Magna cum laude graduate from Cluj, Călina Gligor aims in her art to shock the public through an artistic combination of classical art and grafitti. Inpired by punk and hippie cultures, her life sized drawings found their way in national galleries and several exhibitions. I asked her years ago to give me some drawing advice and she showed me the best picture I have ever seen: a drawing made by her of Hitler with a baby’s body and fairy wings on a galaxy background. So if there ever was an extraordinary person I wanted to interview it was definitely her. I gave her a call today to get an insight on her mind as an artist and what helps her bring her art into the world.
Her career as an artist started as early as she can remember, “I’ve always liked to draw. Art was an all time passion of mine. I started drawing as a child, drawing everyday and searching for DIY’s. Graphic design is something I discovered in highschool and then I decided to start taking preaparatory classes for my entrance exam to the Art and Design University in Cluj. In time, after those lessons where the professor took me back to the basics, I realized that I can draw on my own, just as I draw now.”
Her favorite techniques are color pencils and making grafitti stencils. She doesn’t have a favorite piece of art, but her favorite artist is Gottfried Helnwein for the realism of his art, something she aims for in her own artwork. College didn’t have a huge impact on her. She mostly worked on her own, with small implication from her professors.
Her passion for punk culture and the dregs of the society comes from her hometown. She consumes a lot of media related to this culture and uses it as a muse for her art. “I’m very passionate about the punk culture, I read a lot about it. I also watch a lot of movies related to this topic. Both the “Trainspotting” films and books are my favorites about it. Sometimes I find myself attracted to the hippie culture too. I feel like all those junkies and nobodies really speak to me! Another source of inspiration is, of course, music, anything from Sex Pistols really.”
But what makes her art unique? Her own? What makes you say this is so Călina? Well, that is the theme. Each piece of art she works on is meant to make you want to revolt, to stand up for yourself. She illustrates the lows of the society, dregs and junkies. She combines realism with grafitti, mingling the classic and street, aiming to bring a little anarchy of her own.
“The most recent piece I’ve done is a drawing of my grandmother, life sized, with her breasts uncovered, dressed in a punk skirt and with a wool sock! I’ve taken a picture of her and then put her on paper. This is what I aim to do for my masters degree, create more and more life sized drawings. I like to shock the public. I also try to reproduce the texture on clothing more life-like, like on grandma’s sock and skirt. In my next piece, I’m going to draw another old woman laying on a matress with a young, thin man standing next to her. She has the band tied thight around his arms and she inject him with heroin. “
In the next five years, she will focus on graphic design and leave drawing as a hobby. But if opportunity arises to exhibit her art again or sell it, she won’t back down from it.