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A Beautiful Mind

The Fine Art of Irina Alimanestianu 

Irina Alimanestianu channels both the seen and the unseen through her captivating art. She explains, “I want to have a mix of subconscious and conscious which allows more breathing space and also allows others to enter their own way.”

Daphne in a Yellow Dress

Her themes have almost Jungian connotations, from her “Archetypes” to “Animism” to “Gods, humans and limbs.” She asks questions such as, “Where is my place in the world and how do we relate to the universe? What are the things that hold us together?” Alimanestianu has been very interested in the notion of shape and how we respond to it, something she honed from her family of architect and builders. This can start literally with primordial ooze, although the most gorgeous ooze you have ever seen, to more representational works. She is not one to swim in only one lane, expanding the subject and scope of her work and now moving into collages.

After earning her MBA from Columbia, Alimanestianu found she wasn’t engaged in her business career and started taking classes in art when her sons were young. She received her MFA in painting from Claremont Graduate University in California and honed her successful craft on the West Coast before moving back East where she grew up.

She found a home in Southampton in 2021 during the pandemic and transformed the primary bedroom to a huge, light-filled studio which opens onto fantastic gardens filled with hydrangea, roses, and lilies, in all sorts of shapes and colors. These are reflected in her beautifully vibrant works, done in water-based oils or washes and watercolors where she mixes her own colors. Even her paint palette is a work of art. “Nature definitely affects me,” she says “When I was in my LA house you could see the ocean and blue was predominant in my work. Now I am going into very different colors.” Luckily, she inherited her vibrant garden in Southampton from the previous owner as she admits with a smile, “I came from an environment of cacti to this.”

Hawk Diving

Aside from the color and composition Alimanestianu’s work has an energy that makes her images ones you want to live with and have a continuing conversation. When asked how she would describe the energy she says, “It’s my happy place – even if it can be frustrating. There is a certain amount of wonder.”

She recently had an exhibit in New York City at the Boffi/DePadova and relished the opportunity to interact with her viewers. “I really like when people bring something to my work. I love to hear what people are saying or thinking. They may see something I never saw.” Alimanestianu has also exhibited in the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, Kravets Wehby Gallery in Chelsea, MM Fine Art gallery in Southampton, has works at the Julie Keyes Gallery in Sag Harbor and has exhibited at The Parrish Art Museum where she was part of the prestigious Artists Choose Artists series. Her work has been purchased on both coasts as well as in Europe.

With her fantastic “room of her own” and garden like Eden, she is ready to thrive in her next chapter. “My work is about the ephemeral and yet enduring nature of existence, mapping it and marveling at it. I hope to connect people, when they look at my work, back to their sensory selves, back to a quieter place in themselves where understanding happens through feeling and sensation, intuitively.”