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Remembering Mark Verlan. The artist who bridged poetry and apocalyptic jest

The style of the late Moldovan artist Mark Verlan is not easy to classify. According to his nephew, the artist created a style that cannot be found in any other movement. He coined the term “ultra-stiobanism” to describe his uncle’s artistic approach.

Talk to anyone who met Mark Verlan and they will have a story to tell. Like that time when the famous Swiss curator, Harald Szeemann, travelled to Chișinău just to meet him and offer him the opportunity to exhibit his work in BLUT & HONIG (Blood and Honey), a retrospective hosted by the Vienna Essl Collection. During the time that Szeemann spent in Chișinău, Verlan was nowhere to be found, but 25 of his paintings (more than any artist’s present at the exhibition) made it to the retrospective. His friend and fellow artist Pavel Brăila recalls that, at the same exhibition, someone asked Verlan why he did not speak English and the artist sarcastically replied: “It was already difficult for me to learn Russian.”
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April 11, 2021 - Giovanna Di Mauro - Issue 3 2021MagazineStories and ideas

Mark Verlan’s exhibition at the Cocoşul Roşu in 2016. The drawing of the cat in the UFO represents the artist’s signature that can be found in his artworks, but also on Chișinău’s walls. Photo: Giovanna Di Mauro

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