// An agile Romanian sportswoman with a humanistic bent, trained first in Architecture then Italian Literature and Philosophy at UCBerkeley, I felt lost after graduation, with no purpose in sight besides taking a hearty bite out of life. Armed with mounds of cash from restaurant jobs and a saved up scholarship, I decided to feel my way in this world backwards, travelling and living like a nomad, soaking in anything and everything unfamiliar. An immigrant's nightmare and dream in unison, all ties loose. This living was as exciting as it was uneasy, too many scattered puzzle pieces. We all know a fertile mind never stops sowing, so after many years of mulling over vocational vocabularies (from cook, to cheesemonger, food photographer, to stylist - all tied together by sensory beauty I would like to think), in 2012 the big break happened, all ties came to a knot at the mystical age of 29: since then it didn't take long to want to aspire towards mastery in a field that is ever challenging and universally engaging - I am a self-taught photographer, shooting medium format on most projects. All of that for this - if curiosity about understanding one's personal myth is the secret to enjoying this earthly existence, well then, I am now the happiest human alive.
As you can hopefully tell, common themes in my work are about feeling and place tied to (often invisible) people. A few more words about specific projects below:
Hopefully you've already spent a few minutes with my photos, and if you have, you will see psychological landscapes emerge as corollary topic throughout my work - landscapes seen through the eyes of an immigrant's tale of displacement. Whether they are real or imagined places, they hold the same level of importance. Having moved around the world ever since I was 16 (involuntarily at first), there is a heavy accent placed on what 'Home' means. In observing others' perception of home through personal filters, there is a looming sense of uneasiness pervading - a neglected environment (home and/or landscape) instantly grabs my attention. As I observe others' homes I question the feeling of pleasure/pleasureable feelings attached to living in that particular 'home' or 'surroundings.' As I idealize 'Home' I also unflinchingly and perhaps undeservedly chastize those that do not recognize it as vital for psychological comfort. In creating alternate/alternative landscapes where the mind can retire and contemplate, I advance the idea of an everywhere 'Home,' a home of the mind, a home that begets constant tending to by default and consequently offers instant gratification, the non-corrosive kind. The idea of mental comfort 'on-the-go,' something that is never available through the physicality of home as comfort zone, constitutes an ongoing exploration in my work.
The village study investigates the subordinate role of the female in society and its inevitable archetypes as they are mirrored in the microcosm of a small Romanian village. In truth I search for a relatively ideal mother archetype, a role model otherwise lacking. The village series is largely based on the relationship I forged with these women I'd once known as a child. As my mother had burnt all bridges with most people (friends and family) before her tragic passing on New Year's Day in 2010, I became determined to revisit those bridges, seeking to create and capture what I'd missed in the relationship with my mother - a healthy kind of love. Her precarious mental state, often translating into alienation, deep grief, and overall instability in the household, postponed my investigating possible healing pathways. Only in 2012 did I have the courage to unearth grueling pain, discovering truths that ultimately gave in to comfort and a sense of pride from having had the courage to face these truths. Through the reconstruction of a lifetime - my mother's -, understanding it, and ultimately celebrating it, we (my sister and I) have found peace, at last.
The ongoing projects ''On light,' 'Heart' and 'Adult Happiness' were borne out of a desire to understand what is insinuated by the word/feeling of happiness in adults, how happiness occurs, how it is attained, and sustained. However easy it is to identify happiness in children, as adults the meaning gets lost in translation, begetting myriad complicated connotations. I try to capture very specific fleeting moments where self-consciousness is lost, giving way to a terrific set of sparks of inflated joy. They say in quantum physics that the power of our consciousness affects the physical world - when scientists looked at light to determine if it's made up of protons or waves, scientists discovered light is both: it may sound miraculous, but the end effect was what the scientist's mind wanted to see. So if we see with our minds, then it should be fundamentally possible to edit our path by believing in this feeling called happiness. //