Biography

With both his writing and painting, Virtosu finds in the creative process a way to process — and then elevate — the negative emotions that have at times overwhelmed him.

Born in Moldova in 1968, he went to study at the Sankt Petersburgh Arts Academy in 1984. However in 1986, he has left arts for State Security Academy in Saint Petersburg. Gheorghe Virtosu is of the generation that came of age as the calcified Eastern Bloc was slouching towards its final collapse in 1989.

Suddenly — literally — a world of possibilities opened up to young people from Eastern Europe. With unimaginable options now open to him, Virtosu left Russia after his three-year stint in the state security services.

He travelled the world, soaking up its rich and varied textures, and eventually settled in London and became a British citizen in 1994.

Suffering in confinement has been a fact of Virtosu’s life. While living through a period of incarceration in France — Virtosu felt abandoned that is inherent when one is separated from the outside world. He took up writing and painting as a form of self-therapy. The struggle to find meaning and beauty amidst the harsh reality of life — is a powerful narrative force in his work.

As a self-taught artist — he began to create abstract, thematic paintings that feature bold colors in pursuit of a mystical ascension above the ugliness of the world. With titles that reference the “real world” — such as Iranian Spirit, Blairism, and Gaddafi Sentence — the paintings approach varied themes from the multicultural world we share.

His works are images that spring from a psyche enriched with a broad and experienced worldview. Each piece is singular, yet each carries a genuine complexity of meaning. His imagery can be puzzling and other-worldly, though they tell much of the world of which they are a part - the world of complexity and variable motivations in which we all live our lives.

Virtosu lives and works in London, Amsterdam, Luxembourg and Chisinau. His biggest studio is in Belgravia, London. The artist has planed a studio in Hong Kong, as quoted - 'a place to recharge'.

Virtosu believes his work is rooted in exploring the various aspects of his own personality. They are reflections that capture characteristics both positive and negative, from a ruthless focus on survival to an ethereal appreciation of life’s mystery and beauty.

His painting Fatimah Bint Muhammad (2016) broke records in 2017 and became the highest-grossing work by a contemporary UK artist. His works sold in 39 countries including Dmitry Rybolovlev and Salman bin Abdulaziz.

With both his writing and painting, Virtosu finds in the creative process a way to process — and then elevate — the negative emotions that have at times overwhelmed him.

Born in Moldova in 1968, he went to study at the Sankt Petersburgh Arts Academy in 1984. However in 1986, he has left arts for State Security Academy in Saint Petersburg. Gheorghe Virtosu is of the generation that came of age as the calcified Eastern Bloc was slouching towards its final collapse in 1989.

Suddenly — literally — a world of possibilities opened up to young people from Eastern Europe. With unimaginable options now open to him, Virtosu left Russia after his three-year stint in the state security services.

He travelled the world, soaking up its rich and varied textures, and eventually settled in London and became a British citizen in 1994.

Suffering in confinement has been a fact of Virtosu’s life. While living through a period of incarceration in France — Virtosu felt abandoned that is inherent when one is separated from the outside world. He took up writing and painting as a form of self-therapy. The struggle to find meaning and beauty amidst the harsh reality of life — is a powerful narrative force in his work.

As a self-taught artist — he began to create abstract, thematic paintings that feature bold colors in pursuit of a mystical ascension above the ugliness of the world. With titles that reference the “real world” — such as Iranian Spirit, Blairism, and Gaddafi Sentence — the paintings approach varied themes from the multicultural world we share.

His works are images that spring from a psyche enriched with a broad and experienced worldview. Each piece is singular, yet each carries a genuine complexity of meaning. His imagery can be puzzling and other-worldly, though they tell much of the world of which they are a part - the world of complexity and variable motivations in which we all live our lives.

Virtosu lives and works in London, Amsterdam, Luxembourg and Chisinau. His biggest studio is in Belgravia, London. The artist has planed a studio in Hong Kong, as quoted - 'a place to recharge'.

Virtosu believes his work is rooted in exploring the various aspects of his own personality. They are reflections that capture characteristics both positive and negative, from a ruthless focus on survival to an ethereal appreciation of life’s mystery and beauty.

His painting Fatimah Bint Muhammad (2016) broke records in 2017 and became the highest-grossing work by a contemporary UK artist. His works sold in 39 countries including Dmitry Rybolovlev and Salman bin Abdulaziz.

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