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Xenia Stefanescu’s painting Woven in the tapestry of life is a self-portrait.
Stefanescu has a great love of colour and uses it generously in her paintings. ‘The colour is the first thing you notice about a painting so in this work I wanted the colours to be striking and arrest attention,’ she says. ‘For me a painting is a decorative object, it is not only about the subject so I wanted the background to be very rich. I have painted myself like a timeless Egyptian fresco – middle-aged, not too young, not too old. I have also pictured myself on the palette, where I look older. But I don’t feel old in myself, I always feel the same.’
Stefanescu doesn’t have dogs of her own but likes them and enjoys playing with her neighbour’s dogs, which often come into her yard. ‘I wanted to represent myself surrounded by roses and dogs like in a tapestry,’ she says. ‘I didn’t want the dogs to look real but part of a tapestry. They are painted in a darker colour as a contrast with the blazing pinks and reds of the roses and to act as a bridge between my figure and the flowers. One of them is licking my hair, the other watching, like a watchdog, to protect me from harm.’