In his series “Faust: Vanity and Despair”, Romanian artist Alexandru Cînean explores changing identities through a palette of black, red, white and pink. This set of paintings is inspired by a big theatrical project based on Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s version of the old German legend of Faust produced in the artist’s hometown of Sibiu in Transylvania.
The story of the world-weary Doctor who sells his soul to the Devil for a few moments of perfect pleasure is explored here with a focus on strong emotions – lust and the futile pursuit of fame and greatness. The figures are caught in a battle of existence, they are at once young and old – suspended between the vanity that has emerged out of a sense of achievement and the despair that has come with the realisation of their finitude. Faces crack open and shed layers upon layers of skin. One mask falls to reveal another. All this takes place in a dark and bloody atmosphere of evil whispers.
The artist enjoys working with planes of “construction” and “deconstruction”. Much of his work deals with characters who are shifting from one form of appearance into another. He also frequently depicts everyday life, and historical events in a modified manner seen from his own personal perspective.
Alexandru Cînean was born in 1988. His work has been exhibited in Romania, Italy, Belgium and Australia. He studied painting at the University of Art and Design in Cluj-Napoca, Romania and the Accademia Albertina Delle Belle Arti in Torino, Italy.
Images used with permission.