Greek artist Christina Michalopoulou blends hyperreality and the surreal in her compelling figurative paintings.
I returned to painting after a long hiatus. It would seem that I was gathering images and shapes during that time. I was building an unconscious archive that lived somewhere underneath my breath. They are all now pouring out, unstoppable, in acrylic and oil, in abstraction and hyperreal figuration, in blossoming colour and stark monochrome.
My focus is on emotions, the way they emerge in human bodies and faces and the effect they have.
I am interested in desire, love, obsession, sadness and elation, claustrophobia and liberation, hells and heavens.
While I paint with my brushes and my fingers, I touch upon the form of the body and how it shifts when dressed in different shading and light; the skin and the way it carries its wounds and traumas, the way it scars from things physical and mental. I love tracing the way the body recoils or spreads when touched, the way it flourishes or hides away when looked at. I am always attracted to the effects of sounds and looks, the way the body might be reacting to them and how they make it turn, towards them or away from them.
My figures are always arranged in a space that holds a different texture—it could be angular and harsh, or soft and nebulous, but it always provides the reasons for the body’s posture. It gives clues, it explains what is happening.
The dialectic between body and space is the overarching bridge of my work. The spaces I paint might not be physical or representational. They might just be the space of the canvas. But they always give form to the body folded in them.
Space and body embrace each other in seriousness or fun, in cartoonism or quotidian tragedy, in concreteness and abstraction.
I love putting together the hyperreality of my bodies with the surrealism of my spaces.
There is always a great deal of myself in all the paintings I produce. This is hardly surprising, of course.
But importantly for me, there is a lot of my unconscious in there. It streams out of me and onto the canvas, unfiltered but channelled towards a rigorous artistic production. My bodies are an extension of my body, my spaces an extension of my space.
You are warmly invited in.
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