Nicu Ilfoveanu b. 1975

Nicu Ilfoveanu belongs to the first generation of students to graduate from the Photography and Video Department of the National University of Arts in Bucharest. He began exhibiting shortly after he graduated from high-school in 1994. He is skilled in both photography and video, black and-white photography being his preference, until 2006 when he started to work with colour photography and is currently focusing on it.

As a relief from the thematic censorship that was in place up until that time, the photography of the 90s was invaded by the human body. This was a prevailing topic that could be found in the work of most artists who dealt with photography, being a taboo topic which shocked a prudish art world and a type of audience who confused a picture of the naked body with pornography. However, the tendency to retrieve this moment of modern art tens of years later has turned into a trend of Romanian contemporary art, along with the theme “Romania in transition”. In this perspective, the landscape is an uncool topic, reserved for photo-clubs (which turn from authoritative bodies into stigmatised cultural residues) and amateurs, a topic which is not sufficiently controversial and which is traditionally viewed in an idyllic, obsolete manner. Nicu Ilfoveanu runs the risk of dealing with landscapes in many of his series; in some cases he even runs the risk of revealing its idyllic dimension / idealism (…). He does it with elegance and refinement, doubled by an unostentatious sensitivity, inserting cultural elements in the subtext of the photographs which do not allow the latter ones to become formal or to turn into trivial yet professionally used metaphors.

Excerpt from Photography in Contemporary Art. Trends in Romania after 1989,
by Cosmin Moldovan, 2006