Small in scale yet huge in humanity, Ioana Joa’s softly rendered oil paintings of at once individualized and anonymous townspeople conversing, convening and crossing paths in public, mostly outdoor settings—streets, plazas, courtyards, alleyways—are subtly naturalistic, pictorially neorealist and fundamentally, albeit quietly, politicized. Nearly audible, nonetheless, are the greetings, chatter and gossip in the air in these densely peopled squares—where someone becomes an everyone, where somewhere becomes an anywhere, where a heavily clad elderly woman in a remote village in Eastern Europe becomes a woman you know or have known, one you have seen and whose voice you’ve perhaps heard. She might be waiting in line for a loaf of bread you’ve tasted, holding a bag whose weight you can feel. That fleshy crease at her elbow evokes a familiar arm. You have embraced sturdy shoulders just like hers.
Ioana Joa received her BFA from National University of Arts in Bucharest, Romania, and an advanced degree in painting from Accademia delle Belle Arti in Rome, Italy. Her work has been shown in many international exhibitions and locations, including Buy What You Love, Rema Hort Mann Fundation, New York; Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York; Girls just want to have funds, P.P.O.W. Gallery, New York; In Between, Slag Gallery, New York; Cum a fost posibil?, sub Carturesti, Bucharest, Romania; Knesset, Jerusalem, Israel; Institutul Cultural Roman din Tel Aviv, Israel. Shadows, Laika Gallery, Cluj, Romania; Figure in, Figure out, LC Fundation- Contemporary Art Centre, Bucharest, Romania;