Mihai Cipleu is an identity maker. His work is a mixture of shapes, colors, lines and faces, all that depict strong emotions even through their simple form.

Mihai explores identity-making through whimsical depictions of space. We featured his digital art and illustrations in Issue 18 Surreal // So Real to showcase how Mihai plays with fantasy and reality.

A Place to Sit, digital artwork

“I spend as much time reflecting on the polar ends as I do the normal, the overlooked.”

Mihai’s whimsical depictions often focus on household and virtual spaces. The issues he is concerned with include social interactions, anxieties, and growing up queer.

Donation Bin, ink and colored pencil on bristol paper
Can you share more about your work & process?

Behind playful fragments and patterns, there is much raw emotion in my work. It’s an intimate look at daily experiences. In an inner world that continuously intensifies and simmers down, I spend as much time reflecting on the polar ends as I do the normal, the overlooked.

My recent work has been an exploration of household interiors and exteriors. Beyond being symbolic in my works, the same rooms, furniture, and trinkets combine to form my day to day surroundings.

Send Text, acrylic on 22″x28″ canvas

At the same time, I feel like I’m living in a bubble, removed from reality. My process involves taking a closer look at, and deconstructing, these spaces. I want to see how my emotional state impacts my perception of them.

Support Mihai & check out more work!

Instagram // Website


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