Romanian digital artist Diana Coatu is living her second life. After a successful 26-year-long career practicing medicine, she retired and began teaching herself the fundamentals of digital art. Since then, Coatu has gone on to become a well-regarded, widely respected and collected digital artist.
We were lucky enough to lure Diana into an interview, and she’s no less dazzling as a person than her art.
MP: Can you tell me about your background as an artist?
DC: My artistic background is somewhat atypical. I am self-taught and chose this path out of passion in 2015, after 26 years of practicing medicine.
I always had this artistic urge, but I didn’t have time to develop it until then. I took this decision wholeheartedly and set out on this road that was not only full of obstacles but also full of joys and moments of grace.
I was and still am fascinated by the world of fractals. That’s how it all started, with complex fractal software. I continued with mixed media and have been in love with digital painting for the last four years because it gives me unrestricted freedom of expression.
MP: Your work feels very organic. Can you tell me about the process of how each comes about? How much planning goes into a given piece?
DC: Yes, you’re right! I generally plan everything very carefully and go into detail. Starting from the initial idea, from the image I have in mind, I move on to the next step, a sketch. Then I put emphasis not only on color but also on textures because I want my paintings to look good printed on a canvas, not only on a screen. I don’t usually finish a painting in one day, and I like to give it a rest and then continue. But this is also not always the case, as I sometimes have spontaneous bouts and follow my intuition at the moment.
MP: What is your relationship with color? How do you think about color in your work?
DC: I guess it’s no secret that I love colors. It’s a love deeply rooted in my soul, my declaration of love for the universe! It is the Multiverse, Life, and multidimensionality. The language of color is fundamental in my paintings; they emanate the high vibration that contributes to healing the world.
MP: When is a piece finished?
DC: My intuition tells me when to stop. After having received that signal, I can move on to another artwork. The idea of “finished work” seems a little strange to me because it sometimes imposes a limitation on something I wish were an expression of limitlessness. But as Constantin Noica, a great Romanian philosopher, used to say, some limitations do not limit. I like to think that this limitation that does not limit is what painting is all about.
MP: Who are the women in your work?
DC: In my paintings, women are imaginary, and I want them to convey a mood, to be expressive, or be part of a story. Or all of these together at the same time. It is as if I engulfed them in their interiority, aura, mystery, and sometimes in their own archetype. As described by Gustav Jung, the anima has a magical component. It’s one of my favorite themes, and I’m glad you asked this question!
MP: You’ve released work printed on canvas or in textile form before. How do you think about your audience’s viewing experience? How would you like your work displayed?
DC: Yes, I have participated in international exhibitions, and my artwork has been printed on canvas or acrylic. Seeing them printed out on large canvases is always very special to me, and the feedback received from the public and collectors was very favorable.
I think digital and traditional media make a good team, and they complement and enhance each other. In the digital medium, you have an extraordinary brightness that gives the colors a certain quality and unique purity. In contrast, in the traditional medium, you can admire the textures, and you can benefit from the actual dimensions of the painting.
I would also like my paintings on canvas for the reasons explained above, and some collectors who purchased my artworks as NFTs have told me that they intend to make prints of them, which made me very happy!
MP: How has your work evolved since you entered the NFT space?
DC: My entry into the world of NFTs in 2019 was a turning point, a benchmark, and brought me immense joy. MakersPlace has been and will remain my very dear platform of choice because this is where my fantastic journey into the NFTs universe began and where most of my artistic portfolio lives today.
The collectors’ interest in my art has increased a lot since then, and the great feedback I received from them gave me the increased confidence and financial support I needed to continue my creative work. The fellow artists I have met on this platform are fantastic, loving, talented, and supportive.
A new era has begun for my artistic creation with my entry into the NFTs universe, new opportunities arise at every turn, and all I want is to offer high-quality artworks to those who love them.
MP: When did you first notice figuration entering your work? Why do you think that shift occurred?
DC: It’s a natural transition in a desire to expand my form of artistic expression back in 2020. I firmly declare myself an abstract expressionist artist, but I experiment a lot, leading me to figurative painting. It’s easy to see in my art that I am fascinated by facial expressions.
MP: What does the future hold for your work?
DC: I’m unpredictable in my art. I see myself further exploring digital painting in the future, although I also enjoy creating in video format. I love abstract expressionism and the freedom it gives me. It’s not just about color, textures, emotions, and feelings; there’s something else unspeakable, something like a ferment.
My works are the result of inner alchemy, always in motion, continuously renewed, including in style, eclectic, and keeping pace with my spiritual journey.
Suppose, in quantum physics, the observer has a crucial role in modifying the result of an experiment. In that case, I like to believe that in the art I create, the observer/viewer can intervene and experience something themselves. It’s like the motion at the level of atoms, invisible in the common understanding but perceivable on the subtle plane.
I hope the future holds many pleasant surprises for me, exhibition participation, diversity, and success. Thank you for this opportunity to talk about my art. Thank you, MakersPlace.