Albert Popa was born in Bucharest, Romania in 1965. His parents were professional Ballet dancers and defected to the U.S. in 1970. They arrived in New York in 1971. Albert showed immediate interest in drawing from the tender age of 8. His teachers would constantly comment on his imagination and patience for details. In his early teens he found himself impassioned with the early movements of Graffiti in the late 70’s and himself established considerable fame as “Conan”. Later he would understand that his experience as a graffiti writer gave him an appetite for large dramatic iconography sprawling on monumental surfaces. He also developed a reputation as a bodybuilder in high school and was attracted to the classical masters like Michelangelo and Rubens. In an attempt to prevent a potential rape Mr. Popa sustained multiple stab wounds, one of which penetrated his heart.
It was this experience that opened his eyes to the fragility of life but also to the importance of devoting oneself to the God that had spared him for a particular purpose. It was clear that Art was the medium through which he would show his appreciation for the second chance at life. He began to study the old masters of the Renaissance, human anatomy, the techniques of oil painting, fresco and composition earning his Bachelors degree of Fine Arts from the historic Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. He spent a considerable time in conflict with most of his professors because of his classical convictions. This only made him more determined to pursue his dream to revive classical art. Albert’s art is more baroque in spirit with shades of the romantic painters like Delacroix, Fragonard as well as Caravaggio and Vermeer. To understand his art one must appreciate the various periods he has gone through in which he has mastered and created masterpieces in every period. From the immense impressionist figure compositions of the late 80’s to the intimate studies of mother and child in the 90‘s in his Devotion series to the glorious Versailles series of the early 21st century and most recently in his majestic emotional series of Biblical paintings Albert has shown passion, patience and a commitment to pushing the limits of his artistry.
Indeed it can be argued that they are but few artists alive who have attained the level of mastery and inventiveness in his most recent baroque altarpieces. Mr. Popa states that it has taken him 30 years to collect the knowledge to support his imagination. “I want to give the viewer a glimpse of another world beyond this one so that there is a substance for that hope that lives within all of us”.
Albert lives in New York City with his wife of 23 years and three children and teaches Art at The Geneva School of Manhattan while maintaining a studio where he continues to manifest his visions onto canvas. He is represented by Studio 57 in Manhattan as well as The Karen Lynne Gallery in Boca Raton, Fl.
He is in the collections of many notable persons including the CEO of Harley Davidson : Jeffrey Bleustein , Jill Zarin (star of Housewives of NYC), Georgette Mosbacher, Pastor David Epstein, and the director of The Bowery Mission Tom Basille. Mr. Popa has also successfully satisfied over a hundred portrait commissions, murals, and drawings in a variety of mediums.