Irina Ionesco / Remembrance of things past

A spotlight on photographer Irina Ionesco and her opulent and often-controversial realities.

“For the most part, my characters are portrayed in some sort of deep concentration resulting in my personal interpretation: melancholy dream – expectation – prayers and enigmas.” A spotlight on photographer Irina Ionesco and her opulent and often-controversial realities.

Ionesco’s upbringing stands to be unique amongst others. She was born into Parisian roots with a violinist father and a trapeze artist as a mother. They shunned her at four to live with her grandmother and uncles in Romania, where she would participate in the world of circus as a snake-lady contortionist. After many years, when she finally had enough, she began to study art and painting in Paris. Photography would come later into her life, all self-taught.
The genre and expression of her photos were ironic and sourced as inspiration for designers such as Givenchy. The French surrealist Andre Pieyre De Mandiargues would quote the surrounding intellect of her work and general world as “belonging to a space where there is no license to touch. It is the world of dreams.”
It all started as taking photos of friends and their daughters which later turned to women of theater in licentious poses with little coverage. Slowly, the sexual world of Ionesco would unveil itself along with an obsessive, fetish side. However, once she had her daughter, Eva, she wanted her to be a part of the world of performance and arts. So, some of her work has been addressed controversially at the fact that she was a young child in adult-women contexts. She has claimed that in her work, her universe repeats itself; there are lots of women because “it is me looking for the woman I missed – my mother.”

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