Cristian Gheorghiu’s (aka SMEAR) visceral, highly personal style of painting emulates the messy workings of the total-information age, layering forms and images with powerful, slashing brush strokes of rhythmic, unifying admixtures and improvised, frenzied lines coupled with brilliant color to achieve a simplified language. Gheorghiu counters his free, muscular brushstrokes by loading his paintings with rags and tatters of cloth, reproductions, fragments of comic strips, and other collage elements of waste and discarded materials to convey maps of mental states.
Wrestling with ways to make a mark despite the dismaying potency of mediated imagery and the inescapable codes of representation, Gheorghiu paints in two or more styles at once, often in the same painting, denying the absolute rightness of any canon of beauty or truth, scavenging and mingling imagery almost as promiscuously as the media. Picking and adding ingredients to his taste he works the surfaces over with paint in the characteristic, spontaneous gestural language of action painting.
Image detail of Schiele Blue, Mixed Media on Masonite, 2010, 20″ x 16″