Sanda Manuila

"Very early in my life, I realized I had the perspective of an outsider.  Because I was born in a Romanian family in Geneva, Switzerland,  I saw the eccentric tendencies of my relatives clash with the austere principles of the Calvinist city we lived in.  My friends nicknamed me "Paprika Feet."  Later, once I had migrated to California to go to graduate school, I discovered contmeporary Latin american fiction.  I experienced instant recognition.  The novels I was reading  were depicting what I had been observing for years:  magic realism.  Raised in a Cartesian society  where only a pragmatic approach could be adopted, I succombed to the irrationality of the reality described by Latin American writers.  Since then, I have been concerned with the disparate interpretations of reality, which display the paradox of two conflicting perspectives:  one based on the rational view of reality, the other on the acceptance of the unusual as prosaic reality. 

In my work, I aim to seize the paradox of the union of opposites, in particular the polar tension between life and death.  Nature's time is not linear, but rather cyclic, what happened once is destined to occur again.  Death is end, but also beginning.  The distant past is present in every moment, and the futur has already happened.  Rather than progression, it is repetition, like a Monarch butterfly, ending at the beginning.  It happens in the place where the grape vine dies, pulled out, to be replanted in the spring.  

In order to represent the connection between reality and illusion, I focus my emotions and thoughts to construct meaning, applying oil paint and glazes layer after layer, adding impressions of light.  I create inner landscapes from which exude a metaphorical quality."

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