Adela facing forward, smiling, short purple hair, colorful background.

Adela Andea

M.F.A., 2012, Studio Art: New Media Art in CVAD's inaugural class; minor in Sculpture
Based in Houston, Texas — Traveling is one of my passions. I traveled to London in 2024, and I visited Japan twice in 2023. I am planning another trip there soon.
Born in Timișoara, Romania, I witnessed the 1989 Revolution and the dramatic changes in the area. Romania is now part of the European Union, and my double citizenship has been a blessing at times. I visit Europe when invited for art endeavors and combine it with visiting family and friends.

Website: Adela Andea

Represented by
Anya Tish Gallery, Houston, Texas
Cris Worley Fine Arts, Dallas
Samuelis Baumgarte Galerie, Bielefeld, Germany

• Glasstire: "A Sea of Beauty and Wonder: An Underwater Journey Through Adela Andea’s World" by Jacky Cortiaus
• Houston CityBook: "Newest Immersive Art Exhibit Is Otherworldly and IG-Worthy — Dive In!" by Chris Becker
• Houston Chronicle: "Houston artist Adela Andea finds inspiration in the depths of the ocean" by Brittanie Shey

Permanent Collection: “Chaos Exstructa” (September 2022) installed in the permanent collection of the only light museum in the world, Center for International Light Art, Unna, Germany.

Adela standing below her light installation Chaos Exstructa. Bright lights on the walls and ceiling.Please tell us about yourself.
As a light installation artist and sculptor, I am inspired by the beauty of nature, science, environmental issues, and technological advances. I create large-scale immersive light installations using the latest technologies in the computer and light industry, mass-produced objects, 3D printing, laser technology and various other processes and materials.

My work has a distinctive style that I have developed over the past two decades. My installations present original and cutting-edge ideas in the new media artistic field. My work's vibrant energy and unique esthetics bring liveliness, color, and brightness into the viewers' space, stimulating the visual senses and transporting the audience into cutting-edge futuristic artificial ecosystems.

Conceptually, my work is about creating artificial technological environments that simulate the “beauty” assigned to natural landscapes or environments. The experience of seeing it does not come only from direct visual observation; it is also about seeing through the lenses of technology and progress made in many disciplines, from underwater cameras to space telescopes. My installations insist on the visual transformation of inorganic into organic matter and blending organic with geometric.

The aesthetic aspects of my art comment on the antithetical perception of real vs. artificial or organic vs. geometric. I infuse my art ideas with new technologies, relying on the currently available materials on the market, which are also well-received from a consumer perspective. Better technologies can improve the environment by consuming less energy. The balance between nature and technological progress is still fragile; however, my art does not treat them as antithetical.

My artistic medium is light. Since such a medium does not exist by itself. I use all aspects of this technology as visual elements in creating my work. For example, each cable connecting component becomes important and is manipulated to create an interesting effect. Based on my previous painting/drawing background, I use the materials to paint or draw in a physical 3D space. All the electronic components are transformed into a story about the moment's technology. The light installations and sculptures are filled with various recycled plastic materials that are changing the perception of light and advancing the phenomenology of light.

Current discursive practices are continuing from the perspective of the semiotics mechanism. The conversation with new and exciting information that connects the aesthetic and use of technology to the individual perception of the artwork defines the context of the work in the individual experience as a sign of communication, a construction of the self-based on this infusion of technology into the gamut of human activities. My art investigates the implications of consumerism on the constructed self and the link between culture and the individual through various technologies.

Lighting installation of bright colors.

Any technical equipment or objects carry meaning in the form of signs, which are social constructs that stand for their utility, define the purpose of certain activities, and/or facilitate new types of communication. The meaning of my work comes from revealing and exposing the role of certain technology in the formation of the person as a cultural framework of the post-self by analyzing this idea in contemporary coordinates, such as time and place. I also hope to emphasize the role of artists associated with new media in the current main cultural and social movements, to place the meaning of their artworks in the context of the present technological developments and to point to their social, cultural, and political impact. By revealing the scale of personal expressiveness through new technologies, the aesthetic discourse is questioned by the presence of consumer electronics as an art subject and material. The self-referential materials allow the viewer to become a consumer once again. As for myself, as an artist, it is a way to escape engrained aesthetics and recharge the art-making process. My art offers opportunities to investigate the visual significance of contemporary technologies. It provides a commentary on individual interaction, a theoretical discussion of the post-traditional self, and how certain technologies are embedded in our culture.

Please highlight how your brand or reputation diverges from the industry standard.
I never want to imitate or re-do something that was already done before. Since art has been part of our culture for as long as we have had a culture, I had to look hard to find out what is new and was never exploited before. I have researched this topic during my education both in Studio Art as well as in Art History.

I wanted to go to the source of the art and cut out any artistic mediums that may be in the way. This led me to the realization that light is the purest expression of art since this is what our eyes perceive. I have augmented this realization by researching the latest technologies to produce and control light. Combining this with my desire to express nature through technology, I found my calling as a new media installation artist.

Parents are often skeptical about having their child major in an art or design-related field. Was that true for you? What did you do to change their mind?
Parents always want what they perceive to be best for their children. In my case, growing up in Eastern Europe, the “best” for me was to be a lawyer, following in my father's footsteps. I attended law school in Europe before immigrating to the United States of America to pursue my dreams. Here, away from the influence of my family, I managed to discover myself. The epiphany was that one should love what they work. Work must sustain your soul and happiness, not just the monetary needs of the individual. I then pivoted from my legal career and returned to school to study what I love: making art. We often hear about learning lessons – but, frequently, un-learning a lesson is just as important. 

Most young children are taught that if you do well in school, learn, and excel, then success will follow. But that is never enough. Success in the art field is built on a strong educational foundation but also requires creativity, perseverance, commitment, sacrifice, drive, and a constant will to push forward despite any obstacles that are placed in your way. Education will open the door to success, but it is up to the individual to commit and cross the threshold in seeking success.

Light installation in a large room.