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All street art

The Art of David Popa

August 22, 2022
3 min read
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Land art is movement that uses the natural landscape to create site-specific structures, art forms, and sculptures. It utilises natural materials or sites the work outside in various settings in order to interact with nature in some way. The movement is  also seen as a way for the artist to get closer to nature in a liberating way and, sometimes, as a way to raise awareness about environmental issues.

Internationally renowned artist David Popa is best known for his vast-scale biodegradable land frescoes.He is born and raised in NYC currently based in Finland. His interest in the arts spawned from a tight mentorship with his Father Albert Popa who was one of the first Graffiti Writers in NYC and later taught him traditional painting at a young age. However, what ultimately spurred Popa to pursue the arts full time were the adventures to be had outside the studio.

His interest in Street Art/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 NFT’s (Unique Digital Works of Art). He is represented by MTART Agency, one of the worlds leading Art Agencies.

BORN OF NATURE is a collaboration between David Popa and visual artist Juuso Hämäläinen. Located on an islet off the coast of Helsinki, the project spans from painting, photography, videography, music and 3D sculpture.

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.

INCEPTUS. The 4th Earth Mural by Popa was created on a small islet in Espoo, Finland. The work features a figure making her “Exodus” from the stone by which she is imprisoned. The work explores the themes of transience in a manner stronger than any of Popa’s prior works. Popa also sought to express a poetic demonstration of what it means to be carnal/ from below and what it means to be eternal/ from above.

FRACTURED. A project located on various ice floats in Southern Finland. By use of only earth, charcoal and the source water, a series of portraits were created on fractured ice floats that remained for only a brief time. The pieces were documented via aerial drone video, photography and photogrammetry and holds a tactile form as limited edition prints as well as in digital form through 1/1 NFT’s. The project evolved as a response to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, which has only further highlighted the fractured state of the world unto which we live.


The results of David Popa’s works appear 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 infatuates Popa and beckons the viewer to consider the nature of our brief existence and relish in it’s profound mysteries and everyday miracles.

Scroll down to view more project of David Popa.

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