"I find myself in the gesture that writes a body’s movement, attitude, its volume. I close my eyes and allow the hand to run throughout the paper; I throw away what I don’t like (a creator’s act), I only like its trace when it has an expressive coherence. Look, now I’m writing instead of drawing; and when I write, I draw, and when I draw, I write." (Geta Brătescu)
Womanhood and reflexivity have always been main topics in Geta Brătescu’s art. An artist with a complex body of work that comprises drawing, collage, engraving, tapestry, objects, photography, experimental film, video and performance, Brătescu is also the author of several books - documents of daily studio notes, reflections about art and travel accounts. Her writings play a crucial part in deciphering her view on art, herself and womanhood, perceived in a personal and not in a stereotypical way.
Inspired by Jung’s reading on the self, the anima and the archetypical mother, Brătescu considers creativity a feminine feature, blossoming from the depths of the unconscious, that is, in fact, the realm of the Mume (Mothers). The artist sees womanhood as the primordial principle at the source of all living beings, the dual entity that gives birth, life, but also death, in the perpetual cycle of existence and nature.
This feminine principle takes shape throughout Geta Brătescu’s work in the form of the mythological, dramatic figure of Medea the witch (Each woman is a Medea, more or less virulent, the artist writes in a text from 2002), or in that of the ancient queen Dido (Didona), and even deeper, in the Mume.
The Mume are represented in a tryptich with neatly divided visual sections, partially worked with the means of Surrealist automatic drawing, a technique that allows the shapes to burst out of the artist’s unconscious. The resulting compositions bear the iconic-narrative interplay specific to religious, sacred art, highlighting their archetypal subject. This trinity reminds the Greek goddess Hekate, an early symbol of fertility and also guardian of the underground world, with a triple character - lunar, earthly and infernal (All of Medea’s acts are inspired and patronized by Hekate, Geta Brătescu writes, quoting from the Dictionary of General Mythology).
The performative automatic drawing plays an essential part in tapping this inner energy and unleashing the primordial forms. This can be found also in the Women series, with feminine silhouettes flowing from the artists’ creative, inner consciousness, once again through the means of
drawing with the eyes closed. They come together in a visual strip of diptychs dedicated to womanhood, with fragmented, torn, emotional and intense women communicating through gestures and postures.
This womanhood is searched for and can be found in the depths of the mirror, in the reflected image of oneself. Thus, Geta Brătescu’s Self-portraits present these highly personal views on herself, the self-reflection of her body in pieces, as samples of self-reflexion and also of explorations inside the ever unknown realm of her feminine self.