Livia Dragoi,
PhD Director of the Cluj-Napoca Art Museum

Radu Serban belongs to a generation which, somewhat programatically, somewhat ostentatiously, showed a marked evolution in the last two decades in a fertile postmodern experimental space. In this space, where he moves with a certain composed discretion, Radu Serban has slowly and steadily defined a territory of his own.
This has been achieved by ordering his entire protean creation around a stable and irradiating nucleus: his vocation as a painter who is gifted with a peculiar sensitivity, poetic and reflexive in its nostalgic source.

A refined colourist and a virtuoso of drawing, the artist is also tempted by the technical possibilities of the new media. He creates unusual hybrid objects through an inventive mix of media, techniques and languages. His voyages in the multi- and intermedial area and in the fusions of traditional and unconventional, modern media remain, however, complementary to his passionate investigations in his main field: painting.
They are, in fact, opportunities to expand, within an integrating approach, the artistic issues specific to the universe of his painting.

Beyond the ingenious manipulations of digital images with new techniques, languages and artistic codes belonging to various fields (visual arts, film, music), the integrating postmodernist vocation, specific to the artist’s vision, can be seen in his way of approaching tradition, by subjectively assuming (through memory and remembering) some of the eternal values from the heritage of the Romanian culture and civilisation.

This type of subjective „archeology” steadily favours the Transylvanian village – staple of the artist’s childhood and adolescence, an affection-laden formative topos, which introduces in his creation motives and archetypal themes of discreet symbolic or metaphorical relevance. It also determines a positioning of the author in an existential horison which is infused by the sacred.

This is a space which is carefully ordered by rules established through the long experience of individual and community life, allowing the discovery and cultivation of one’s own interior world according to the characteristics of the Romanian peasant’s soul: the authentic thrill of the sacred, the longing for cleanliness and absolution, the joy of living in harmony with nature...

Discovering, through remembrance, his connection with this universe, the artist gives priority to one of its main coordinates, light. It is the source of life and vision, and of moral truth and justice, the energetic exponent of the supreme Presence which is beyond what can be seen.

This is either diffuse light, which, in the wait for the ‚descending transcendence’, crowns, protects, soothes, elevates and redeems, or active light, which, together with coloured matter and drawing, builds shapes and images, or changes them perpetually when mirrored in the water. In other words, light becomes the decisive factor in the spectacular marriage of reality and dream, of truth and phantasm, of concrete and abstract, leading to an authentic, vibrant and persuasive spritualising of vision.