And God Created Woman (2018), oil on canvas, 29 x 41 cm.
Ioana Iacob (b. 1987)
Ioana Iacob’s work is initially quiet, even contemplative. She draws from the domestic realm and is an acute observer of the human condition. There is a strongly voyeuristic quality to Iacob’s work in that she exposes the most intimate and vulnerable moments of her subjects’ lives as if unbidden at a secret key hole. Sometimes her protagonists are depicted asleep, having sex or caught in a moment of quiet, private contemplation such as reading, surfing the net or checking their phone – completely unaware of being watched. The decision to focus on a choice of motif which could be described as mundane if not banal, is a brave one. Iacob’s paintings need time to reveal their intensity. Careful inspection though is rewarded by much more than banality. Instead these are glimpses into inner lives and even souls. Through her choice of images, Iacob captures the essence of her protagonists’ generation. She exposes loneliness, the problematics of increasingly living a life in the virtual realm, the exchange of physical intimacy for the quick gratification afforded by pornography and a gradual disengagement from society at large. Throughout her works, Iacob does not flinch from trying to be truthful, but neither does she give up on the pursuit of beauty which she clearly still seeks to find in the human condition and her surroundings. There is searing observation – but this is often enveloped by a warm and even nostalgic light.
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