Biography

MY WAY TO ART

I was born in Greece, a land where myths live under every stone and speak with the voice of the waves. My closest ancestors lived in the parts of Olympus, and as a child, I heard them talk about stories, in which reality and imagination were often intertwined. These stories seemed in my childhood soul marvelous, and sometimes disturbing, like the Freudian uncanny, even though Freud and surrealist art entered my life much later. Yet luck brought very early some encounters in my life, which may be have determined my look in art. I refer to the encounter with photography, - I grew up in a house of photographers-, poetry, - in my ten years, I received as a gift two books with the poetry of Cavafy-, and also the sea and the light of the Aegean, which blessed my childhood and teenage summers.

I studied Philosophy and Psychology in Greece, my master's degree was mainly related to the Philosophy of Art. I was fortunate to meet on my way very good teachers. From my teacher at the elementary school Mr. Alexandros Kellas, who showed me confidence when I was kid, which was something precious, and my teacher at the Lyceum Mrs. Vaso Gogou, in which I owe my first listening to intellectuals, like Sigmund Freud and Erich Fromm, to my professors in Master of Philosophy Mrs. Theopi Parisaki, Mr. Gerasimos Vokos, and Mr. Pavlos Kaimakis who broadened my horizons for life and art. I've been photographing since I was a kid, but mostly from my student years. In 2004 I lived for the first time in Paris, when I was in the Sorbonne for a semester of postgraduate seminars in the philosophy of art (Erasmus). I returned to this town again in 2007, and stayed there until 2013.

Paris was still a station on my way to art. In this city of an imposing and sometimes enigmatic beauty, where I completed my doctoral thesis on the Aesthetics of the Surrealist Imaginary and photography, I felt the need to photograph more systematically. My encounter with modern and contemporary art, -surrealist painting and photography among others -, and with the art of Aboriginals Australian - the painting of dreams, African art masks, statuettes and the art of the American Indians in the museums in Paris, opened up new aesthetic horizons for me. The sculpture "The Victory of Samothrace" in the Louvre, with its gigantic wings, made me obvious the emotion and power that transmits to us the important work of art. Friendships with my fellow artists and theorists, and also the lectures of intellectuals that I had the pleasure of listening to in Paris, have enriched this path to art.

A decisive meeting on this path took place in August 2011 in Athens, when I met a rare man, and one of the most important modern Greek poets, Nanos Valaoritis. He was cosmopolitan and belonged to the Greek Surrealist literary circle, and was a friend, with his wife, the remarkable American painter, Marie Wilson, of André Breton, and other artists and poets of the Parisian surrealist circle in 1950. During an interview for surrealism for the purposes of my doctoral research, I had the chance and pleasure to meet the genius of Nanos Valaoritis, but also a simplicity, kindness and generosity that are rare in our time. He honored me with his friendship, and his confidence in the portraits I created for him, when I visited him and his family, mainly painters, in Athens. He was a visual artist too. Some of these portraits have already been exhibited in exhibitions.

Nanos Valaoritis was the man to whom I dared to show my photographs. He had the patience and kindness to see my works, and to help me better understand my photographic work. He told me about "epiphany," a writing technique by the Irish writer James Joyce, and their affinity in the way I photograph, that is, the new revelations created in the spectator by looking at a photograph. He emphasized the Surreal look in my work, but also the influences of Abstraction and Romanticism sometimes. He encouraged me to continue and present my works in exhibitions. I feel a great gratitude. My first solo photography exhibition in Athens in 2015 was « Epiphanies». 

Now that I am writing these lines and I am looking at the past, I see that my photographs were mainly created during the period of research and writing of my doctoral thesis. A parallel journey of images and thoughts. And it was only when I was freed from this multi-year work, Ι've been able to do more with my photographic work. I also see that I needed time to mature things in me and become images.

Several of my projects, already ready, expect the good time, people and places to communicate with spectators, and other projects are in progress.

HOW I TAKE PHOTOGRAPHS

In my photographic work I am interested in the poetic and enigmatic aspect of man and the world. An indirect or more direct reference to the human condition. The expression of magic realism or automatism is something that often arises in the images I create, without consciously seeking it.

I often photograph objects related to the passage of time, ancient objects, seeking to listen to the aura they exude, and the story they tell in silence. I also like to create portraits of people I know, or, more rarely, people I don't know, but inspire me to look at them through the photographic lens. Nature catches my eye, water, leaves, stone, sky. I like to "play" with their colors and textures and create abstract approaches. Allegorical landscapes also employ me. I am interested in light in my work. As well as the concepts of transformation and chance ( le hasard/ τυχαίο).

I'm not looking for my subject. I meet it unexpectedly. And then "I'm back" with the camera. I see different through the lens. Lately, the subject was born as an automatic, spontaneous thought in mind. These are ideas that are waiting to be implemented...

The external reality is for me the canvas, where the vibrations of the soul, the dream, the unconscious, the mythology are printed. I see my photographic work as an unconscious way of expressing an interiority, not necessarily individual, but collective, in a sense. I believe that in an art form it can coexist more. Thus, a photographic work may look like a painting or a poem, or vice versa.

I am interested in my photographs expressing a relationship of real-imaginary, conscious-unconscious. I don't even seek the association in my work. Occurs. I believe that association is a way for the spectator to reach a personal truth (αλήθεια). In some more realistic photographs, I am interested in the coexistence of the enigma, the allegory, a poetic atmosphere. The most abstract works concern me too.

Amalia,                   


January 2020
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