Meet the Romanian artist painting footwork culture onto canvas

Artaida is the brainchild of Aida Solovastru, a self-taught 25 year old artist from Bucuresti, Romania who is paying tribute to Chicago’s footwork culture one acrylic canvas at a time. After completing an Economics degree, the artist decided to use acrylic colours as an outlet once she got home from work. ‘I often find myself thinking about shapes and colours, seeing commercials in the streets, houses, people…oh, and I also dream a lot.’

5Aida has received no education in the field of visual art, it was more something that just came to be following the random initial purchase of a complete acrylic colour scheme along with two blank canvases. ‘I find great liberty in expressing myself this way and it overwhelms me so, that I don’t really know where to start expressing my regards.’ Spirals, circles, patterns and cyan are the elements that take centre stage in her work so far, with figurative drawing being a recent extension of her experimentation through colour – namely intricate drawings of the pioneers of Chicago’s footwork culture.

How did you come to be creating canvases of footwork culture?

I wanted to create the artwork to be a kind of tribute to the culture. DJ Rashad and DJ Spinn visited Romania and played at MNAC long before I started listening to them, they speak about it in JUST JAM 51. I am thinking about doing a painting for each and every artist that I like from the footwork scene. I’m currently working on Taye, Earl, Rashad, Traxman, Spinn, Chap and other members of the Teklife collective. I would love to visit Chicago one day and I hope that more people here learn about the sound of footwork. DJ Manny is my favourite artist, he is the first producer I listened to, but I love all of their work and I find it fascinating watching the dancers do their thing.

00002As someone with no prior background in the art industry, how is your local creative community in Bucuresti, Romania?

There are a lot of talented people here in Romania but from what I have seen everyone keeps to themselves somehow, unless there is a big project that can’t be completed without collaboration. I usually take on projects as a solo artist, I do the negotiations involved but I usually sell better abroad, in Romania people tend to prioritise looking for cheap prints as opposed to the actual art and originals.

Where do you hope to take your work into the future?

I plan to keep drawing as much as I have been doing lately, maybe start customising clothing again. I have plenty ideas for canvases so I’ve moved from full time to part time at work to free a bit more time for that. All I really wish is that I stay healthy and creative because I feel like I have so much more to learn until I reach my full potential.

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Words by @rhimarilou