About Anastasia Codjebas

Growing up in a village in Moldova, living in Russia, coming to NYC at ten years old, and now studying at Rutgers University has added depth to Anastasia’s life in many ways, each experience extending her idea of home, comfort, and growth. Being an artistic persona her whole life, she has always enjoyed drawing and painting, later followed by what has come to be her greatest passion for photography in the beginning of high school, as she explored the medium with the lens of her first iPhone. Since then, she has explored photography by working in different genres, angles, and lighting. Academic, extracurricular, and personal projects all have brought her a step closer to defining where she stands as a photographer, and how she lets her style come through. The years of experience have taught her how much she enjoys portraiture, while she practices on herself, friends, family, and strangers. As she continues to learn more, Anastasia wants to find a way to make her voice loud and clear through her photos, each of them being visual embodiments of the entirety of her identity and telling its own story. Her interest in visual storytelling has also prompted her to pursue design and journalism degrees. Thes combined practices in art, photography, design, and journalism all enrich her understanding of her surroundings and add a unique introspective approach to each project she takes on.

Artist Statement

“I have been an artist for as long as I can remember, first starting out with drawing and painting, but as soon as I was introduced to the capabilities of photography, I was sold. My first smartphone allowed me to learn what it’s like to frame my shots and play around with what I had. Since then, I have been inseparable with my DSLR and am familiarizing myself more with film photography. After dabbling in all the genres, it seems impossible to conform myself to a single direction, because there is too much that I like. I would like my career to always have the opportunity to be fluid and flexible, where I can combine my creative pursuits in any way I want. This doesn’t just pertain to photography, but all my passions, complementing each other – also including art, as well as my majors in design and journalism. I want my work to always be a representation of my thoughts, feelings, and reactions to the world, capturing the vulnerability, insightfulness, and intimacy that I bring into it. My well-rounded interests leave me better off to broaden my perspectives and learn more and more about how to tell stories in a visual way.  

One of my most recent bodies of work explores my relationship with girlhood, womanhood, and the transition in between. Growing up around mostly women and under traditional and conventional norms, my experience is different from how another girl may view hers. I personally have a lot of feminine energy, much like other close women in my life. While I am in my initial stages of the project, I am exploring the experiences of myself and women closest to me, touching on themes of the female body, growth and change, sensuality and sexuality, vulnerability and intimacy, and more. After this self exploration, I intend to expand to other women beyond my close circles, in order to get a better understanding of how universal, yet diverse these experiences can be. I hope this series will capture ways that I choose to embrace and own the ideals that I grew up with, but also ways that I experience tension with things that I am hesitant to accept or in the process of rejecting.  

Oftentimes, I see my creative work as chances to look deeper and closer within, because with every project I take on, I immerse myself into it on a personal level that I hope will make some part of myself clearer and more certain. It is the most satisfying feeling when I get to make work that is the perfect visual representation of something I am going through, experiencing, or processing. Photography allows me to really stop and evaluate, what about some of my favorite photos makes it so exciting? I never feel as livened up as I do in and after the process of bringing images in my mind to life. While some photos feel like a bore to me, others bring the thrill to the forefront of my senses, and I begin to wonder, why them? And once I figure it out, I am reminded of how explorative the world of photography is, teaching me about my values, ideals, dreams, tensions, suppressions, and much more. “

– Anastasia Codjebas

2023 New Brunswick Art Salon – Photography Exhibition: “Refracted: Shade and Light”