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Katerina Stavrou

Katerina began considering the nature of values at a very young age, particularly that of free thinking. Painting became the primary mean of putting her ideas on the surface, thus she has adopted a more expressionistic ideology in her painting bringing forward her anxieties, feelings, hopes and fears; all of which are embraced in her soul at the moment of the creation. “Each one of my paintings is a result of a personal struggle but more essential is the fact that when I paint nothing else matters to me. Only I, my paints and the blank canvas with the emerging visions exist.”


At first they give the impression of colours exploding with the intense movement of her brush strokes. Following this is the suggestion of figures emerging from the atmospheric event embraced in her paintings. Katerinas’ desire is to generate an open-ended debate with the observer who is asked to wrestle the imagery from the dynamic physicality of the paintings’ surface, which in turn articulates something of the personal struggle of the artist through the procedure of creation.


“My wish is to create an event with the paintings through the audience’s eyes. I want to create feelings with my work, to travel between the gestural movement, the colours and figures if suggested. I am not delivering an image or an idea, but sharing my passion, my ‘love affair’ with it. My work could not really be considered figurative, representational or conceptual although it holds these values within it. It is physical, intimate, vivid and honest.”


The meaning is supplied from the visual element; what you are able to see if you look inside the view. Katerina does not wish to give a complete image to her audience of the paintings meaning, but instead leave them to complete the missing parts with their inner wisdom. Therefore, the observation of a painting is becoming a live performance through the eyes of the audience. The painting lives through the observers eyes and aims not to give answers but in contrast to create questions, to invite them into the hollow of the tree toward the magic wonderland of their subconscious.


The artist affiliates the work with the values of Abstract Expressionism, a movement that is visually connected with her work. She is fascinated by the way in which the painter, within Action Painting, is often said to become part of the process of the painting. The Action Painter is said to release his soul onto the canvas through paints that are applied in many different ways. Painting becomes an act, a performance; and the process is as important as the result, if not more so. Action Painting is a technique that supports one of the artist’s greatest beliefs in life, that it is not the destination that matters the most, but the journey. Enjoying the ‘act’ of painting itself is essential to her, and something that encompasses her passion and her honest love for what she does. Katerina considers the philosophy of automatism to be an integral part of this, as she uses unconscious spontaneous gestures while painting, followed by very careful and gentle painting, at which point she will decide to keep certain accidental marks, that become part of the creation through this rite.


Katerinas’ paintings are an immediate reaction to the experience of life itself, a truthful testimony of her soul. Within her visualizations the artist desires to express her personal anguish on the blank canvas and at the same time to manage and personalize her paintings for her observers. She gives her work life through her practice of creating it and through the audiences’ experience of reading it.

Courtesy of the artist’s website.