Anca Stefanescu
Romanian, b. 1974

Short biography:
Born in Bucharest in 1974 during the communist regime she was sent away at the age of five months and raised by her paternal grandparents into an isolated rural environment for seven years. This led her to draw from an early age having her grandfather support her passion. At the age of twelve, she was admitted to study art at the only art school in Bucharest. In 1999 she graduated from the Academy of Arts, Bucharest with a degree in painting and conceptual art. Trained as a painter Stefanescu interrupted painting in 1997, in a public performance, and for more than a decade, she turned her attention to performances, film, photo installations, assemblies, site-specific environmental interventions and writing. She recurrently adopted new mediums, later observing that ‘change is the key to survival and expansion, not a style or a certain medium'. What has always been important for Anca is the birth of the idea; its forceful aggression one may symbolically inflict upon oneself in order to remain faithful to inner intentions and impetuses finding ways to direct into a material action what the psyche projected into visions. Early in her career and before her graduation, she was outspoken about her use of writing in performances. Composed over the course of 2 years in 2000 she finished the book ‘Who Am I?’, a meditation on memory and mind examining the anxiety and depression of the author’s childhood, adopting elements of memoir, essay and poetry. The distinctive intimacy of her writing brought her to Maria Hlavajova's attention who selected her for Manifesta 3 titled Borderline Syndrome: Energies of Defence. While still a student she took part in group events as a militant in the attempts of changing the academic curriculum into a contemporary one as well as a performer, voice of the young women’s generation raised under a communist dictatorship. The essence of her early art process came out of the ideological notions about a woman’s entanglements with education, men, money, children; their private despair leading to drinking, madness, or suicide; but also the healing process that can bring spiritual enlightenment.
Following graduation, she worked and experimented with computer animation and visual effects. She discovered the world of CG graphics in the noughties, soon expanding her studio practice. Anca Stefanescu collaborated as a DI Colourist and Art Director in vanguard commercials and with Post Production Houses for short films, films and music videos.
Concerned with the common belief developed in Romania under the most brutal Communist regime in Eastern Europe that described art as elitist, enigmatic and “indigestible” in 2013 she created the project Love Art–Wear Art, being the co-founder of two art-fashion brands. Her main focus was on the idea of making limited-edition or unique wearable art items blurring boundaries between art and fashion, transforming her paintings into wearable art objects, hand-made pieces of bags and accessories for women. In the last decade, her painting process became a metaphysical inquiry into the very nature of reality, conveying ideas about parallel worlds and spiritual dimensions, using paintbrush strokes, marks, signs or any of the symbols of an alphabet as ‘high-frequency vibrations translated into colours’. Her inspiration is a synthesis of world religions, theosophy and spiritualism, sciences and colour theory. Emphasizing on the mystical experience she holds that there is a deeper spiritual reality and this direct contact with this reality can be established through intuition, revelation, meditation or some other state transcending habitual human perception.
Instead of painting external realities, the artists depict inner spiritual experiences. Her working process reflects the divisions of consciousness expressed as intersections of corporeal reality, dream state, transcendental meditation, memory construction, noise and silence, known and unknown. ‘When I create I am like in a dream state and I ideate not just objects to be looked at, but an extension of my inner state, and out of the body experience that will give the viewer glimpses from another dimension. Paintings are solidified feelings on canvas and when the observer is looking at them the feeling is again motion, moving out from the painting into the beholder’s perception. I believe in this perfect continuum and all I care for are the emotions that I express through my intuition. Our thoughts and emotions are vibrations and just like the colours they are the universal language that everyone instinctively understands.’ Stefanescu’s work is about the potential of the subconscious mind perceived as the contrast between expansive and contractive, masculine and feminine, restraint and flow, perception and illusion, channelling her dreams, visions and revelations into the painted works. Situated in the field of metaphysical studies, her work portrays the liminal space between the physical world and the mind aiming to awaken the viewer into a state of enlightenment through the metaphysical properties of colour and form.

‘I think change is the key to survival and expansion. It may be painfully perceived many times but it forces ideas to grow into temporal realization. It is energy directed into material action. I see change as a challenge and I make it the very substance of my art. Every new series has to match the imaginative process not a certain means of expression already developed. Ideas, intentions, feelings must subdue the style. I just need to push my imagination through my body. My work has to passionately interest me.'


2010-2011 Soho Editors Talent & Training, London (visual effects, finishing and colour grading software)

