About

BIO
Felicia Cirstea is a Romanian-Canadian contemporary visual artist based in Toronto, Canada. Born and raised in Bucharest, Romania, Felicia Cirstea completed her studies at OCAD University and Toronto School of Arts. Her practice involves drawing and painting informed from a background in illustration and design. Felicia investigates themes of personal identity, self-discovery, survival and cultural displacement influenced by religious and spiritual experiences. Using abstraction and representation Felicia’s paintings carry a visual language influenced by architectural religious spaces particularly Eastern Orthodox, Romanian folk art, Art Nouveau, Renaissance, Art Deco Illustration and nature.

Felicia Cirstea studied illustration and she was the recipient of many awards and accolades while she had collaborations with many magazines including O, The Oprah Magazine and institutions such as the Canadian Mental Health Association. Most recently her fine art work was shown solo at The Artist Project (Toronto), in a group exhibition at Auto BLDG (Toronto) and Collision Gallery (Toronto). She has completed the Akin Studio Program Year 2 in partnership with MOCA Toronto.

ARTIST STATEMENT

"I am a multidisciplinary Romanian-Canadian artist living and working in Toronto. My recent oil paintings called “Alterations” utilize stylized figurative representation with a focus on imagery reminiscent of religious art and concepts. As a child, going to church with my grandparents in a small village in Romania was a beautiful experience. I was fascinated by the collective act of prayer and the rituals that took place at the church. I was also very confused by the male representation of icon saints and by the fact that women weren’t allowed to pass behind the church’s altar. I was curious to know what was behind the doors of the church’s iconostasis and why weren’t women allowed to enter it? The art I now produce is trying to address that question by imagining a world where women are at the centre of spiritual experiences embodying divine qualities that have historically been attributed to men. I am really interested in altering ideas and notions of religion and spirituality to better understand the relationship between Eastern and Western culture and the patriarchal systems that have shaped women’s identities including my own. 

My art is defined by an aesthetic influenced by my mixed cultural experiences of living between Romanian post-communism, Canadian capitalism and the Caribbean island of Antigua. I am drawn to Art Nouveau, Byzantine Art, Romanian folk art, Art Deco illustration, Renaissance, abstract expressionism and nature. I puzzle shapes, architectural details, florals, lines, patterns and colors around figurative drawing in a way that feels cohesive and imaginative while my process is informed by my illustration and design background. Guided by a combination of intuition and research I utilize digital collage, drawing, painting and handmade braided canvas to explore creative paths that lead to unexpected results while questioning the mysticism behind the iconostasis’s doors."

 

CV

Born in Bucharest, Romania.

EDUCATION:

Ontario College of Art and Design, Toronto, Canada,  2003-2007

Toronto School of Arts, Toronto, Canada, 2002-2003

STUDIO RESIDENCY:

Akin Studio Program Year 2, Museum of Contemporary Art, Toronto, Canada, 2019-2020

SOLO EXHIBITIONS + SOLO ART FAIR

The Artist Project Contemporary Art Fair, Better Living Centre, Toronto, Canada, 2020

“Remains, a face between faces”, Akin Vitrine Gallery, Toronto, Canada, 2019

58th Toronto Outdoor Art Fair, Nathan Philips Square, Toronto, Canada, 2019

The Artist Project Contemporary Art Fair, Better Living Centre, Toronto, Canada, 2019

Felicia Atanasiu, Sugar Ridge Art Gallery, Antigua, West Indies, 2012

GROUP EXHIBITIONS + ART AUCTIONS

"At Intervals", AUTO Bldg. 158 Sterling Rd., Toronto, Canada, 2020

"New Measures", Collision Gallery, Toronto, Canada, 2020

Akin’s Annual Holiday Market, MOCA, Toronto, Canada, 2019

Ramp Up 2019, Stop Gap Foundation Annual Fundraiser, Wychwood Barns, Toronto, Canada, 2019

“Home is where the art is”, Art Auction, HOK, Toronto, Canada, 2019

Digital Group Exhibition, Yonge-Dundas Square, Toronto, Canada, 2018

Marine Art & Photography, Copper & Lumber Store Hotel, Antigua, West Indies, 2012

Art & Sole, 381 Projects, Toronto, Canada, 2010

Art & Sole, Off The Hook Gallery, Montreal, Canada, 2010

Art & Sole, The Gallery, Calgary, Canada, 2010

Art & Sole, Ayden Gallery, Vancouver, Canada, 2010

Official Centennial Alfa Romeo Art Collection, Milan, Italy, 2010

SELECTED PRESS & PUBLICATIONS:

The Artist Project Contemporary Art Fair, Studio Visit: The Akin Studio Program at MOCA,  2020

Report Chile, “El Viaje De Felicia Atanasiu”, 2015

Fashion Diaries, “Felicia Atanasiu”, 2013

Juxtapoz, “Felicia Atanasiu’s Vision”, 2011

Juxtapoz, “Reader Art: Felicia Atanasiu”, 2009

Digital Arts UK, “Showcase: Felicia Atanasiu”, 2009

Format, “The Daily Bread: Felicia Atanasiu”, 2009

Cotidianul Romanian Newspaper, “Art&Popcult: Felicia Atanasiu”, 2009

IdN, International Designers Network, “All About Eve: Felicia Atanasiu”, 2008