On the 15th of November we were honoured to display a vibrant array of Teofil Barbu’s artwork at artFix Woolwich. Teo’s solo exhibition Soul and Colour brightened up this dull and drab November and filled our gallery walls with bold and captivating paintings to invigorate our worn out spirits. He visited the gallery early on launch day enthusiastic and ready to set up and curate his exhibition. His whole approach is very hands on – and this is the case even in the most practical stage of hanging the work. Despite his age he preferred to climb up the ladder and position the pieces himself.
His work is truly mesmerising and his construction of colours and shapes on the canvas is arresting, the strokes of colour leaping off the page. When you step into the gallery the size, composition and his arrangement of colour is vivid and striking – yet soft and familiar. His paintings have a dynamic quality, where the work feels as if the work is its own living, breathing entity. His marks on the canvas almost vibrate and radiate. The blending of these colours is seamless and integrates contrasting colours with ease, without a question or their contraction against one another. He explains that his work is all about interpretation and that he chooses abstract and simple imagery to provoke and stimulate conversation that is not limited to the page.
He explains that his approach is quite ‘simple’ and straightforward. Initially he considers a composition, drawing out often geometrical designs, thinking of possible colours – configuring the overall structure of his piece. He explains that he tends not to work with an easel and works on a table on top of his work, looking into it. He explains that he feels that this is not ‘professional’ like other artists but that he chooses to create his work how he feels he can communicate his intent. In response to this I explained that the matter is not one of professionalism but one of choice and preference. He is modest and has such a passion for his work, explaining that he has so many pieces at home – just that he didn’t want to suffocate our gallery walls.