1994-1999 National University of Arts-UNArte, Bucharest, Romania

1989-1993 Art High School-N. Tonitza, Bucharest, Romania

1986-1989 Art School-N. Tonitza, Bucharest, Romania

Solo Exhibitions

2021 The Innocent Perception, Eclectic Gallery, London, United Kingdom (download the exhibition catalogue)

2020 The Need of Belonging, Romanian Cultural Institute, London, United Kingdom

2019 Breathing Space, Open Studio Exhibition, London

2016 Bitter or Sweeter, Molecule-F, Bucharest, Romania

2015 Love Art - Wear Art, Molecule-F, Bucharest, Romania

2014 Art & Fashion, Entrance, Bucharest, Romania

1999 Who Am I?, Art Academy, Bucharest, Romania


2018 Biennial Larnaca, Cyprus, Multiple Locations

2017 RomArt Biennial, The International Biennial of Art and Culture in Rome, Italy

2017 Florence Biennale, Florence, Italy

2000 Manifesta 3, (selected), Contemporary Art Biennial, Ljubljana, Slovenia

1999 Periferic, Iasi, Romania

1998 IntermediArt – Contemporary Art Biennial, Oradea, Romania


2021 Abstraction and Perception, Eclectic Gallery, London, United Kingdom

2021 Colourful Bits, Eclectic Gallery, London, United Kingdom

2020 Resilience, Pop Up Exhibition, Curaty Gallery, Mayfair, London, United Kingdom

2020 Wiltshire Creative Summer Open Exhibition, Salisbury Arts Centre, Salisbury, United Kingdom

2019 The Other Art Fair London, Art Fair by Saatchi Art, London, United Kingdom

2018 Sunny Art Prize Exhibition, London, United Kingdom

2018 NAG Art Gallery, Contemporary Exhibition, San Lorenzo Church, Florence, Italy

2018 World Art Dubai, Contemporary Art Fair, Dubai World Trade Centre, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

2018 Jorge Jurado Gallery, Bogota, Columbia

2018 ART Innsbruck, International Art Fair, Innsbruck, Austria

2017 Contemporary Art Space, The Room Gallery, Venice, Italy

2017 Spectrum/Red Dot Miami, Contemporary Art Show, Miami, FL, USA

2017 RomArt Biennial, The International Biennial of Art and Culture in Rome, Italy

2017 Alchemic Body | Fire. Air. Water. Earth, Jorge Jurado Gallery, Art Festival, Bogota, Columbia

2017 Anima Mundi Visions, Palazzo Ca’ Zanardi Gallery, It’Liquid International Art Festival, Venice, Italy

2017 Patterns, Light Space & Time Art Gallery, Jupiter, FL, USA

2017 Geometry, Online Exhibition, AntoNova Gallery, Jacksonville, FL, USA

2017 Blue Art Show, Colors of Humanity, Art Gallery, Everett, PA, USA

2017 Femininity Art Online Exhibition, International Gallery Of The Arts, Toronto, ON, Canada

2016 Bitter or Sweeter, Installation - Molecule-F Concept Store, Bucharest, Romania

2015 Love Art - Wear Art, Installation - Molecule-F Concept Store, Bucharest, Romania

2014 Art & Fashion, Entrance Concept Store, Bucharest, Romania

2014 Romanian Design Week, "Timeless Collection", Bucharest, Romania

2012 Physical Education, 109, "The Place", Bucharest, Romania

2013 Book Cover Tee, Chapter 3, Bucharest, Romania

2010 Opening, Gandy Gallery, Bratislava, Slovakia

2005 Fix Alert, Green Hours, Bucharest, Romania

2004 20 Minutes of Glory, Video Installation, MNAC Centre, Bucharest, Romania

2002 Other P’Art, M.A.M.Ü. Galley, Budapest, Hungary

2000 Other P’Art, French Institute, Polish Institute, M.A.M.Ü. Galley, Budapest, Hungary

2000 20 Minutes of Glory, Video Installation, Mission Art Gallery, Budapest, Hungary

2000 498, Eforie Gallery, Bucharest, Romania

2000 Other P’Art International, Art Camp, Tihany, Hungary

1999 AnnART 10, Performance Festival, St. Ann Lake, Romania

1999 Urban Feelings – Urban Facts, Rotor, Graz-Maribor, Austria-Slovenia

1999 Introduction to the New World, OSUT, Timisoara, Romania

1999 Manifesta 3 Ljubljana, Slovenia 1998

1999 IntermediArt – Contemporary Art Biennial, Oradea, Romania

1989 Normal, OSUT, Timisoara, Romania


2021 Colecta - The Art Magazine, (9 April/June issue), Italy

2020 Le Monde Diplomatique, (September issue), Paris, France

2018 Aesthetica, (Apr/May issue 81), London, UK

2018 Arte Contemporanea, published by NAG Gallery, Florence, Italy

2018 Aesthetica, (Feb/Mar 2018 issue), London, UK

2018 Aesthetica Dec/Jan 2018 issue, London, UK

2017 Exhibition catalogue, published by Anima Mundi, Venice

2017 Glamour, (vol. 6, June), London, UK

2017 Art & Beyond Chicago, USA

2017 Glamour, (vol. 6, June), London, UK

2017 Exhibition catalogue, The Room Gallery, Venice

2016 Unica, published by Unica, Bucharest, Romania

2015 Beaumonde, (vol. 12, December), Bucharest, Romania

2011 Villa Design, (vol. 5, June-November ), Bucharest, Romania

2010 Opening, published by Gandy Gallery, Bratislava, Slovakia

2002 Observatorul Cultural, written by Irina Cios, Bucharest, Romania

2000 Exhibition catalogue, published Other P’Art, M.A.M.Ü. Galley, Budapest, Hungary

Anca Stefanescu A Steam of Life, 2018 - 2022 Catalogue

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