You often see images of London in all its glory – the big ben, London eye, Buckingham Palace, the red buses, and those London guards who don’t seem to bat an eyelid.
Viorel Popescu takes another view of the city, one that is authentic and shows a different side to it. Shooting from a different perspective with his handheld camera or iPhone 3GS, his images show his passion for life and photography.
Plus, he has quite a story to tell. Romanian by birth, Popescu escaped communist Romania as a teenager and worked his way to Germany where he had no choice but to steal for a living. After getting caught once, he moved to Belgium, where he ended up homeless needing to beg to get by. In 2000, he managed to find a way into the UK where he got a job driving a crane. He has been doing that for the past 12 years.
First of all, here he is – a self-portrait taken with a dead, stuffed dog from an art show.
“I do not shoot myself much, but if I do, it has got to be with a twist…This time I wanted it to be humorous.”
“I came to London for a fling and ended up marrying this great city. And I love all its kids. I portray them a lot. It is very much about them in my photographs. Them and their surroundings. Steel, glass, concrete, graffiti, grass, water, rain for the surface people.
And there are the shadows, the darker places where the secrets, the illegals, the rejects can hide. All there. I see them. Me, I belong to both places, surface and underground. On the surface I live and work, on the underground is where my heart ventures, out of compassion for the poor, the unfortunate of the city. I was one of them. And my camera follows me and my heart.”
“I want my photographs to be like me: human.”
– Viorel Popescu, Photographer
Via My Modern Met