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Installation artist Elias Popa presents his last post as Spark+Echo Art's 2018 Artist in Residence and showcases the completion of his gorgeous work responding to Job 38-41.
Follow the development of Elias' project by reading his first, second, and third posts written as 2018 Artist in Residence.
Artist in Residence 2018: Elias Popa
Spark & Echo Arts, Artist in Residence 2018
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Often, like all my work, the laborious repetition of action creates a space for meditation. The individual placement of each blade of dried grass, the meticulous angling of the mirrors, and endless visual repetition of the grass itself in the mirror — these all created a space for me to think of Job.
It is perhaps easy to think of the passage in Job where he comes under the fiery arguments of God to be a scene of overwhelming fear, awe and trembling. Those aspects are definitely found there. However, I wanted to capture a deeper meaning in the story. Despite the jarring vocabulary used in this passage, I believe God was being kind to Job, allowing him to see a mere glimpse of the overwhelming presence of God.
Like a small crack in time, or a narrow gateway, like Moses, Job gets to see a fragment of God. A glimpse of eternity. An unending field in the midst of temporal circumstances.
I wanted to capture this small breath, this myopic moment, where Job sees God. A narrow gate which when passed through reveals unending creation.
The Artist's Reflection
Elias Popa was born April 7, 1987 to Romanian immigrants in California. After traveling between his home in Romania and throughout the United States, he continued his travels into his adulthood by moving to China, traveling Southeast Asia, South America and working with refugees. During his travels around the world, his worldview in art was deeply impacted.
“My art expresses the struggle of identity and hope, worship and expressions of life. It explores common world views and challenges them. My work shines a light on the temporal solutions we put in place to replace what we really need deep inside”.
As an installation artist, Elias uses conventional materials such as paper, wire, thread, and clothing to evoke a deeper understanding about social structures. His aim is to solidify abstract ideas about the nuances that make up sociological structures. By doing so, he retrains the eye to build a visual literacy again and treats the art as a fundamental language. He also studied dark room photography for 10 years, as well as writes poetry.
Through his art, Elias started The Human Rights Network, a non for profit organization aimed at “telling stories that change lives.” The organization aims to build narratives through art that can impact social issues and generate activism. He currently works as a curator and manager of the esteemed Waterfall Mansion and Gallery on the Upper East Side, as well as the founder of the Human Rights Network. He resides on the Upper West Side of Manhattan where he works out of his home. He was the recipient of CFW’s artist vocational intensive, held at Princeton University. He also was selected on an Interfaith and Arts Panel at Columbia University, as well as regular participates in speaking engagements.