Alex Sirbu

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Alex Sirbu

Alexander Sirbu was born in London in 1971 to Romanian and British parents. After studying art in the early 1990s, Alexander went to live in Romania for the best part of a decade in attempt to satisfy his curiosity about a place he had never visited and half of a family he had never met.

Romania has fascinated him for most of his life. But it wasn't until the fall of Ceausescu that Alexander became really aware that the paternal side of his family had to endure living under a rather sinister dictatorship.

He finds Ceausescu's insecurity and ego fascinating. That the man had created his own utopian vision that to the majority was a nightmare based on his whims and belief that he was better than the rest. That a few misguided people can wreak such havoc due to the sycophantic attitude of those close to them – telling them that their ideas are magnificent and will benefit society in general.

On a more mundane level, Alexander feels that virtually everyone attempts to glorify their otherwise monotonous lives one way or another.

His first views of his father's land shocked him then and remain with him today. He explores and reflects on this and coming to terms with his own identity by doctoring photographs of communist and post-communist Romania. Recolouring lifeless skies, placing his portrait in official photo calls, and changing the wording on communist murals and signs. His work of prints and selected ephemera creates a make-believe world clashing with a sometimes painful reality.