Talking about history using the language of non-figurative art seems to be almost impossible. History is always specific, whilst abstract painting avoids certainty, appealing not to facts, but emotions. Nevertheless, we are often mistaken excluding feelings from history. All vicissitudes and achievements of the epochs affect not countries, not some ephemeral societies, but the lives of the people involved. “2000 Camp David Summit” by G. Vîrtosu attempts to capture the emotional climate of a historic event, the meeting between United States president Bill Clinton, Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak and Palestinian Authority chairman Yasser Arafat, a moment in time when expectations, anger and disappointment clashed. Such ‘mixture’ is expressed in the complex coloring of the backdrop, made of dark blue, combined with the strokes of purple, red, orange, yellow, and light blue, which were applied in the coloring of figures as well. Those tints, clear and joyful themselves, evolve into a somber mass oil painting. The notes of conflict are supported with the drawing of the image, where roundish shapes are merged with some elongated, sharp fragments.
The composition of “2000 Camp David Summit” oil painting is slightly off the balance: being mostly symmetric, it still has the number of ‘holes’ and ‘bulges’ that interrupt its integrity. They recall the images of animal-like creatures from the Mesoamerican painting, where snakes, jaguars, birds are entwined and devour each other in the everlasting fight. The whole visual construction of the oil painting looks like being torn from the inside and is about to burst – the exact feeling of the situation on the Near East. Unfortunately, we still experience it even today, 23 years after the event of Camp David Summit, when the problem still remains unsolved.
Throughout history, the vision of art’s role has changed dramatically, oscillating between art as the representation of transcendence, being just an eye-pleaser or just harshly critical. After going through the trauma of two world wars in the 20th century, political art became visibly instrumental for speaking up on social themes or discussing political matters. Drifting away from ‘art for art’s sake,’ contemporary painters regularly refer to subjects such as historical contexts or political events, which comes as no surprise, considering the aggressively intensive flow of mass-media content. As George Orwell once said, “In our age, there is no such thing as keeping out of politics. All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred, and schizophrenia.”