dust painting maia opreaMaia Oprea

Bucharest, Romania

DUST Painting Series 

I am a Romanian artist aged 24. I was born in Bucharest, exactly 2 years after the abolishment of communism.



Dust XII ©Maia Opre




After attending the Bucharest Fine Art High School "N.Tonitza", I started a BFA at the Savannah College of Art and Design, in the quiet university town Savannah, on the U.S. east coast, in the state of Georgia. Feeling that the American success was standing one inch above my head and all I had to do was to decorate it with glitter in order to hide the classic stamp of "alien citizen", while constantly sharpening my smile, I preferred to go back to my native country, in order to study painting at the National University of Arts in Bucharest, which I will now finish in...about 2 weeks. During 2010-2011 I was recipient of an ERASMUS scholarship at Ecole Superieure d'Art de Grenoble, in the heart of the French Alps. A second uprooting, a second start, another set of suitcases. I ran whip and spur from the french. The verdict? I was a walking bomb, coming from another century in a country where conceptualism is being eaten at the morning breakfast. But both in the United States and in France, I have benefited from an excellent academic environment of a bewildering diversity, artistically and technically equipped to the highest standards.Thus, I could experiment freely, without limits.



Dust black whiteWhen was the first time you realized you were an artist?   

I don't think I will ever realize that. I KNOW that, I sense that, but I have to remind it myself day by day. I have been certainly painting since I know myself.



Dust VIII ©Maia Opre



So far, throughout my artistic life, I have tried to overcome the constraint of “art styles”. I have passed through many phases in my art, from impressionism to realism, expressionism to abstractionism, which I consider inevitable steps in an artist formation. I now consider myself to be a contemporary artist which affirms itself through an apparent lack of contemporaneity.



I use a very diverse range of mediums, and I can sincerely state that none is “my favourite”, although I am primarily a painter. My materials range from pencil, charcoal, pastels, tempera, gouache, acrylics, oils, to modelling clay, textiles, papers, wood, metal, found objects. I am also a dedicated photographer and have undertook several video art projects.


Dust painting contemporaryTechnique   

I am still in search of a very personal technique, which most surely will always be the result of a cyclical and dynamic creative process. I enjoy very much finding the imprecisions, the gaps and 'leaks' of each material, then transfer them to other materials, so as to provoke interrelations when you least expect.


Dust XIII ©Maia Opre



I am now undertaking a new project, entitled “DUST”. It will be on show starting with this fall, and I will also put it online then. So stay updated! The Dust project's compositions are comprised of hieratic figures who are lacking spirit and are trapped in a kind of spherical torn. With its formal anthropomorphic and zoomorphic approach, Dust is also sensorially situated in between the humane and the animalic.The investigative basis and theme consists of “catching” the state of inner chaos, which seems to accompany the creative self when it “erupts”. However, the manner of expression is antithetical to this “eruption”, manifesting itself heavily and suffocatingly, as a sort of tactile void.


Where do you find your ideas?   

Everywhere....my inner self, literature, museums, nature, Hokusai Haiku my husky dog, my husband (who is a writer)... I enjoy traveling very much, and I have traveled as much as I could in Europe, on the eastern coast of the US, and nowadays in the surroundings of the small village we live in. I am very happy that I found a peaceful corner in the heart of nature, and it's currently incredibly inspiring.


Dust sketch inkWhy do you create art?    

In order to maintain “the sense of abyss in man” (Gaston Bachelard)




Dust interval ©Maia Opre




How often do you create art?    

All the time, anytime, whenever the other 'life' duties and jobs allow me


What is the best artwork you ever had the pleasure of creating?   

This makes me think of something I have read in the notes written by an artist I very much appreciate, the Italian sculptor Alberto Giacometti : “This is not to realise the vision I have of things, but to understand why we fail. (...) I'm indifferent to the difference between a successful and an unsuccessful thing. A successful painting, a failed painting, a successful drawing, a failed drawing , this doesn't mean anything. The failure is of interest to me just as much as the success."

I wanted to share this with you because it somehow states what I consider will remain forever my conviction, mainly that the importance lies in the working process, and not in the finality of the art object.


What role does the artist play in the world?   

To offer a truth which sticks directly in the head.


Dust textile collageDo you make a living with your artworks?   

I have been making a living with my art since I was 17 years old, that being 8 years now, and I am convinced I will always make a living with my art. I prefer living on a very low budget and saving for good art materials, building a big workshop and traveling to cultural cities. There are the ups and downs which we all know about, and once in a while I give English and French classes to my acquaintances in order to get over the bad periods. This is also very useful to me in return.






Dust VI ©Maia Opre




Art Promotion   

My blog at maiastefanaoprea.wordpress.com and online art gallery with good-looking design and interesting features such as Glossom, Behance, Saatchi and Fine Art America.



In my current project I feel I was somewhat influenced by the Guggenheim Bilbao Museum's exhibition of JUAN MUNOZ, by Tracey Emin's book of monotypes, Gianni Dessi polystyrene sculptures I saw at the Museum of Saint Etienne, and by Marlene Dumas' recent works. In my past I was seldomly influenced by Egon Schiele, Klimt, Kokoschka, Giotto, Wispianski, Rothko, Christian Boltanski, etc.


Please recommend a contemporary artist?    

Please see my video “White Rhythm” (see below), which was born as a commemorative act in the memory of an artist that I have very much admired, Dennis Oppenheim (born in 1938 in the state of Washington, died 2011)


Maia Oprea paintingPlease tell us an interesting story in your life.    

3 hours after I met my husband, we were fighting and the bulb exploded over our heads :))



Maia Oprea with "Dust" series ©Maia Opre

Advice for Emerging and Aspiring Artists  

As a fellow young artist, my advice is to forget about aspiring and emerging, otherwise your art will really suffer from it. Have patience.


White Rhythm by Maia Oprea



Maia Oprea

Bucharest, Romania

DUST Painting Series


Website:  Maia Fine Art

Blog:  Maia Stefana Oprea 

Facebook Page: Maia Stefana Oprea

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