Anastasia Calinovici’s gorgeous paintings combine elements of domesticity and street art, combining interior wallpaper-like patterns and suggestions of graffiti, as if combining a wall of the home and the street into one image.
Can you tell me a little bit about you?
I’m 21 years old and I’m from Brasov, Romania. I studied painting at art high school and then also painting at the National Art University in Bucharest, and now I’m living and working here. I really loved the university and its studios and teachers and now, from this year, I’m looking forward to studying a Master Class in painting. When I paint, I’m really messy and all my friends laugh about how untidy the studio becomes, but I’m very passionate about art and I can’t keep the studio clean when I work.
When did you first discover art, or realize you wanted to make it yourself?
Well, I was painting and drawing everyday since I was 2 years old. When I grew up a little, I used to illustrate the stories my mom told me and also my make my own with drawings. I used to draw animals like humans, very funny and colorful. I used to say that when I grew up, I’ll be a painter. Then, when I was 7-8 years old, I was attending some painting classes for kids, and when I turned 14 years old I started art high school. There I studied painting because I loved it so much–since I was a kid. It was very pleasant and I had many good teachers (artists also) who made me even more interested in art. Then I started at the Art University. So basically… I don’t know when I realized I wanted to make it by myself… it was always there with me, and I didn’t even think about doing something else with my life.
What ideas are you exploring in your practice?
Currently I’m interested in how feminine and masculine can be present in modalities of expression like line, point, stain, etc. I’m interested in how these two polarities are mixed together. I’m interested in colour, materials, texture, textiles, and in how street art can be put in classical art context like paintings. During the last years my works changed a lot… I was always interested in abstract art, but I think in the last 4 months things started to clarify, and I think I started to understand more and more about the abstract world.
What is your process like?
Well, I always draw in my sketchbook, but when I start to paint, I don’t think too much. I use the composition and the elements from the sketchbook involuntarily, and the painting starts to grow by itself. Usually I complete 2 works by the end of a week, but there are times it take more than 2 weeks, or a month. I’m interested in the balance of the feminine and the masculine; I’m interested in expressing my own space and my own feelings and mind. I usually paint on big canvases… I use oil paint, graffiti spray… I like mixed media, so I use textiles, paper, etc.
Do you have a mentor, or a piece of advice (or both), which has influenced your practice?
I always had by my side artists that stood out for me, but the one who influenced me the most was my high school painting teacher who introduce me in Robert Rauschenberg’s art, Louise Bourgeois, and many more.
What is your studio like?
My studio is at Art University so I’m working with some friends… sometime it’s messy, sometimes it’s less messy… but there are always lots and lots of paintings, art books, music and good vibes.
What do you find most daunting, challenging, or frustrating about pursuing art?
I think it’s about the future perspective, about how you will evolve… If you will be able to do art for the rest of your life…
What are three words you would use to describe your work?
Messy, quiet, candid
What are you working on right now?
I’m working on my final project at Art University. It’s a series of 13 abstract works about feminine and masculine.
Find more on Instagram @anastasya.asdf!