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“I think I immersed myself in this journey almost without realizing it, like when the sand swallows you.”

The Journey from Rural Romania to Artistic Revelation

The artistic journey of Liviu Mihai began in the tranquil countryside of Romania, where the natural beauty and simplicity of rural life deeply influenced his early creative sensibilities. This idyllic environment nurtured Mihai’s burgeoning interest in art during his middle school years, a period when his peers were preoccupied with typical adolescent pursuits. Unlike them, Mihai was captivated by the world of art, a passion that was not merely a pastime but a calling that propelled him to pursue formal education in this field. His artistic education spanned from a fine arts high school to the prestigious University of Art in Bucharest, where Mihai transitioned from being a student to a visionary artist, absorbing diverse influences and navigating the cultural shifts of 1990s Romania.

Mihai’s story is one of resilience and dedication to his craft, overcoming societal and familial pressures to remain true to his artistic aspirations. His academic years were marked by significant personal and creative development, setting the stage for a career that would later transcend traditional artistic boundaries. Mihai’s professional breakthrough occurred in 2011 with his debut public exhibition, signaling his emergence as a committed artist. This was followed by a series of recognitions, culminating in a prestigious award at the OIAF art fair in Oxford in 2014 and inclusion in the Saatchi Gallery’s “Rising Stars” in 2018. By 2024, Mihai celebrated another milestone with a solo exhibition in Köln and the release of his catalog “Decade,” encapsulating his ten-year artistic evolution. These accomplishments reflect Mihai’s journey from a young talent nurtured by the serene Romanian countryside to a recognized artist influencing the contemporary art landscape.

Liviu Mihai: From Digital Canvases to Painted Masterpieces

Upon completing his academic journey, Liviu Mihai ventured into the vibrant world of the video game industry, a realm where his artistic skills were honed and his visual vocabulary expanded. However, the digital landscapes and virtual creations, though fascinating, could not tether his artistic spirit. Mihai felt an intrinsic call to return to the more tangible medium of painting, a call he heeded by stepping away from the industry to immerse himself fully in the realm of fine arts. This pivotal decision marked the beginning of a new chapter, one where Mihai would explore his innermost thoughts and emotions through the brush and canvas, engaging in a dialogue with viewers through exhibitions and gallery collaborations.

The artist’s transition from the digital to the tactile world of painting was not just a change in medium but a profound shift in expression. In painting, Mihai found a direct conduit to his soul, a way to articulate the complex tapestry of human emotions and societal narratives. His artistic identity, a fusion of figurative and abstract elements, evolved as he delved into themes of human conflict, political discourse, and personal introspection. Mihai’s work, characterized by its fluid transition from figurative to abstract, invites viewers to a journey beyond the surface, encouraging a deeper engagement with the underlying stories and emotions. Through his art, Mihai offers a lens to view reality afresh, challenging perceptions and provoking thought in a world often cluttered with superficial imagery.

Navigating Inspirations and Artistic Evolution

Liviu Mihai’s artistry is a reflection of his diverse influences and the evolutionary nature of his creative process. Initially drawn to the structural complexity of Cubism and the emotional depth of Impressionism, Mihai’s early works were deeply rooted in these movements. His admiration for George Braque’s intricate compositions and the Impressionists’ mastery of light and color laid the foundation for his artistic exploration. However, as his journey progressed, Mihai’s gaze shifted towards contemporary figures like Cecily Brown, Peter Doig, and Adrian Ghenie, artists renowned for their unique approaches to painting and narrative. This shift signifies Mihai’s perpetual quest for growth and his desire to resonate with the current dialogues in the art world. Dreaming of collaborations with these contemporary icons, Mihai envisions a fusion of creative spirits, a meeting of minds that could push the boundaries of traditional artistry.

Mihai’s artistic journey is deeply intertwined with the vibrant environment of Bucharest, where the dynamic culture and his intimate group of friends fuel his creativity, fostering a balance between his social and solitary tendencies. In his studio, a haven for artistic exploration, Mihai engages in deep reflection and innovation. This space is more than a place for painting; it’s where he ponders his contribution to the rich fabric of European culture and integrates his personal insights and societal observations into his creations.

Liviu Mihai: The Purpose and Impact of Art

For Liviu Mihai, art transcends mere profession—it’s a profound way to interact with the world. He sees himself as a conduit, bridging the gap between the audience and hidden layers of reality. His creations invite viewers to delve into various themes, encouraging engagement and contemplation. Through his art, Mihai advocates for the transformative power of creativity, offering a medium for audiences to connect with alternative perspectives and partake in a journey beyond the surface.

Mihai’s creative process is a testament to his dedication to his craft. The immersive experience he undergoes in his studio is a sacred ritual, a time when he is most connected with his essence and purpose. The recent move to an ideal workspace marks a significant milestone in his career, providing him with an environment that nurtures his creativity and allows his artistic visions to flourish. Mihai’s exploration of new mediums and his ambition to venture into installations and sculptures demonstrate his willingness to push his boundaries and explore new dimensions of artistic expression. Through these endeavors, he seeks to extend the reach of his art, creating immersive experiences that engage viewers in a more dynamic and interactive way.

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