George Mihai Vasilescus lives and works in Ploiesti.His artistic work is the realisation of an unrealised dream: that of his mother to become an artist. For this, Vasilescu accepted and still accepts long distances and considerable difficulties. Today, he signs many of his works with his mother's name, Canuta (Romanes for "little cup"). Soon after his first own exhibition in the theatre of his hometown Ploiesti in Romania, he set out in 2008 in search of the roots of his people, while he himself had grown up largely separated from his family with his aunt. In faraway Bangladesh, where his next exhibition was to take place in the rooms of the AsiaticSociety of Bangladesh, he saw much that was familiar in the way people interacted with each other, as well as in the culture there. Vasilescu thus found his home in art, as well as in the supposed foreign country that had been the origin of his people many hundreds of years ago. His admiration for the Dutch-Catalan painter Lita Cabellut, whom he also portrayed, led him from Bucharest to the Kai Dikhas Gallery.

The artist explores interpersonal relationships in his works. The works are a call for affection as well as security, while they usually depict the opposite. Symbolically, a sometimes enigmatic and dense parallel world emerges, inhabited by birds in top hats and caged people. Both symbols evoke associations with circus magic or mythological in-between creatures, but Vasilescu does not make such references, instead working with his own fantastic realism to represent coldness and loneliness. These themes are handled less enigmatically in his paintings of desolate, deserted socialist prefabricated buildings. Full of compassion and with a sure, rough brushstroke, however, he knows how to portray models as well as friends. In his paintings, Vasilescu uses glued-on fabricsnext to the colours, sometimes the canvases are slit with knives. With a strong desire for expression and design, Vasilescu complements his art world with scenographic concepts. Here, too, we find bird masks and top hats as props. He creates a dark, claustrophobic stage space where love is unleashed and desperately shakes up our rules.

The idea for the exhibition THE GOLDEN CAGE OF THOUGHTS (17 August to 04 October 2013) came to Vasilescu in the summer of 2011, when he was helping to repair an old lighthouse onan island in northern Norway. That was also when he made his first sketches. The image of the lighthouse has undoubtedly flowed into the sculptures; it seems as if his figures are lonely, monadiclighthouse creatures. Then in the winter of 2012, within two months, he put his ideas into practice and "materialised the incubated" (Vasilescu). The sculptures are wire plaster models painted in all shades of acrylic paint. Sometimes the underlying wire becomes visible like a neural pathway, reminding us how fragile the objects are, how easily destroyed. One can trace an aesthetic formal development in the figures. It seems as if Vasilescu is capturing an involuntary metamorphosis in which first the head grows higher and higher, taking the form of a golden, filigree cage that sometimes seems to emit a kind of scream, until finally the whole body grows into a large anthropomorphic, organic cage.The figures are Vasilescu's own fantastic realism to depict coldness and loneliness. The Golden Cages of Thoughts are not a rigid symbol, rather they symbolise a process of liberating the self and one's own thinking through art. Thus, one can trace an aesthetic-formal development in the cage sculptures. The artist records an (un)voluntary metamorphosis of a human-like being, in which first the head grows higher and higher and takes on the form of a golden, filigree cage, until finally the whole body has grown into a large anthropomorphic cage. But the transformation continues; eventually the metal struts resemble more floral forms, creepers or flowers, and less and less cold metal: finally the bars are spread apart and slackened, like an overripe flower, and the bound creature has left its cage - which was perhaps only a perverted cocoon - and is free. Vasilescu's Golden Cages of Thoughts are not a rigid symbol; rather, his works are themselves a formal exploration of structures that, with their constant growth and creative artistic inventiveness, are inspiring documents of a process of liberation through art.


George Vasilescu . Solo exhibitions

Blocuri – Gallery, Bucharest
Darkening the Darkness, Berlin (DE)
Galerie Kai Dikhas, Berlin (DE)
The Asiatic Society Of Arts Gallery, Dhaka, Bangladesh

George Vasilescu . Group Exhibitions

2nd Roma Biennale, Berlin (DE)
The National Centre for Roma Culture Romano-Kher, Bucharest
Gallery, Bucharest
Roma Culture Museum, Bucharest
MORA Gallery, Bucharest
The National Romanian Museum of Art, Bucharest
CENTRO.CENTRO Palacio de Cibeles Madrid
Roma Culture Museum, Bucharest
Gallery ARCUB, Bucharest
Galerie Kai Dikhas, Berlin
Roma Culture Museum, Bucharest
Gallery ArtCub, Bucharest
Metropolitan Library, Bucharest
Kleber Palace, Strasbourg
National Museum of Pesenat, Bucharest
Graz Stadtmuseum, Graz (AT)
Mateo Maximoff, Paris (FR)
Staatsgalerie Stuttgart (DE)
Galerie Kai Dikhas, Berlin (DE)
Galerie Kai Dikhas, Berlin (DE)