Author: Adrian Guta, Art Critic and Curator (Article Synopsis)
Felix Aftene’s artistic expression seeks its richness in various sources, sometimes apparently conflicting – it stands for a vast field of plastic culture, for a certain elasticity and dynamics specific to the contemporary artist. Painting and most of all graphics represent the privileged languages, but Aftene experimented with other means of structuring the artistic message too, such as performance. Occasional resorting to local inspiration sources like the Romanian Christmas Carols, the accessories of the protagonists taking part in these music-and-dance mini-shows, do not impede his access to the international stage, on which he has already stepped.
The rather generic human presence, endowed with myths, making its way through life, hesitating between spiritual and bodily pleasures, building worlds torn between dream and reality, crossing perils, hunted by damnation and capable of resurrection, in a word – Man, is an essential point of Felix Aftene’s work.
In its intimate substance, the Romanian artist’s work “sails” unrestrictedly from real to fantastic and from figurative to abstract. Aftene builds communication bridges with a tradition connecting Bosch with the surrealists, but which also goes deeper, to the much older sources of the Afro-Asiatic civilisation-founding cultures.
Felix Aftene seems to be tempted by the freshness and the “bitterness” of a primitive-rendering discourse just as much as he is by the mastered elegance of a timeless mannerism. From old Egyptian or Persian echoes to neoexpressionist emphasis, from filtered-symbolist reveries to the recall of Romanian traditions on minimal background and the discrete “accessing” of decorative temptations, from matièrisme to ludic-fantastic image “phrasings”, these secondary directions are part of the vital flow of Felix Aftene’s paintings.
Due to its very openness to several perception levels, to the generosity of the universe of ideas and to the diversity of the stylistic repertoire, Felix Aftene’s art meets a public unaltered by a singular taste option. Therefore we deal with a living creation in progress. Although beneficially crossed by underground continuities, it is not by far endangered by a monochord identity.
Copyright Adrian Guta, Art Critic and Curator
Professor at the University of Arts, Bucharest Romania
Mondogony of Felix Aftene
Author: Corneliu Antim – Art Critic (Article Synopsis)
A young painter of Iasi – Felix Aftene – cast in the class of one of the masters of the dream-like and fabulous surrealism (in ethnic-fantastic variants) of our country, Dimitrie Gavrilean, recomposing in picturesque and graphic compositions a plastic universe found at the crossroad of epochs. He is one of the strong representatives of the new wave produced by the University of Fine Arts for whom the polemic instinct skillfully controlled, is not only a figure of speech in defining the current profile of our contemporary art.
The world imagined by Felix Aftene is bounded in its own histrionics. An entire gallery of figures that seem to come from the exotic mythologies of an archetypal humanity, where the gestures and the sensuality of the art of Egyptian, Mesopotamian, Aegean antiquity generally intermingle with the magic touch and the refined expression of the representation of the Oriental art.
Yet on this level the expressionistic contractions the artist flirts with in defining characters, see the Self-portrait or especially in highlighting a certain attitude that he shows in relation to the underground meanings or symbols introduced in the work. It is the air of prodigality that this young artist arrogates in relation to the mosaic of sensibilities of the world he lives in. The reaction is natural and contributes in a significant way to the emphasis of the artist’s individuality against the background of our current fine arts.
Felix Aftene proves his skill quite rare in his field to create a weightless world, like a live and exponential meta-matter of the real and alienated one that it investigates and de structures with a surgical savor in order to recompose it according to his own criteria. Hence, the Chagallian nostalgia that thrills sometimes his imagination and another plan of his poetical vocation, the reclusion to abstract dreaming, like in the series Air, Earth, Water, Fire where the figurative reference tends to its conceptual representation.
Felix Aftene perceives the world in its material essence, painting being nothing else but a projection on a fantastic screen of some entities that search convulsively or feverishly for their own identity.
Copyright 2006, Corneliu Antim – Art Critic
Romanian Union of Artist, Bucharest, Romania