23. ilb 06. – 16.09.2023

Alexandra Gavrila

Alexandra Gavrilă was born in 1985 in Deva, Romania. She studied fashion design at the University of Cluj and in Łódź, Poland. She discovered comics as a means of expression while attending a workshop at the French cultural center in Cluj. Since then, her graphics work has been a fusion of embroidery, fashion design, art, and comics.

Gavrilă is fascinated by the supernatural and the wondrous, and her illustrated stories, which have been published in Polish, French, and Romanian fanzines such as »Glorioasa Fanzină,« are often set in dream worlds. For instance, her graphic novel project »The Dream Collector«, on which she worked during her Erasmus in Poland, is based on entries in her dream diary which she has been writing since 2007, like the image of a kitten with its face covered in black shiny eyes like those of a spider. In 2011, the artist joined a project subsidized by the Romanian Cultural Institute called »The Book of George.« The participating artists were given specific subject matter for their individual comic strips, but only the name, age (33), sex, and hometown (Bucharest) of the protagonist. The stories had to be written in English, although the compendium was later translated into Romanian. For her strip, »George in the Gallery,« Gavrilă worked with photographer Diana Mesesan. She made collages of the photographer’s pictures of Bucharest and the main figure, re-photographed and painted onto them. The hero arrives back in Bucharest after a long absence to find the city deserted. As if in a nightmare, he finds all the city’s residents in a metro tunnel, seemingly in some kind of coma. Giants grow out of them like tumors and feed on the energy of the city. George follows the tracks out of the city in the hopes of finding other survivors. At the beginning of 2014, Gavrilă was a part of the »Long Night of Romanian Comics,« organized by the Romanian Cultural Institute and the Museum of European Cultures in Berlin. On exhibit were not only some of the artist’s individual pieces, but also collaborations (such as a cookbook, for which Gavrilă supplied two traditional Romanian recipes). They were created as part of the »ComiXconnection« project, which brings together comics artists from five country (Slovenia, Croatia, Hungary, Romania, and Serbia), showcasing the differences, but more importantly, the links among them.

Gavrilă’s work has been seen in exhibitions in Romania and Poland. She lives and works as a graphic designer and illustrator in Cluj, Romania.


George in the gallery

[In: The Book of George]


Bukarest, 2011