Ioana Manolache

Region: MFA Annual

Growing up as a Romanian Orthodox minister’s daughter provided me with the opportunity to experience daily life as a fascinating paradox, observing things in their ecclesiastical functions as well as prosaic roles. I consider the deep reverence for and flippant disposal of the same object by meticulously painting mundane artifacts and found detritus. Sifting these objects through my perception and the slow process of painting allows me to exploit and retain their material qualities on the canvas. By employing micro and macro scales, I paint a relative space of perceptual experience, where both the optical illusion and physicality of the paintings create uncertainty and a question of belief.

My early training as a Byzantium icon painter shaped the way I approach images, as stand-ins for an unknowable, other significance. I challenge myself to manipulate and transcend oil paint on canvas through investigating a variety of surfaces. The painting process becomes a spiritual endeavor and a reevaluation of meaning, brushstroke by brushstroke.