Q&A with Artist Anca Stefanescu
Anca Stefanescu is a Romanian contemporary artist, living and working in London. This month we caught up with her for a Q&A session.
1. Tell us about which artists influenced your work and how you started as an artist.
In retrospect I felt that the most influential artists in my life were the Romanian couple Dan & Lia Perjovsky. Perhaps not in terms of developing a certain style, but as a way of looking at the world, understanding and recognising art in all the multiple forms it can be found and expressed. The hours spent in their studio helped me to aim for authenticity my entire life, gave me the courage to express myself in every artistic form I considered appropriate, without any fear of rejection or criticism as a response from the larger public.
2. What is your favourite medium and why?
I wouldn’t say I have a favourite medium as I don’t believe it intrinsically maters. I chose the medium that best reflects what I feel at a certain moment in my life.
There were years when I was a performer needing to experience the strongest emotion in the most direct way and then years when I chose art and created installations to better express an idea.
For some years I have been using a certain mixed media, combining digital art and oil or acrylic paint. This technique came as a result of working in the film and advertising industry for some years as a visual effects artist and later as a colourist. The years I spent in working in the digital world are reflected in what I create in my art today.
In my artworks I try to blend the two worlds we are living in, the imagined one from within and the outer wold.
3. What drives you to create a piece of art?
Primarily the feelings and beliefs that I wish to share, a need to share something that I cannot always explain or understand where it came from.
It is also a way of communicating in another kind of language. We have been raised with the belief that word is the main form of communicating, but we all feel, from time to time, that words are not enough to express what we feel or in some occasions that words are not necessary or meaningless.
I do feel we are more spiritual beings than physical ones. There is a constant moving of the energy and while creating a piece of art I feel there is a transfer from the creator into the object, enclosed until the viewer engages with the piece.
4. How do you begin your work? Do you have a set method or does your technique vary from piece to piece?
The computer plays an important role from the very beginning. Everything starts there as if it would be my other brain. It is like moving in a different time frame where I can overcome the concept of time and my hand can follow the imagination in a faster way.
I follow my feelings, the images are just building in front of my eyes until I have a sense of completion. When the sketch is done, I paint or draw on the computer the parts I decide to print on canvas, keeping the geometry rigorousness.
The last stage is painting on the printed canvas, filling the blanks in a free way … enjoying the freedom of a process that I don’t know where it will take me with no “undo” or “paste”, with no repetition, where the stroke of the brush is singular and not in my entire conscious control.
5. Do you have any formal training or are you self-taught?
I studied art in school since I was 12. I graduated from Art University in Bucharest studying painting, but my major artwork was a conceptual one, consisting in a book.
I was trained in an academic way since the only Art University in Bucharest was following an academic curriculum, but during the school period I felt attracted more and more to the contemporary art with all the new medias. I believe we all need to expand past the limitations of the training we receive.
6. What advice would you give to an aspiring artist?
To look inside for inspiration, always searching to express your authentic self in the way that feels good to you.
All the information that we are absorbing during life will easily find a way to be expressed into form when we are listening to our internal guidance, our intuition. Sometimes it seems to me the greatest courage is to be synchronised with your inner being.
7. Which piece of yours are you most proud of, or consider a particular favourite?
I don’t know if I can say if one is my “favourite”. Sometimes the one that is in my head feels to be my favourite since I cannot think of anything else, sometimes the one I am currently working on, sometimes the last one I completed.
Some of the latest are: Influo and Defencelessness.
8. Can you talk us through your thought process or story behind one of your pieces of art?
Usually I work in series centred on one main idea.
The latest project entitled “Breathing Space” is centred on kiss as a means of expressing love. It comprises of 10 large paintings each of them holding the same concept, building the same emotional state to the viewer.
While working on this series my thoughts and feelings were focused on the eternal love, unconditional love, the love that brings soul’s recognition, the love that we share for another but also the love for all that is life, whether this be a fish, a flower or the waves of the sea.
I chose the kiss as a representation of an action that springs from love, so easily recognised and felt.
9. What achievement are you most proud of?
It is about the feeling of peace, tranquillity the one similar to an out of body meditation that I am always searching for. A state of clarity and awareness but in the same time a certain detachment of what seems to be the real world.
Creating from that state feels like I am following my soul’s path but also a path in service of others. Achieving this state gives me a sense of fulfilment, purpose and a wish to keep going.
10. What would be your dream art commission? Why?
It would be a large artwork, destined to be exhibited in a public place, were people can enjoy it freely. It would be commissioned by someone who wishes to bring a gift to others.
We all know that colours are transmitting energetic vibrations. I would choose colours that would uplift, colours that make us feel better. That state of peace and harmony that I am always searching for I wish for everyone to find it.
I wonder how our world will look like…
To see more of Anca Stefanescu’s work visit her website.