My Corners: David Popa

David Popa
Age 24
Muralist, born in New York, currently living in Helsinki

“Long story short, three summers ago I had an opportunity to come to Helsinki. I’d never been anywhere within the Northern countries so I thought it would be fun to just come over and see the city. And so I did. While I was here I did some construction work as well as paint many of the free walls of Helsinki. I also spent a lot of time with this Finnish family I stayed with. They have two daughters, another one is married to my friend’s brother and the other one I got to know really well during that summer. During that stay I was painting and hanging out with that Helsinki girl. During that time we hit it off really well and decided that she should come over to visit me in New York City later in the summer. She did, and we started dating shortly after that time. Now I have been living in Helsinki for over a year and a half, and this past year we got married. So I’ll probably be staying indefinitely in Helsinki.”

Free Walls:
“When I came here, the first morning I woke up there was a newspaper article on the table of my host family. It was mentioning all of these free walls in the Helsinki area and also a few spots in Espoo. I freaked out! I was like what! We don’t have this many free walls in New York. There were about eight spots in this newspaper article. The next three weeks I was holding on to this cut out article, scribbled and wrinkled from all my notes and experiences at each wall. It felt like a turning point for me as a muralist, as I experienced painting each wall like conquering another hurdle. I attempted to paint every single one and got rather close in those three weeks time. It was such a memorable and artistically fresh experience to leave your mark in so many locations as well as do pieces simply based on the people and experiences I was having in Helsinki during the three weeks I stayed.”

Read the whole story here

The map shows you David’s Corners. Click on a place to read what David has to say about it.

Text: Karoliina Saarnikko
Photos: Miikka Pirinen