by Shane Lewis7 August '18
Oil Painting Depicts Winston Churchill’s Duality
The Man, Myths and Psychological Schisms of a Leader at War through abstract art eye
In this abstract oil painting, Virtosu deftly weaves together a man and the elaborations and heavy weight of the myth-making surrounding his place in history.
While the organized chaos of the background – particularly disorientating while at the same time transfixing – denotes the turbulence of the time, our figure, or figures rather, is (or are) torn and bereft of unity, perhaps to articulate a war within the man. Because our figure looms so largely in this oil painting and because our centralizing eye is directed between the two large discernible heads on a diagonal axis, a certain interiority is effected, in an exciting tension with external necessity and horror. This horror is indicated by, though not reducible to artist's appreciative nod to Picasso's Guernica: the stark and moving lightbulb.
At the center of the picture, at the intersection of the heads, is a dense area of black and red adumbrating perhaps many incipient or allusive faces. The black's pervasiveness here is a reminder of Winston Churchill 's own battle with depression to which he euphemistically referred to as 'the black dog'.
Aesthetic of complexity
Gheorghe Virtosu 's artwork is pock-marked with eyes, especially in the lower head. This tallies with the mythopoeic idea of Winston Churchill 's strategic nous and perhaps also to the fact that at one stage, and actually on stage, the eyes of the world, or Europe at least, looked to this man as its proxy actor in the noble cause.