Artist statement

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 color and start monochrome.

My focus is the emotional and the affective as emerging in human bodies and faces, forms and shapes. 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 affects 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 forms are always dipped in a space of different texture: it could be angular and harsh, or soft and nebulous, but it always carries the causes 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.

Christina Michalopoulou