One might say the force is strong with these two. Like Thelma and Louise, Monica and Rachel, Edina and Patsy, and Hillary and C.C., the duo of Concetta Antico and Irina Negulescu celebrate the power of womanhood.
Antico, known for her genetic gift of tetrachromacy, is able to see 100 million colors (the average person only sees about 1 million). She and her dreamy impressionist canvases of color have been a part of the art world for 30 years. Negulescu, also renowned on the art scene, paints in the expressionist style, with a focus on figures of women and children.
This month, the two internationally renowned artists will join their creative forces with a new gallery concept and show titled Gardens of Beauty on Saturday, Feb. 10 at The iN gallery in Barrio Logan. While guests sip on wine and nibble Tortillas de Lola, Antico will be live painting at the event while body artist Evgeniya Golik paints two models live.
As Negulescu noted, “Our styles complement each other while still being completely different, and we hope art lovers and buyers will be surprised, delighted and moved by our intertwining stories.”
PACIFIC recently chatted with these two powerhouse women to find out more about first impressions, the gift of color and the sisterhood of art.
PACIFIC: What was your first reaction when you saw the other’s work?
ANTICO: Impressed. I thought “now there is an artist who knows how to put color together.” She knows what it is to have integrity for the industry, she knows what it is to have it in your soul.
NEGULESCU: We have always had great respect for one another’s talents. For my part, it wasn’t just her painting I appreciated, but more the whole person, the artist, the woman, her energy, her beauty.
Concetta, how did you find out you were able to see so many more colors than the average person?
Antico: Fate. My daughter was diagnosed as color deficient at age 8 — rare for a girl — but I still didn’t know it had anything to do with me and my mutation. Then a student bought several of my paintings and commented on the uniqueness and “alchemy” in the color use. She was a neurologist, so when she asked me, I referenced the only thing I had heard of regarding unique color — Tetrachromacy and fourth (color) receptors (also known as cones). I was tested, put in a Japanese documentary and the rest is worldwide press history. I am now studied by Dr. Kimberly Jameson at UC Irvine for over five years. They are calling me the perfect storm for Tetrachromacy.
What’s your favorite color?
Antico: (smiles) Funny enough my favorite colors are black and white. They are neutrals to me and colors that go with all other colors, so I can play with accents. Otherwise color is too overwhelming.
Pair a few colors for us with an emotion:
White: serenity, joy
Black: beauty, ease, comfort
Turquoise: gentleness, peace, freedom
Violet: love, passion, playfulness
Red: irritation, uneasy
Irina, your women and children are full of vibrancy, spirit, and life. Why did you choose women and children for subject matter?
Negulescu: I love painting every subject, really, but painting children is my favorite. They are not posing, but always just being themselves, adorable, curious, innocent and very colorful. The women paintings are a different story. My old teacher often used to say that if you know how to paint the female figure, you can paint anything. Because the models were too expensive for the art school at that time, the teacher told us to take turns ourselves and be the models. It was very challenging and even funny in the beginning, but I got more and more serious with practice.
What is your favorite thing about your partner in art?
Antico: That she understands me completely in the area of being a female artist, she has lived the parallel struggle with all of its joys and difficulties, has shared the passion to create art, as I have, since we could hold a paintbrush. We communicate on so many levels with heart — without a word spoken — we know and feel the same way about what it is to paint and to want to be appreciated for our gifts. She is as a sister to me in the thing we love the most — painting.
Negulescu: I love her positive energy, her business acumen, her inner and outer beauty. She is very inspiring, and I like to be surrounded by inspiring people.
Gardens of Beauty
When: 6-10 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 10
Where: 1878 Main St., #D, Barrio Logan
Cost: Guests may make a $10 donation at the door for New Paths Paved, a non-profit that helps the city’s homeless, and The Unbattle Project, a counseling service for local military. A portion of sales from individual vendors will also be donated.