By Artists For Artists

Anca Danila: Contrasts Of The Familiar

The Real and Virtual Self

Anca Danila, a Romanian oil painter, uses endearingly personal and cohesive theme of her little brother to paint thought-provoking and symbolic works. Feathered, pale skin tones fuse gently with earthly hues to create soothing and meaningful imagery, usually laced with a profound meaning, touching upon themes such as identity crisis, childhood obesity, and finding oneself.

"Accessing My Own Status" by Anca Danila, oil on canvas, 2016

Danila grew up in the Romanian Bistrita-Nasaud, “a region where writers and poets where born.” Being raised in a communist country meant that Anca did not have easy access to art or museums, but was still always “fascinated by image and was always drawing or painting”. Attending high school in Bistrita enabled Danila to experiment with different art forms, where she found kinship with painting as her preferred art medium, which propelled her to study Fine Art at the University. Soon after graduating, young Anca moved to Dublin, Ireland, where she studied English and furthered her artistic education for 4 years.

"Running From Myself" by Anca Danila, oil on canvas, 2012

Upon graduation, Anca realized that her passion was rooted in her home town, and moved back to Romania to continue her art education at the University of Arts and Design of Cluj-Napoca. Her culture-rich, uprooted early adult life forced Danila to confront themes of self-identity, which gave birth to her “Running From Myself” piece; “the artwork expresses the inner conflict felt in that moment, while running from a geographical area to another, from a social and cultural identity to another, realizing that beyond geographical borders, identity crisis’ can be found everywhere”. Danila takes a uniquely biographical stance with her artworks, documenting how various experiences have shaped her as a person and as an artist.

"Semicircle" by Anca Danila, oil on canvas, 2011

Anca believes that rather than letting our so-called “virtual identities”, like ego, culture, or borders, define us, we should work to understand our true selves. Her thoughtful artworks display the “contemporary individual who creates different types of identities for themselves, constructed from social, cultural or familial factors, and the contrast between someone’s real and virtual identity.” Her truly profound and awoken state allows Danila to channel raw authenticity into her work; she believes the world forces people into a “continuing renegotiated relationship among the real identity and the constructed ones.” She believes that her true identity is hidden within her works, as she intentionally manifests her energy, she creates her reality within the oil dreamscapes.

"Recycling My Own Identity" by Anca Danila, oil on canvas, 2017

“I was always fascinated by the human expression, within my work I try to be as minimal as possible, it’s more to do with the person, the reality that lives in that moment and the relationship that space is living in.”

"Self-Reflection" by Anca Danila, oil on canvas, 2013

Danila considers herself a very analytical person. Using only one model – her brother, who also experienced the cultural transitions that she did as they moved across the world at a young age. It seems her family’s centered and personal stance with her art keeps her close to home, where the oil paint and brushes feel like an extension of that. “It’s where I am myself present but at the same time lost within everything.” Anca Danila’s greatest joy is seeing people connecting with her art and finding themselves within, which fills the artist with a sense of fulfillment and purpose.

All images copyright of Anca Danila

You can view more work by Anca on her website.

Article written by Kate Smith

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