Social Distancing (2021)
On the surface of this water turmoil, the most surreal scene is presented to our eyes. As far as the eye can see, beautiful beach-body-ready women are tanning, relaxing; each one on her respective inflatable beach-flamingo.
They seem to be oblivious to the danger of the open sea. Indeed, they are oblivious to the others' existence as a whole. Each one floating a safe distance away from the other. Their faces are undefined, almost as if the artist had wanted to emphasize that they might actually possess no actual personality.
The work on this painting started in 2020, just as the second lockdown waves began to take effect in Europe. The artists' aim was to question the idea of the new possible normality of Social Distancing and how its effects would be translated into real life examples of behaviors.
Dominic-Petru Virtosu was born in Bucharest, Romania in 1983. He completed his formal artistic education with a License in painting (2006) class of renowned Romanian artist Florin Ciubotaru and a Master’s in 2013 with professor Catalin Balescu at the Bucharest National University of Arts; also attending a semester as an Erasmus exchange student at the prestigious Hochschule fur Grafik und Buchkunst in Leipzig where he was guided by the style and color of his professor, Annette Schroter.
The artists’ German High-school education proved to be a founding element for his work-ethic and discipline – this led to him continuously developing his artistic practice even through 10 years of employment within the tourism and audio-visual industry of Romania. Works created between 2009-2013, while the artist was employed at the biggest private television conglomerate of Romania, are a strong testimony of this effort: to question his environment and society’s consumerist tendencies in a broader sense.
After 2013, his focus shifted towards integrating the paradox of image representation vs. pure painting – an essential pathway for Virtosu’s development. His style merged the two directions into an organic vivid mix in which color and subject matter are unified and produce an exceptionally powerful image. Each work thus becomes its own unique path and requires its own technical solutions – both plein-air and works of fantasy became unified in style.
Dominic-Petru Virtosu’s French heritage also played a part in creating a strong connection to the cultural and artistic environment of Paris at a young age. His travels to the capital of France for extended periods of time where the most relevant and prestigious museums and exhibitions of the time were readily accessible prompted the artists’ curiosity and stimulated his artistic eye at a young age. His French legacy and fluency in the French language also helped the artist secure a scholarship at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts de Tourcoing in France where he studied art-teaching in 2017-2018; thereafter being employed as a painting professor at this same university to this present day.