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Virtual reality exhibition celebrates experimental portraits of Moldova’s authors

Text: Paula Erizanu

A VR exhibition showcasing experimental portraits of Moldovan authors is now available to see online.

The 25 works were made by Valentina Rusu-Ciobanu, one of Moldova’s most prolific painters. The 99-year-old artist was commissioned to make the portraits by the Museum of Literature in Chișinău in the 1960s and the 1970s, when local Romanian literature experienced a revival following de-Stalinisation.

Mixing elements of naive art, surrealism, and socialist realism, and blending oil painting techniques with tempera paints, Rusu-Ciobanu says that the key to portraiture is “to find the formula for the individual” she’s painting.

Curated by Victoria Nagy-Vajda and Maria Șleahtițchi, the exhibition was launched on Romanian Language Day on 31 August, a public holiday marking the country’s move from the Cyrillic alphabet to the Latin alphabet in 1990. It is also a celebration of the country’s national liberation movement, in which writers and public intellectuals played a key part.

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