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Work / Illustration

Visit Ana Popescu’s imaginary mid-century modernist villas

Artist and illustrator Ana Popescu was born in Romania and studied printmaking and drawing at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna. “I think I work somewhere between illustration and art,” says Anna. “I don’t see myself as just one, and I think my work reflects this blurred line. I also grew up in France reading comic books so drawing and illustration was always very present.”

Ana’s series Homes, presented here, was a development of a previous project called Life on Mars. “I was first inspired by houses in Bucarest from the 1930’s and then I discovered to the Palm Springs mid-century modernist villas.” says Anna. “They were exactly what I was looking for: a fascinating example of shapes combined with a surreal landscape with wonderful colours and light. It fitted my other fascination: summer and water. David Hockney is also an obvious inspiration.”

The clear geometries and challenging perspectives across the Homes series turn simple scenes into something more complex than an accurate portrayal of space. Each painting plays with depth and surface in its composition, then bustles to life with poppy colours and visible brushstrokes. Everything appears simultaneously right and wrong at the same time. “I started by combining and experimenting with colour and forms,” says Ana. “Then, over time, the forms I was drawing and painting became houses. I wanted to represent something that seems realistic without being completely realistic.”

“Drawing is at the heart of my work, and my preferred techniques vary over time. I usually work on hand drawn pictures. I don’t work a lot with pre-sketches, I usually start straight away, if the picture at the end doesn’t fit then I just do a new one,” says Ana of her creative process. “They ideas I try to realise are usually a combination of previous works that gave me new ideas and some other visual inspriration that I sometimes photograph and sometimes just remember. So I guess my work has a continuity in that way.”


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