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Meet Simona Gocan

Today we’d like to introduce you to Simona Gocan.

Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
I was born in Cluj-Napoca (the capital of Transylvania), Romania, into a family that encouraged creative arts. My father was a prominent sculptor and an art professor. My sister is an accomplished painter and an art teacher. Our mother has always supported our career paths into the art world as difficult as it is.

From an early age I showed keen interest in drawing and painting. My parents used to say that I have a very good eye for detail, which is essential to an artist. At the age of six, I started studying piano, thinking that one day I would become a concert pianist. By the time I went to high school, I had changed my mind and I chose Fine Art School instead. In 1997 I received my Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with honors from the University of Arts and Design, Cluj-Napoca, where I majored in Fine Art Photography.

After graduation I moved to Italy where I continued my studies as a recipient of a scholarship for studies in set, costumes and lighting design, at Teatro alla Scala, Milan, Italy (1999-2001). This was an amazing opportunity for me as I was able to learn a new profession in one of the most prestigious theatre in the world. This opportunity also allowed me to travel around the world for various performances with the cast and crew.

After Teatro alla Scala , I worked as a lighting designer, graphic designer, commercial photographer and interior designer. I have been dedicating my full time to studio arts since 2004.

After living in Europe (Romania and Italy), the Middle East (Oman) and South America (Chile), I moved to Arizona in December of 2015, together with my husband and our four-year-old son. I have my studio in the casita of our house where I continue to paint on a daily basis.

Please tell us about your art.
I have always been interested in nature, which lately became the major subject for further exploration. I observe the images around me and utilize my subjective perception to create abstract landscapes. Most of these abstracts are based on memories and impressions from the scenery of my world travels. My work sits somewhere between figuration and abstraction and rather than representing reality, I use my imagination and my emotions to recreate it in a gestural manner.

My process starts with photographing anything that I find of interest, mostly when I travel. I also find my subject matter in the surroundings of my studio/home in Estrella Mountain Ranch, Goodyear, where I’ve been living for the past two and a half years. Most of the times I begin by sketching ideas for future work, although very often I simply start directly on canvas allowing my hand to be guided by intuition and establishing the composition with an automatic drawing process, creating the shapes and construction lines instinctively. I believe I get the best results when I don’t overthink and/or overwork an image.

I usually prefer to work on bodies of work, combining oils and acrylics as the main medium and a limited color palette. I build up layered paintings, mainly on canvas, scraping and adding in a gradual process that transforms almost completely by the end.

Being an abstract artist, I’ve been asked many times how I decide when a painting is done. I think a painting is never finished. You always feel there’s more to do, there’s more to add or to remove. You look at your work, a day, a month, or years later and on very rare occasions you feel there’s nothing more to be done to that particular image.

As an artist, how do you define success and what quality or characteristic do you feel is essential to success as an artist?
In my opinion, success means a lot of work, a good amount of passion and some luck. As an artist, you need to spend hours and hours in the studio, perfecting your technique and style, constantly doubting yourself in a constructive way, experimenting, and trying as much as possible to avoid repetition; it can happen once you reach commercial success and that could mean the end of your freedom and your creativity.

How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
Since I moved to Arizona, I’ve been responding frequently to calls to artists and my paintings have been selected for several group shows in different venues throughout the metropolitan area (Tilt Gallery-Scottsdale, Modified Arts-Phoenix, West Valley Art Museum-Peoria, Herberger Art Gallery-Phoenix, The Presidio Resident’s Club-Goodyear). I have also exhibited in numerous solo and group shows in Romania, Italy and Chile. My work can also be seen online and those interested can follow my social media accounts where I post new work and updates about upcoming shows.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Simona Gocan

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1 Comment

  1. Matei Horvath

    June 2, 2018 at 12:47 am

    Amazing interview Simona! I’m so happy for you. Love your work! I think it’s been around 20 years since we last saw each other…


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