but suggested: deprived or "eaten" by light, they probably aim to stress artist's refusal to look at himself. Others are abstracted images that concentrate or gallop among thoughts and pulsions, among inflamed or imperceptible, either cold or hot, sensations. And all of them are settled during a single hand movement... The head, a place where the states of mind toss about, seems to get through a self- discovering process - as if you haven't looked for long in the mirror, or you haven't regarded you at all, or your own face seems alien to you. Head's position, aiming to approach the beholder, is the poise in which thoughts do ferment; the eyes stay always in the forefront, while the rest of the face dissolves, ready to attack. Face's movement "pricks" the surface, increasing the depth of the two-dimensional space. All in all, to look at and to look at your-self suppose a certain detachment and objectivity, and the reason makes you take distance. However, Mihai Sârbulescuțs self-portraits suggest a different interpretation. To look at your-self means to approach you, to go deeper into your own subjectivity, be it empty or full, it means to get yourself lost. The regards do or don't tolerate the other one, and the other one can be either the beholder or the artist himself. The direct regard creates a stress - the other one is watched, confronted, and challenged. The indirect regard permits the subject to be discovered and analyzed, to be able to satisfy the other one's curiosity, or to unveil a third person. In the blind regard, the eyeball can no longer be seen, and you are able to investigate what is behind it. When the regard is shaded by colour, when it is beaten and heavy, the eyes disappear, swallowed by light and the unknown.
Ana Valeria Petrovici-Popescu artist, curator

Author: Ana Petrovici-Popescu,Mihai Sarbulescu,Vasile Petrovic
Publishing Year: 2020
Publishing House: MEGA
Number of pages: 148