Made of Matter by Teodora Axente
My work is centered on the duality of spirit and matter – the two spheres of existence between which humans oscillate in an attempt to uncover themselves. Portraying an unexpected array of materials, Axente addresses the essential human drive to reshape oneself. Through the flashy materiality of aluminum foil, satin pillows, nylon bags or curtains, she brings us into a world of mystery that appears to be spiritual, noble and attractive, on first glance. Aluminum foil serves as the central symbol of matter throughout many of the paintings. Its outward shine and its ability to reflect give off an illusory sense of nobility that blinds her subjects.
The paintings depict scenes and scenarios that highlight the condition of the individual within contemporary society. Due to the deepening divide between the inner, spiritual self and the worldly counterpart, the individual exists in a state of inner crisis. My characters strive for the mystical in an attempt to detach themselves from the material world. In their efforts to reach a sacred sphere, they discover that they can merely mimic mystic rituals as in a game. Ultimately, they fashion themselves a lavish prison which holds them captive without their awareness. The pathos of my work is revealed in the recognition that despite all their efforts, the characters are trapped by the reality they seek to escape. We are made of matter.