Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Art of Ion Vincent Danu

Its been fun to see the works of artist Ion Vincent Danu.  Ion is not only a good artist who enjoys exploring a breadth of different subjects, but he is also a good caricaturist.

Its important to understand that caricaturism is not cartooning, although cartooning may embrace caricaturism.  There's a fine but important difference here.

These two works by Ion, are good examples of what I mean.  These works are disarmingly simple in style. There's a certain reduction of features as Ion gently probes to see which features he can exaggerate, be it lips,  length of neck, cranial dome,  or forehead furrowing,  Its as if Ion, carefully massages these features, while still maintaining an overall integrity in the subject's face.  And, here's the important thing - in gently exaggerating these elements, Ion actually strengthens certain characteristics.  His work becomes overcharged.

These two works seem disarmingly simple in style. The facial contours have hard outlines. Look at Meika's hair and see how the colour of paint flows into the background. Or is it vice versa?  Meika's eyes are large, her lips are sensual and her neck is long. Both subjects have features that present strong personality characteristics.

I like the feeling of liberation I get from Ion's works.  The casual looseness, bold colours and strong delineation of his subjects' personalities give me the sense that we see an artist who thoroughly enjoys his creative experience.

Artist's Comments:

When you have limited time to finish a portrait (between 15 and 35-40 minutes if you are lucky) simplification in drawing and color is essential and inevitable. Speed also give more spontaneity to the final result, more raw emotion.(As for "caricaturist", I call myself that mainly because it's easier to understood by the public and less binding  than "portrayer", it gives you some leeway to exaggerate, instead of a photographic, boring, resemblance to the model...)
No doubt I enjoy immensely drawing portraits like this one. As for Mieka, a kind, generous and sensual young woman I met at Shazamfest (a mini-woodstock on the Canadian side of the border, near Way's Mills, in the EasternTownships) she has a very interesting heritage, being of Amerindian and Irish or Scot descent, both visible in her features, hair and eyes color.
As for my self portrait, it speaks for itself. It's a Ecce Homo kind of self portrait I used to do every year the 31 of December. 2005, when I did this one, was a borderline year. I was still quite sick (diabetes and complications) but I have started to radically change my life style, especially what and how I was eating, with quite impressive good results.

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