Brilliance of Nature Informs Mamaroneck Artist's Work
Diana Durantel's paintings are currently on display at the Mamaroneck Public Library.
Although there are many analogies that can accurately describe the rigors of surviving life in a Communist society, Mamaroneck resident and local artist Diana Durantel states it more simply: colorless.
Growing up under Communist rule in Romania, Durantel was struck by the absence of color in the buildings, stores and clothing that surrounded her, the drab, grey facades echoing the constraints and lack of freedom offered by society. As a child, she nurtured an interest in painting, but the art available for viewing in her country often mirrored the darkness of the society at the time.
“Very early, painting was my way to express my desire for life and something better,” she said, continuing, “Nature and its color was the only sign of life for me.”
Durantel studied math at the University of Romania and Ecole Polytechnique in France, a background that informed the tendencies toward symmetry in her paintings, however, as an artist, she is entirely self-taught.
“The love for paint and color came naturally,” she said.
Traveling through Europe as a child was both awe-inspiring and fraught with tension, as leaving Romania was often difficult. Nevertheless, her trips abroad helped open her mind to another kind of life.
“The first time I went out of the country, I saw a different world—colors like purple, green and pink,” she said, her eyes lighting up.
Inspired most by the French Impressionists, Durantel’s works are saturated with swaths of blurred color, and focus primarily on the depiction of light and its many gradients of color. Her use of color is brilliant, dynamic and some might say reminiscent of the interplay of light through a stained glass panel.
“I paint not only for the subject but for the light and movement of color,” said Durantel, continuing, “Painting brings me life—I want to express life and hope from color and movement of color.”
Describing her current style as Abstract Impressionism, Durantel’s works are inspired by her optimism and faith, now living in a free society.
A mother of three, Durantel often paints in the early morning and late at night when her children are asleep. She described her pregnancy with her third child as the inspiration for one painting, aptly named “Storm and Life.”
But, it is words of Pierre-Auguste Renoir that perhaps describe most accurately Durantel’s philosophy: “To my mind a picture should be something pleasant, cheerful and pretty. Yes, pretty! There are too many unpleasant things in life as it is without creating still more of them.”
"Life's Bloom," a show of Durantel's paintings, will be on display at the Mamaroneck Public Library through Feb. 12 on the downstairs level. Those interested in purchasing her paintings can e-mail the artist at [email protected] ARTSStefani KimTuesday, January 31, 2012Larchmont-Mamaroneck Patch