Interview Cristina Balan: Vortex, illusion, energy
Cristina Balan is a modern artist in the same vein as the avant-garde of the early 20th century. There is a burst of energy that hasn’t been seen very often in art history since 1905-1920, when art went through a complete breakdown of visual norms. Looking at art from a historic perspective, Cristina’s works stand by themselves, and when one understands the contemporary world, her works offer a soothing present and future calm and purity.
Tell me about your background and where your creative journey began. Where do you find inspiration for your work?
I studied fine arts from the age of five to fifteen, then took a very long hiatus from painting. I have managed to build a successful career in business, politics and diplomacy, but my heart has been always longing for art. Two years ago I decided to take a leap and concentrated all my energy on painting. I wanted to see whether I would be able to succeed as I did in other areas and I wanted to give it a chance so that I won’t regret afterwards that I didn’t follow my dream.
I started creating abstract art, despite my academic art background. My first paintings were representing vortexes, and I was depicting them without having a clue what they mean and why I am creating them. Later I discovered a whole movement of energy artists. Art is energy, and what is the peak of that energy if not a vortex? Later on, I started exploring lines, colors, textures, shimmery vs. matte surfaces and other optical effects possible to achieve in acrylic painting. Currently I am very fond of circles. At this point of my artistic career, I am fully aware of what I am creating, and what my message is, unlike in the very beginning.
Regarding inspiration, most of my paintings come as visions first, which I try to depict in the most aesthetic possible way. Some people say that I have a good imagination, others say that I am connected to Cosmos. You see, imagining, or imaging, means being in a receiving mode. We receive blocks of thought from that larger part of us. One may call it God, Universe, or the One Field of consciousness, there are so many terms for it. These thoughts that we are receiving from above, are being translated into images, colors, codes, through which we comprehend the information. So basically having a rich imagination and being “connected” is the same thing.
And what is the message?
We are living fascinating times. We have moved into the New Age, the Age of Aquarius. The old paradigms are no longer working, the old systems are crumbling. Look how much our lives have changed during the last year. I use art to speak about harmony, peace, unconditional love, and other laws of the Universe in the context of our modern life anxieties.
My Vortexes series of works depict spirals, which are one of the oldest symbols reflecting the universal pattern of growth and evolution. The spiral represents the life force energy. It’s the sacred symbol that reminds us of our evolving journey in life. On a larger scale, this symbol assures all beings of their inward and outward evolution.
My lined paintings are very simple yet they bare very profound messages. In “Dance with Me” for example, I use silver and golden lines to depict harmony. We are able to perform a beautiful dance only if we listen to the same music, or vibrate at the same frequency. The more people aligned to higher frequencies, the more harmony in our society can be achieved.
I recently started working on a series of works titled Circles, it came right after I survived a harsh form of covid. The Circle of Life represents evolution as a process of transformation from death to birth, it makes us meditate on the ending, the beginning, as the circle has no beginning and no end. In this sense, the circle is an ancient code representing eternity, which subconsciously makes us detach from small insignificant problems consuming us on a daily basis. I also started using very bright colors in this series, reflecting my great joy and appreciation to be alive.
How has your work shifted and evolved over time?
I studied like crazy, took so many courses on abstract art... I had to overcome my stiff academic background. It’s much more challenging to purposefully break the rules that you know, rather than neglecting the rules that you have no idea about.
I experimented with materials, shapes, textures, colors to develop my unique way of doing things. I definitely feel far more confident in what I am doing. I am still searching and it’s a fun journey. I am not in a hurry to stick to a certain style, I want to play as much as possible. I believe this approach expands me as an artist. Also, frankly speaking, I find it pretty boring to work in one single style. I could easily create series of works from many works of mine, but I can hardly see the fun part of that.
What does a typical day in the studio look like for you, and how has your art practice grown or changed?
Every day is atypical, thank God I have no routine in my work. I try to paint as much as I can, even though my studies take a lot of time. In the first year I was just painting and learning by trial and error method, this year I have slowed down a little. I work more on sketches, try all possible materials, techniques, color pallets until I get the best possible result. I prefer to produce less paintings but of higher quality. I also notice that the administrative part is taking more time than I want, so I am in search of a manager who could take it off my shoulders.
Which experiences have impacted your work as an artist?
The greatest thing that had an impact on my art was my spiritual journey. As a non-religious person in the past, I started discovering spirituality from metaphysical perspectives, which is absolutely fascinating. I believe all of my works one way or another reflect my spiritual revelations. For example, my Illusion vs Reality painting, I reflect about where reality ends and the illusion begins. You would see white and blue drips coming from opposite directions, intersecting, covering each other or running in parallel. White represents illusion, blue is the reality.
Also, this year I had a near-death experience during a harsh covid generated pneumonia. I have noticed that this encounter made my art far more simple and joyous. I definitely use much more vivid colors now.
What are your future goals and aspirations?
I don't plan, I go by the flow. Planning means worrying and worrying means a useless waste of energy. I only can feel where I will be in future as an artist. I envision many collaborations and co-creations with unique, extraordinary, special musicians, writers, and other like-minded, or better to say like-hearted people. I hope to be able to create works that would facilitate human consciousness expansion in these amazing transformational times, and help people remember who they really are.
Visit the page of Cristina Balan