Artwork’s Title: Justice and Revenge (Woman Huntress and Neptune Horse)
Materials Used: Polyester resin with fiberglass, copper, aluminium leaf
Studio Based: Athens, GR
Can you tell us about the process of making your work?
Initially the first thing I do is to research and look for source references and look back in art history! Many times I refer to museums in Athens such as the archaeological museum, the new Acropolis museum or even to catalogues of ancient and renaissance art. Then things are much simpler since I do traditional sculpting, which is very easy for me, I make my works first in clay, then I fabricate molds and I finalize the works with casting resins. I love all stages of producing new projects! For me, every time is a first!
How would you define your work in a few words (ideally in 3 words)?
Political, poetic & sarcastic.
How did you come up with the idea of ‘Justice and Revenge (Woman Huntress and Neptune Horse)‘? Is there any story behind this artwork?
In general, the current social and political situation that we all experience do not leave me uninvolved! They are definitely situations that affect and deeply sadden me! Femicides, rapes, gender inequality, racism are just a few of the issues I see every day appearing in newspapers and magazines… they are things that happen around us and we all witness them… I couldn’t help but comment on them by shedding light to the stories and giving voice to their protagonists! This work, like the entire exhibition, is dedicated to all women and femininities who are no longer with us… to all the souls that have been lost! In this work these issues are addressed directly without hesitation! The woman takes justice into her own hands by beheading her rapist… all this incident takes place within a mythological and poetic environment thus referencing the timelessness of myths and mythology.
You are currently presenting some new works at the Breeder gallery in Athens. Could you talk about your new works that you’re showing at this solo show, The fault in our stars, there?
Most of the works in my solo exhibition are new and created exclusively for this exhibition. The main reading of the works draws from the ancient Roman and ancient Greek marble decoration of monuments. And it includes a new series of wall-mounted resin sculptures, combining classic visual vocabulary with a contemporary sensibility. Thus trying to propose a new visual language. I use mythology as a source of material for my research into how the social context of the post-colonial and patriarchal world has shaped our time. I have tried to create an environment where I invite the viewer not only to see the exhibition but also to become a part of it, seeing themselves in the frame. I did not attempt another exposure. What I needed most was – and always is- to present a new way of seeing through a new political statement highlighting what is happening now.
Mythical creatures such as unicorns or mermaids seem to dominate your recent sculptures; is it a current motif in your artistry or, alternatively, is there any particular reason for concentrating on these figures?
The mythological and hybrid element plays a dominant role in my new works. Personally, I use myths and mythology as a tool to raise questions and concerns. I often discover ancient Greek myths that are more relevant than ever. Undoubtedly in mythology we see an immediacy, which every social class can understand very easily. These mythical and fantastical creatures excite me and make me feel like dreaming but also feed my need to be transported somewhere else! Somewhere better! I have strongly associated them with my childhood where we always read about mythical creatures without a leaf without an identity! Finally, borrowing passages from works of the renaissance or even antiquity, I reconstruct, redefine and readjust the work according to the current socio-political situations, somehow integrating the timelessness of myths and traditional relief sculpture into the modern world.
Your recent body of work introduces a significant interplay between two major colours: silver and Copper. Why did you decide to focus only on these two chromatic hues?
I think this choice of mine has been made very consciously! I wanted the final result of the works to remind and refer to public sculptures or monuments where the traditions are always from metal castings such as bronze, copper, and aluminum! The interesting thing is that in most of the public sculptures that are now seen in the squares, they are rusted and you almost never know what their first appearance was! Finally, another element of reference in terms of colors is the religious food where I wanted them to have a reference to these “miraculous” objects.
Do specific artworks have been created by random experiments in your studio or do you always come up with a particular concept or narrative in the very beginning?
There is no specific way I work! It’s a mix of experimentation and ideas! Anyway… to be honest, I’m more methodical, I know from the beginning what I want to do… but whatever comes up, accidentally during the work process, I usually keep it in the project! It’s always interesting to create something from a mistake.
Is there any particular theme that utterly triggers you to engage your art with?
Visibility, equality and discrimination give me the trigger to create. My sculptural works have feminism as a common point of reference. In a personal – idiosyncratic manifesto, where feminism acts as a starting point or an umbrella where individual stories unfold. I use mythology and myths, antiquity and the renaissance, but also “fashion” to quote and comment on current socio-political issues of now in relation to equality, identity, gender, sexuality and discrimination, wanting to give visibility and voice in all femininities… I use a very old methodology (relief sculptures) in order to comment and raise concerns that have to do with the present and contemporary society. By thus involving the imagination with the feminine element I speak of states of transformation and transformation… also, animals play an important role in the environment I create underlining the post-human condition between the world of humans, animals and nature.
What would be the best way to exhibit your work?
Gallery spaces offer my works a very interesting sense of belonging, but my greatest desire is for them to occupy public spaces with strong sense of history, where interactions become less performative, and there is more room for unexpected connections between the viewer , the environment and the works.
Can you mention any artists you, lately or generally, take inspiration from?
This is very difficult there are so many ! A Durrer, S Botticelli, H Bosch and the list goes on.
What about the place where you work? What’s your studio space look like?
It’s not too big! It’s about right for the size I’m working with and very bright. There are many plants and usually a mess with molds and clays everywhere! A mess in general!
Which are your plans for the near future?
I don’t even get to making long-term plans… the future scares me! The main thing I want to do for sure is to continue working with the same passion I have now! After all, I have so many ideas floating around in my head and I want to implement them.
Copyright Dimitris Gketsis, courtesy The Breeder gallery
Photocredit: Thanasis Gatos