IN OCTOBER 2021, just five weeks after the birth of her second child and her second C-section, artist Alexandra Nechita found herself standing precariously on a scaffolding at the corner of Hollywood and Highland, directing the creation of her first outdoor mural, a work she titled Set The Stage. Nechita envisioned the painting, with its images of a mother and child, a figure looking into a mirror and a pair of hands holding a dove of peace, as message to the locals and the world at large that “opportunity is at their fingertips to galvanize some kind of change.” Set The Stage became a major inspiration for her newest body of work, Setting The Stage, a collection of paintings and sculptures on view Feb 28 -March 12 at Off The Wall Gallery.
Nechita was born August 27, 1985 in communist Romania, just a few months after her father, Niki, fled the country for the United States, hoping to eke out an existence for his wife and newborn daughter. “Nothing belonged to them,” says Nechita of her parent’s lives in Romania. “They didn’t belong to themselves under Ceaușescu’s regime.” Nechita’s prodigious artistic talent emerged quite suddenly once the family had reunited and settled in down in Hollywood, California. Moving quickly from coloring books, to watercolors, to canvases and paints, Nechita had her first solo art exhibition at age eight and amazingly, by age 11, had earned over 1.5 million in sales of her imaginative, colorful paintings, which drew equally upon the cubist, surreal and fauvist language of Picasso, Miro and Matisse, but in a hybrid style that was uniquely her own.
As her fame grew, Nechita found herself in the role of an ambassador of peace and goodwill, with a creative platform to address global issues and promote social justice. Now the mother of a six-year-old daughter and six-month-old son, Nechita speaks with equal passion about an artist’s responsibility to their community, their family, and themselves. “Honoring that side of me is so incredibly important,” says Nechita, who admits she is grateful to have waited five weeks post-partum before beginning work on the aforementioned Los Angeles mural. “There’s this impulse you have as a creative that often overrides your own well-being and health. It’s a real strange itch that artists have. When it’s there, it’s there, and there’s no taming the beast.”
Having come into her own as an artist at such a young age, it makes sense Nechita would include, as part of Setting The Stage, a special children’s event on Saturday, March 5, from noon to 1 pm. “It’s become a part of my agreements with my galleries when I do a show, where we basically throw a party for the kids,” says Nechita, who relishes transforming the coveted “white cube” space into a playground for the imagination, with plenty of paper, crayons and juice boxes on hand for the little ones.
For Nechita, returning to Houston and Off The Wall Gallery for her first physical show in over two years is a welcome opportunity to share the work which took shape inside the cloistered space of her studio, and relay a message to serve the greater good. “Setting The Stage is a call to people to come to terms with their responsibility, and the opportunity they have to actually do something greater than before,” says Nechita. “All of these elements play into this collection of work.
Nechita with her 'Love Anatomy'
Nechita with her 'Set the Stage'