DISCOVERING STEFAN POPA POPAS
I’ve always been fascinated with drawing. It’s one of the first things I, and I’m sure almost all of us, have discovered and learned at the very young age as children. Regardless if we were given crayons, a simple plain or coloured chalk, or just a stick with which we scribbled in the sand, the instinct to draw, to create shapes, to express ourselves seems to have been deeply rooted in our very own nature.
Drawing seemed something accessible to everyone, it created a universal connection, a bridge between cultures, an ark crossing time, one of the most innocent tools of expression from early man’s attempts in the cave of Lascaux to the controversial graffiti art of the modern day millions worth Banksys. We notice this attraction to drawing permeating all throughout human history at its every step.
Art, in general, encompasses this immemorial aspect to it, creating, expanding and governing a universe of its own. But art always makes sure, in its vast exploration of unbound creativity, to always
set a piece aside, a fragment of itself, dedicated towards mirroring and underling frames or glimpses of certain themes and aspects of our own day to day reality.
I never had much talent when It came to draw or paint, even though I’d be lying if I didn’t admit I’ve always believed, and still do, that everyone can learn how to draw, I mean if they really systematically apply themselves towards developing this skill.
And I say skill, for like with painting, singing or acting, everyone is welcome at the table, but only a few rise to take the mantle of professional artist in their respected fields. Only a few have that thing you can’t really pinpoint, but you and I, and everyone around us, somehow, are able to recognize it, that thing the french call the “je ne sais quoi”, the touch of genius.
And it’s this, touch of genius which can be witnessed, in each generation, in only o handful of professional individuals. People who focused on creating photo-like representations, people who express the very abstract essence of what could only be described as parallel universes, worlds upon worlds beyond the veil of everyday reality, or people who choose to share their gift with the world through a more palatable approach. Those who understood the importance of holding a mirror up to society in order to underline its absurdity, its humor, and at times, its troubled nature.
At a very young age I was introduced to the world of cartoons and caricature, seeing representations on crossword puzzle magazines and different newspapers at the paper stand near the place I grew up. I didn’t have the mental capacity to understand why those people were “miss-shaped” and what was the meaning behind the exaggerations in their proportions, like every other kid, I though it was funny and interesting.
As years went by I came across the work of Maester Stefan Popa Popas, and I was mesmerized. I thought I found the Holy Grail of Cartoonists, the incredible attention to detail, the ease with which he combined aspects of the character’s physical details, hidding inside their representation, traits of their moral or imoral nature, a multilayer faced of pure artistic endeavor, of course sprinkled with his own style of introspection and humor. It was incredible…
Stayed tuned for part II