Ioan Florea is a US artist originating from Transylvania in Romania. During his childhood he became fascinated with different materials, which were scarce to say at least – the communist regime of his homeland ruled with an iron fist and controlled all aspects of life, but young Florea found inspiration from nature and its versatile offerings. He frequently wandered in the forests surrounding his home and became fascinated with bones, which he found scattered around the land — the result of the illegal butchering of animals. The structural composition and the potential to turn them into completely different objects such as toys inspired Ioan. The other material to have an impact on Ioan’s future work as an artist was clay, the ability to turn soft and malleable material into a completely solid material when treated with fire was a continuing source of amazement for the young Romanian.
Ioan continued to work with these themes even after emigrating to the US and eventually receiving his new citizenship in 2009. The general theme of immigration has also affected his work – finding a new identity and balancing between the new and the old has been a significant factor in Ioan’s art in recent years. However, even more recently the world of nanotechnology has garnered his attention, which eventually has led to using 3D printing as means to create Ioan’s art. He has developed a custom 3D image fused resin and other materials to bring another dimension to his works – by giving an experience to both the perceiver’s visual and tactile senses.
Ioan’s showcasing his large 3D printing-enhanced work as a part of an upcoming two-year exhibition called Sightlines, a collaborative exhibition between the Century Center and the South Bend Museum of Art in Indiana, which opened in the latter on June 15th. Besides Florea, the exhibition also contains work from five other artists Jeff Boshart, Lea Goldman, Maria Lux, Mollie Oblinger and Jake Webster.
Even before that, you can have a glimpse of the artwork by watching the clip below showing the installation process.