Oil Painting Reflecting on The Shadow Side of Ideology

The aggressively liberate, portrayal of destruction/creation dichotomy

BY Oleksandra Osadcha POSTED 17th of June 2018 17:00 GMT

Revolutionary Ideology oil painting by contemporary artist Gheorghe Virtosu

Revolutionary Ideology, abstract painting. Painted 2016 to 2017 by British artist, Gheorghe Virtosu, b. 1968. Abstract art, Oil painting, 137 cm high by 142 cm wide. 54 X 56 inches. 

The theme

We hear the word ‘revolution’ so often these days: technological revolution, urban revolution, dozens of political ‘revolutions.’ And it’s not just because of the ‘fashionability’ of the term. The very idea of the possibility to improve the world is the key to the of formation of humanity itself, as our species evolved constantly conquering unfavorable natural conditions. As the American author, Hunter Thompson wrote, “A man who procrastinates in his choosing will inevitably have his choice made.” Revolution is an essential part of our mentality, the driving force of changes, which inspires the greatest masterpieces, like Gericault’s Liberty Leading the People.


The contemporary artist dedicates the oil painting to this large-scale subject. The author asks us and himself “What is the fundamental of revolution?” Is it a leader? Is it his or her supporters? None of those, since the only element that unites a leader and his followers, is fighting for certain ideas, standing for the principles you believe in. Any real revolution is impossible without ideology. It is the bending substance, which turns a horde into the historical power.


Ideology is about changes. Therefore, representing the subject cannot be static. The abstract art master needs no slogans, no obvious manifestations, and no for visually recognizable characters for that. He chooses active, free-flowing forms interlacing with each other, shaping up the pulsating irregular ‘conglomerate.’ That conglomerate is about to fall apart, yet it is kept together by the resistance of the ‘outer’ space - the aggressively liberate, expressively rendered background. Revolutions are always the ‘reaction’ to the situation - they ‘dismantle’ a system to replace it with the new one. It’s curious, how, avoiding sharp forms, the master still manages to catch the relevant portrayal of destruction/creation dichotomy.

Revolutionary Ideology oil painting by contemporary artist Gheorghe Virtosu

Color & Energy

Along with the positive transformational aspect of revolutionary ideology, the artist is interested in showing its shadow side. At a certain point, the ideology often becomes the frozen, static system that starts defending itself, trying to overcome other types of view and oppress anyone, who’s doubting its principle. The tragic samples of the Stalinist regime are more than a convincing illustration of the point. Therefore, the creative core of the artist is based on visual ‘struggles’ - a viewer has to wander through the labyrinth of chaotic drawing and elaborated texture. Wide brushstrokes oppose the contour of the shapes. The predominance of red, orange and yellow, underlined with small parts of ‘cold’ blue and purple, gives the composition a vigorous flavor. The white highlights on small yellow fragment produce the effect of the hitting substance. The very look at the image leaves the vague impression of the boiling energy, restless spirit, along with anxiety and unconscious fear. The latter is even more obvious when you spot the silhouette of a snake on the right side of the image.


Virtosu is enthralled by the way idea sprouts itself in people’s mind and then emerge in its full power, uniting masses. The tremendous potential of the revolutionary ideology can be severe. Yet, it is almost impossible to resist. Resisting changes are resisting life.

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