Vulvas On Canvas: The Bloody Pussy-Prints of Smaranda Ursuleanu

I had a chat few days ago with Romanian visual artist Smaranda Ursuleanu (20). I encountered what others might call a shocking first virtual ‘date’. I kind of get what I deserve, since I kept hunting for unconventionality for so long.

Photo: Facebook
Photo: Facebook

Smaranda is one of those smart, wild, beautiful minds, eager to mess up with your preconceptions. Kinky for some people and even ‘sexual obsessed’, for her high-school literature teacher. “That’s how my literature ex-teacher called me when I first gave a presentation on Mircea Cărtărescu’s book – ‘Why We Love Women’ in front of the class. Next semester I purposely chose a pornographic book. She confiscated it and had a big talk with the other teachers. The shit got real”.

(c) Smaranda Ursuleanu, collage
(c) Smaranda Ursuleanu, collage
(c) Smaranda Ursuleanu, photo-montage
(c) Smaranda Ursuleanu, photo-montage

She’s been studying at ‘George Enescu’ University of Arts (Iasi, Romania), while juggling with collages, photo-montages, sketches, paintings, photography and even ceramics in between. For diversity, as she says. “No sure what to focus on, so I keep experimenting”.

One of her first collective exhibitions happened in this year’s July. Her artwork, a contemporary remake of Constantin Brâncuși’s ‘Kiss’, made the event cover.

(c) Smaranda Ursuleanu, photo-montage
(c) Smaranda Ursuleanu, photo-montage

Her latest works praise the clitoris, while her Tumblr is the latin name for vagina (lt. “mea cunnus“, my vulva). The project she told me about is, in few words, a feminist minimal illustrations series, an ode to female genitalia. Her own genitalia, to be specific. If that didn’t get your attention yet, I don’t know what will.

(c) Smaranda Ursuleanu, photo-montage
(c) Smaranda Ursuleanu, photo-montage

We’ll just call it Vulvas on Canvas for the moment, even though she uses stickers. The technique is pretty simple. “They’re more like stamps, or prints”, she says. “I use pink acrylics for color accuracy. Playing with the paintbrush down there is almost erotic”.

It must be nice turning your pussy into art, but the reason why she’s doing it is a bit more complex than that. “It all started with a gift I made for someone, a year ago. It looked like this:

(c) Smaranda Ursuleanu, acrylic on paper
(c) Smaranda Ursuleanu, acrylic on paper

“The little star is the anus”, she insisted on explaining. “The drawing was misinterpreted or I may have picked the wrong person, and my gift was rejected”, the artist recalls. “So I made 200 more of those, a year later, to have more gifts. I gave away three so far, to people chosen very carefully. I want to gather all these people in a sorority at some point”.

When she first told me that a year later from her first self-gina-portrait she had 200 hundred of those, I imagined she took her time, maybe two paintings at three-four days. I was wrong. “I made them all in one day, after a year from the first try”, Smaranda said. “At one point my floor was full of them, while I was getting smaller and smaller in a room’s corner. I don’t know whether was frustration or not; I just didn’t want my idea to fade away just because of a rejection. So I multiplied it, just to be sure”.

(c) Smaranda Ursuleanu
(c) Smaranda Ursuleanu
(c) Smaranda Ursuleanu
(c) Smaranda Ursuleanu

The unconventional painter got another hit when her first potential exhibition didn’t happen. “The teacher who recommended me did it in a personal manner, so my project got rejected again. She remembers: “I was so excited before hearing the bad news that I wanted to create more drawings, apart from the exhibition. Just to let them at the entrance, for visitors. I felt discouraged then, but I guess it’s their loss”.

(c) Smaranda Ursuleanu
(c) Smaranda Ursuleanu

Now she’s planning to temporarily leave the country and continue art studies in Finland. One of the reasons: people aren’t enough open-minded around here. And the proof is that she was never given a chance to develop and eventually expose what’s probably the most important individual project she’ worked on.

“In the next period I’ll live the sticker size and go for a bigger format. The project keeps getting bigger itself, too, and it can’t possibly be rejected again. From January, 2016 I’m moving for 5 months in Finland. Maybe I’ll have more luck there”, she concluded.

Hope I see more of her projects in the future. You can find more artworks on Tumblr.

The following two tabs change content below.
alexandrescu.daniel0@gmail.com'
Romanian self-taught writer, interested in contemporary art, unconventional culture and gonzo journalism. He's been writing for almost a decade while doing shitty jobs for a living. He's agnostic, supports a censorship-free world, he reads way less than he wants and he enjoys feminist porn.

One thought on “Vulvas On Canvas: The Bloody Pussy-Prints of Smaranda Ursuleanu

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *