the eastern beat

Cristina Golovatic


“Bold in her style of painting, she abrades, cuts and scratches the canvas while working, yet her work always induces a serene emotion. Cristina Golovatic is an abstractionist, shaped in an ever changing picture, under the influence of the best 19th century impressionists. She developed a particular love for textures, complicated colours and storytelling on canvases. The spontaneous attitude is also induced by an array of "planned accidents": different stains, scribbles or hidden words and messages. The conscious decision of fat strokes and smudges, cuts out the painting from the real world, inviting everybody to an open hike. A vibrant artist, driven by her youthfulness, rebellion and insatiable thirst of being. Her chaos is harmony, her geometry is nature, her composition is whole”.

Where are you from and what brought you to Budapest?

I'm from Chisinau (Moldova) and I moved to Budapest in 2018. I was here before in 2014 and I just fell in love with the architecture and the vibe of the city, so it was some sort of a call to move here. It’s a very dynamic city, I like to live in a place where everything moves and I really needed a place near water.

What do you do?

I am a painter. Apart from painting I also spend quite some time on being my own social media manager. In order for someone to see what you're doing you need to spend a lot of time to promote your work. I had to learn a lot of that on my own. I also take a lot of photographs, so I am perfecting my Photoshop skills at the moment. Also, I’m fascinated by film and screenwriting, and I’m sure in the near future I’ll start getting into these two as well.

How did you become an artist?

Art has been running in my family for some time. My grandma's brother was a sculptor, he really liked to work with wood. He escaped the Soviet Union and moved to Canada but after a while he decided to go back home in order to be close to his family; after that he only pursued art as a hobby. My granddad was very good at calligraphy, my dad studied at the faculty of architecture and urbanism, my mum liked to draw anatomy sketches while attending her university and my sister did an art school for 4 years. 

When did you realize you wanted to be a painter?

I have been painting my whole life, but I didn't know I wanted to be a painter from the start. I knew I could do it and I loved it but when it was the time to choose a faculty, I chose to study architecture and design - I wanted to keep painting but also do something more practical. After a few years, I understood that I’m wasting my time there and I dedicated myself entirely to arts. I then started taking classes of painting and drawing with an art teacher from my university who encouraged me to pursue painting. Around that time I understood that I could do it professionally and I was really enjoying how empowering that thought was. Later on I applied to a university in Nice (France), I carefully chose what subjects I was interested in and I stayed there for 4 semesters. Afterwards I came back home, and luckily enough, my friends started an art related company so it was fun to be home around those years.

What is the style of your art?

I was always into abstract art (although I don't like being labeled). I feel it the most and it’s the purest way of artistic expression (imho). But abstract can be divided into so many subdivisions that I have my whole life ahead of me in discovering and reinventing shapes and forms.  

What are your main techniques?

A few years ago it was mainly oil on canvas but then I rediscovered paper and acrylics. Usually at the university you paint with not the best supplies but when I got some really good acrylic paint I was amazed with its quality. The texture was like oil paint but it dried very quickly and at the time I used to paint in dozens of layers so painting with oils took me a lot of time. With acrylics on the other hand, I had the luxury to finish a painting in a day or two, which is an impossible thing to achieve with oils.

Who is your biggest inspiration?

When I was younger I loved Van Gogh even though our style is not similar at all. His paintings have soul and I love the colors he used, the brushstrokes - you cannot beat that. Of course I love many abstract artists as well, one of them is Pierre Soulages. There's a museum named after him in France. To accomplish this, is a very big thing for a painter who is still alive. Interesting fact about him is that in  ~‘69 he changed his philosophy and started painting only in black, and there isn’t a bit of depression or a dark feeling in it, it’s actually the opposite, you can see the light in his black paintings, and that’s mesmerizing. 

There are a lot of artists I really admire, the world is full of talented people and it's actually really cool that nowadays we can connect with them on social media. Ten years ago this interconnection would not have been possible. There's a Hungarian painter whom we are friends with - Gabor Sorok. He found me through instagram two years ago and we stayed in touch ever since.

Do you work with any galleries?

I work with a few online galleries. I mostly sell all of my works abroad and online. It's more convenient and comfortable for me to operate this way.

Can you tell me something about your current projects? 

I started experimenting with different shapes and colours. I am very into neon colors these days, something I wouldn't have done before. I started to play with neons and blacks mostly. It’s interesting how I even get feedback from my instagram followers. They are always eager to let me know that they like the change of my color palette and to be honest that kind of feedback helps a lot. It’s cool to do your thing and it feels rewarding when you know that someone who might potentially buy your work likes what you are doing.

I know you are also involved in a project called Slow Creatives that has just launched, can you tell me more about it?

I was approached by one of my “virtual acquaintances”, we were following each other for a few years now and she is also from my hometown. She told me a bit about the project, in the beginning I knew it would involve a lot of art, photography and fashion. Funny that before she asked me to take part in the project, I was thinking I would want to work with other creatives in a way or another. Being a painter is a solitary job and I love it but sometimes I really need other creative minds around. 

The two co-founders of the project are based in London and Stockholm. It's a fashion agency and magazine, which works with fashion designers, brands and not only. The agency offers a diverse range of services, from art directing, editorials, commercials to documentary and content creation. They are also into sustainability and the reason why they use the word SLOW is not a coincidence. The world needs to slow down a bit. Even in the art industry you need to produce a lot. If you're not on social media for a few days everyone forgets you. You need to constantly create something. That's the whole point of Slow Creatives, to slow down, to create something that will last more than things do nowadays. I'll be dealing with post production mostly, art collages and mixed media arts, so the photographs could tell a more complex story.

Going back to Budapest, what is it you love about it the most?

I can stare at the same building and I cannot get enough. I love walking in the city. I haven't really discovered Buda so that's on my list. I love the vibe of the city and what surprised me was that there are a lot of elderly couples who walk even very late, that's not very regular in my country. They go to theatres, cinemas, it really doesn't matter here what age you are. Also, the area that I love the most is quite compact and accessible; I can walk everywhere. It reminds me of Paris where people rarely use public transport.

Are you considering staying in Budapest for longer?

I have a nomadic soul. For now I am here but if after a couple of months I'll fall in love with a place while travelling, I could easily relocate. I already walk around the city thinking which streets, buildings, little shops and cafes I will miss when one day I move from Budapest.

Find Cristina on her website,  Instagram & Facebook

July 2020

Photos: Anna Jopp

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