Nova Mihai Popa known world-wide simply as Nova, was born in Transylvania, Romania in a small mountain village named Abrud’, and was raised in both Transylvania and Bucharest. Raised in Eastern Europe, Nova always had a yearning for things western, especially American. Although he achieved success as a painter, muralist and sculptor in Romania, he was determined to get to America and artistic freedom, which he did, although not without great peril. Educated at the Institute of Bella Arts, his sculpture park created by Nova in Bridgehampton is conceived to be, in Nova’s words, a “territory of spirit” for the public. It is visited by numerous groups of tourists throughout the summer, as well as local school groups.
Nova: I do environmental art – sculptures placed in nature that fit perfectly in the rolling hills, the forests, meadows, and water of this generous place.
What artists do you feel have influenced you and or your work?
What advice would you give an emerging artist?
Nova: To look forward. To rediscover again everything by themselves. To extend the edge of life in their art. To reject obsolescence, herd psychology and the nightmare of sameness.
What gives you an edge (if any)?
Nova: To understand what my cutting edge could be, we have to look at what is happening today.
I was born in a world caught in a vortex of contradiction under the savage law of dialectics, in which people were disunited and at lethal fight with each other. At the end of the 21st Century, the conflict between humans, and between humans and nature, accelerated to a crisis. Today’s humans have arrived at the final impasse and so has art, as art follows life like a shadow.
By a great human confusion that started 300 years ago, materialism took an undeserved preponderance over the human spirit. A technological civilization imposes on people an existence saturated with an inorganic environment that forces both humans and planet earth into an inorganic existence. This artificial life imposed by a human-controlled evolution splits man from his own nature and sets his fate towards a mechanical existence, towards a virtual man.
The natural man, the “jewel of cosmos,” is about to lose his identity, and so is his art. Most of the contemporary art is made of lifeless material structures – dead forms without spirit. The human race stands today in front of ‘bifurcation’ – a fatidic moment of choice, between continuing a mistake, and reaching its terminal or changing and renewing its chance to survive.
Fortunately, a powerful river of new awareness, of common sense and science itself (quanta physics) tells us that the universe is spiritual, that it is made of consciousness. There is hope for humanity. But we are not out of danger yet. The consciousness, this new light, has to be spread – has to enter the mind of every human on this planet – and inside this revelation, everything has to change.