Did you ever think about what makes artists different from the other people? I thought about this before I was going to interview Valeria Duca – a young, but already very successful artist. At her 16 she has already achieved what people are striving for their entire life. After the interview, the answer to my question came naturally: harmony and positive energy. Possibly this is Valeria’s own characteristic. I received immense pleasure talking to her and I hope you’ll feel the same while reading this interview.
EK: Valeria, this is not your first interview with Allfun. The last one happened about a year ago. What happened in your life since then? What changed?
VD: I had a very full year. Many things happened. I think it is worth talking about the most important event which I took part it – the Venice Biennale. This exhibition has a history of 116 years, and this is the first time Moldova was part of it. I hoped to present my works there since my very first exhibition in Italy. A year before the Biennale, I applied and they accepted me very soon after. This successful application was a significant step forward. The most talented artists from the entire world and being among them was an honour for me.
EK: What do you feel when you open an exhibition?
VD: It is difficult to describe my emotions in words. These are the moments when I am truly happy. I remember a case – before the opening of the exhibition that I had in Venice, a woman came in to look at the works. She stayed a relatively long time and then suddenly burst into tears. It turned out later that a few years ago she moved from Moldova to Italy, and my paintings ‘Grandfather’ and ‘Sunflowers’ reminded her of the home which she missed. Even now when I talk about this the emotions come back to me. This exhibition was good not only for my career. It made me understand that I’m on the right track. If the paintings have the power to connect so strongly with the viewers, and send a message, it means that this is not in vain.
EK: Do you visit other artists’ exhibitions? Who are the painters that inspire you?
VD: Yes, every time I get the occasion. The most impressive exhibition I’ve seen was that of Titian. I happened to be there by chance, when I was visiting Vienna with my family. It was very luck, as we caught the last day of the exhibition.
I could stand for hours in front of the Old Master’s works. Their paintings mesmerize you; it’s true art. Everything depicted feels so real, so natural, everything is in the right place. There’s always harmony in their works.
I also like the impressionists, in particular Claude Monet. His series of works ‘The Rouen Cathedral’, where he depicted the same scene at different times of the day. In his works everything is worthy of praise: the way atmosphere, light and colour are laid onto the canvas.
EK: How much time do you spend on a single piece?
VD: When I talk to someone about art, they always ask me this question. Teodor Buzu, my friend and a renown painter currently living in Czech Republic always answers to this question in the following way: ‘my entire life; I paint it my entire life’. If you think about it, he is right. Even if you spend two hours on your work, you use your entire life experience until that moment. Every painting is an individual case. Some of them take only a few hours, others – weeks. For example when I was drawing the ballerinas, I had to do a lot of sketches beforehand. For the portrait to look real, a life model is necessary. I always work on more than one painting at once. I may leave some of them for a time and the process becomes longer. Therefore it is difficult to answer to your question.
EK: Your parents and sister are doctors. What does your family think about the fact that you chose a completely different direction and chose to dedicate your life to the arts?
VD: I am very lucky. They always cared for me and I feel a lot of support from them, and I appreciate it. There wasn’t one exhibition without their participation. They are the first to see my works. I value their opinion and listen to it. I understand that there can be no one closer than family.
EK: What are your plans for the near future?
VD: I like to talk about things that already happened more than about plans. I will only say that I am planning some events that will happen very soon, one of which is an exhibition in London. I will leave the details for the next interview.