Welcome to Friday Artist Features! Every Friday we feature an artist whose work often includes themes of urbanism and mobility.
This week we are featuring Constanta, Romania-based illustrator and graphic designer Alexandru Antonescu. Alex was recently awarded a degree in graphic design and is growing in the illustration field as well, usually illustrating things that have symbolic meaning behind them and always seeking to make them fun, colorful and whimsy.
Does your city or town of residence (or other cities) inspire your work in any way? How does urbanism influence your work?
I travel quite a lot and recently I just came back from New York which changed my perspective 180. Every place has its own flair and way to live. I always am inspired by streets, architecture, people walking, their clothes, the public transportation. I love to strut around town and get lost, it sure is an inspiration. The urban scene is part of my inspiration and study process. I love to take pictures of the city and then draw over them, create new shapes, take advantage of the motion in them. I have an old series of illustrations where I used the places I visited as my artboard and drew characters over them to fit in. (characters in the bus, in the train station, on the streets, above the streets etc.)
What mediums do you work with?
I usually try to put myself in every situation, in every medium, urban, rural, crowded, empty, I love to experiment and have new experiences and see how I adapt.
How do you move around the city and what is your favorite mode?
In my hometown, I drive a 1998 little car, but when I am in Bucharest, the capital, where I studied and live mostly, I use the subway and the bus mostly. I also walk a lot if the weather is nice.
What is your favorite street or sidewalk space in your city of residence?
I love Arthur Verona street in Bucharest, a street dedicated to street art, graffiti, painting, events dedicated to them. It is a very colorful walkway that is always full with people taking pictures and artists coloring a corner. I also like Lipscani in Bucharest, the old town with marble pavement and narrow streets, the street where you can find little shops and sellers. I find the sidewalk space in New York City fascinating also, always full of diverse people that rumble around, surrounded by huge iron buildings that take your breath away.
Another amazing place I walked around is Medina in Marrakech Morocco, street vendors, extremely crowded, you get lost in an instant, a magical place that you become inspired just because it’s so colorful and full of people.
Are there other pedestrian areas in your city you like to spend time in or appreciate?
I would love to spend more time on Cord Street (Strada Sforii) in Brașov. A very narrow and long street here in Romania that I spent too little of my time at.
What challenges, as well as opportunities, do you see with issues of walkability in your city?
A big issue here is that only in the city center and even just on few roads are there bike lanes. The bike riders are forced to ride on the car lanes and a lot of the time they go on the pedestrian road. Also in some areas the pedestrian walkway is nonexistent, really narrow or hard to access for disabled people, designed like a second thought.
Alex is represented by Anna Goodson Illustration Agency. Visit his profile here: https://www.agoodson.com/illustrator/alex-antonescu/ & his Instagram account here: https://www.instagram.com/antonescu_alex/