David Popa is an NYC born and raised artist currently based in Finland. He is represented by MTArt Agency. Inspired and mentored by his Father, Albert Popa, one of the first Graffiti Writers in NYC, Popa’s love for painting began at a young age. Inspired by his adventures outside the studio, Popa’s interest in street art and contemporary muralism was the catalyst for the work he presently creates. His current body of work uses all natural pigments mixed only with the source water to create site-specific, ephemeral earth-works captured through the eye of a drone. The large-scale work Popa paints, mostly on islands/islets in the nordic region, are documented and portrayed through photography, short films and most recently as NTfs.
Popa’s work seeks to enter into the realm of anthropology as it relates to origin, nature and the destiny of human beings. By using natural pigments such as charcoal, earth pigments and ground shells, he uses the same raw materials that would have been used in the earliest cave paintings 40,000 years ago. Early cave-painters are assumed to have gone to great lengths to not only collect and create these pigments, but also to create the works within the deep caves they reside in.
Similarly, Popa seeks remote locations that appear otherworldly and ethereal. The result is work that appears to be a revealing of a latent life, waiting to be uncovered. This uncovering, however, is incredibly brief, as some works have washed back into nature in a matter of a few days to a few months. While the work is being created and documented, unsuspecting events often occur, from bird droppings that appear as dynamic brushstrokes, changing tides that reveal new rock layers, varying light that illuminate various surfaces and even oncoming storms that wash the piece away significantly, which reveal an altered yet beautiful remnant of what was created. It is this dynamic conversation with the ephemeral, natural world that infuriates Popa and beckons the viewer to consider the nature of our brief existence and relish in its profound mysteries and everyday miracles.
‘The Poetry of the Earth’, 2023, Westfield in collaboration with MTArt Agency, including artists Elisa Insua, Derrick Boateng and David Popa.
Follow David Popa on Instagram@davidpopaart