Engaged on Ice Floes, David Popa Renders Ephemeral Portraits that Fracture and Break up into the Sea


“Bemuse.” All pictures © David Popa, shared with permission

After a decade of dwelling in Finland, David Popa has established a fruitful artistic collaboration that may be unimaginable in his native New York Metropolis. The artist ceaselessly works on land and sea, significantly the fractured ice floes of the Baltic, to render large-scale portraits and figurative murals that draw connections between the ephemerality of human life and the setting. Whether or not depicting his spouse or new child baby in intimate renderings, he highlights the inevitability of change as time passes, seasons transition, and the local weather warms.

Popa’s use of such unconventional canvases emerged from a need for journey and child-like play, when he placed on a drysuit, climbed onto his paddleboard, and ventured out to a frozen mass. “These areas had been so mysterious and so fascinating,” the artist says. “I derived an infinite quantity of inspiration from going out into these ethereal spots.” After taking some drone photographs of the areas, he started working, spraying the contours of a cheek or lip onto the icy matter.


Left: “Remnants of the Previous.” Proper: “Prometheus”

As a result of lots of his works are destined to soften and be reabsorbed, Popa opts for pure supplies like white chalk from the Champagne area, ochres from France and Italy, and powdered charcoal he makes himself—the latter additionally performs a small position in purifying the water, leaving it cleaner than the artist discovered it. Most items take between three and 6 hours to finish, and his work time relies on the climate, temperature, and situation of the ocean. “The charcoal will sink into the ice and disappear from a really darkish shade to a medium shade, so it must be created in a short time and documented. No to say the work on the ice will simply crack and drift away fully, or the subsequent day it is going to snow and be fully coated,” he says. “I’m actually battling the weather.”

Popa embraces this cyclical course of and the dearth of management over the destiny of his works, which he preserves solely via beautiful aerial photographs. Broadly reflecting themes of existence and time, a few of his murals, like “Prometheus” and “Remnants of the Previous,” additionally emphasize shifts in aesthetic impulses. Mimicking Greek sculptures, the works seem “washed up on shore,” drawing connections between antiquity and at present and the variations in how we understand magnificence.

Popa will launch a brand new limited-edition print subsequent month, and you’ll observe that launch on his website and Instagram. (by way of Yatzer)


“Energy of the Earth”



“Energy of the Earth”

Left: “Lautassari.” Proper: “Inceptus”


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