You might say that Irena Orlov has an eccentric style, or in the very least a novel approach to the contemporary. The discarded remnants of past centuries are her canvas, she takes newspapers from the 17th and 18th century and turns them into contemporary abstract art – with a touch of the antique. The newspapers give her paintings a unique texture and liveliness, while her eye for aesthetic principles seems an afterthought, unintentional, and at times subconscious. It may very well be that her architectural background allows her to interpret the newspaper stories as they affect her thoughts, or as she puts it, “My art is my soul’s response to reality.”
Just knowing what she is painting on gives her work a ghostly quality – a depth so often lacking in modern contemporary art – that sparks the imagination, and the feeling is magnified when face to face with her work. It’s almost as if her paintings want to tell a story. In creating her work Irena said she feels “as if there is a connection between me and a person who held the same newspaper centuries ago,” if anything, it would be difficult for art connoisseurs not to have that same feeling. Irena’s work manages to capture something spectacular, like a frosted mirror, or a disjointed kaleidoscopic vision of the past. In any case she has a style that would fit right into a gallery showing, or on any dining room wall for that matter.
On her website Irena displays quite a bit of variety, and it looks like there’s more to come: landscapes, floral paintings, and some expertly crafted collages. Altogether she displays a rather impressive level of diversity, but always maintains a true sense of direction. She also has work available on Fine Art America that is worth viewing, that should tide us over until – hopefully – she does another gallery showing here in L.A. For those of you who aren’t Angelinos, well, you have my condolences.