Artistic Statement


Growing up in Europe, I was immersed in the past; living in America I confront modernity. It would appear that I live in the crack between two mutually exclusive worlds: the world of Proustian memory, prescribed canon, rigid formalism, and immutability; and, the world of relativism, eclecticism, mutability, and irreverence to tradition. Yet straddling these two worlds comes natural to me: I am fascinated by the interdependence between the old and the new, between antiquity and modernity, the European and the American, the timeless and the immediate, and the personal and the political.

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I am also intrigued by certain aspects of the post-modern condition: the arbitrary historicizing of the past, compression of the time-space continuum, mythification, sense of fable and play, subjectivism, and irony all inherent in the contemporary cultural milieu.

I am at once a detached observer and an engaged participant of the world, with its kaleidoscopic images, events, cultural idiosyncrasies, personalities, inherent absurdities and powerful character-molding impressions. My recent art is an excursion into memory, experience and personal sensibility. It comprises of Felliniesque snapshots, often presented in complementary series or tableaux. On the one hand these images are immediate, descriptive and even humorous; on the other they are exploratory, introspective and subliminal. They seek to capture the intensity of a moment, a universal condition or a psychological nuance. I'd like to believe that my paintings are like visual Chekhov stories with an edge, little vignettes of reality that may engage the viewer both esthetically and emotionally. Of late, I have also confronted personal loss, pain and brush with tragedy. A fellow artist once said that my art is like a knife plunged into a heart that loves it. I do not think that I myself could describe it any better.

I address not only the formative memories, images, characters and emotions that shape and define me today but also the prescribed roles that people must play within society. I seek to survey the boundaries imposed by gender, power, sexuality, complex, fantasy, longing and desire. As a woman I choose to uphold a feminist perspective when it comes to gender issues. Yet I grew up in a patriarchal society and was reared as if I were a boy (albeit with imposed girlish sensibilities). I learned to understand and prize the delicate equilibrium between the two colliding polarities, male and female. Mostly I paint people I knew. My rare self-portraits really portray a mental state, feeling, emotion rather than the physical self not unlike the portraits of Khalo.

Often I find myself questioning and even de-constructing the well established stereotypes and iconic images of our time, including works of art. They shaped me as a person and as an artist, thus it is them that I question and explore. The bulk of my work speaks to the inner child within the adult, that which lies hidden, that which absorbs, processes and translates the experiences, eventually shaping the emotive self.

I began painting and drawing when I was two years old, and never stopped since. They say we all are artist at two, but some of us "grow up". I believe that a true artist must never lose the child within. Always question, forever search and yarn for more. Art became my voice. Art is my life. It was never a job, it was always a calling. Without it I am but a silent cripple. Through my artwork I cry and mourn, I laugh and breathe. I consider myself a very fortunate individual for I was given a language of zoographos (Greek: the "writer of life" artist). And thus with each new series of works, with each new painting, I continue to map out my life, to write my story, one canvas at a time.






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