Ioanna Fotaki

Fotaki Ioanna
© Georgia Fotaki

Born in Athens in 1967, she studied Painting under professor Stoyan Donev of the Sofia School of Fine Arts (1990-1994). In 1994 she enrolled at the Athens School of Fine Arts and graduated in 1999. She lives and works in Athens.


Solo Exhibitions


Eikastikes Anazitiseis Athens


Eikastikes Anazitiseis Athens


Artower Agora Athens


Artower Agora Athens


The art historian Ioanna Papadopoulou writes about the work of Ioanna Fotaki

Following on from her earlier work, Ioanna Fotaki illustrates on canvas and ‘interprets’ her favourite subject, women. In a less folklore frame of mind than before, but with a sharper investigative gaze and an economy of means, she reflects the internal world of women, this time from her social circle.

What is immediately striking about her work is her alternative way of recording the features of women, which refutes the traditional condition of ‘reading’. The narrative thread in the work of Fotaki unwinds from her hands and finds its completion therein. A single line renders the shape of a shattered, headless figure, which loses its integrity but not its self-sufficiency. The difficulty in ‘reading’ the form is abolished by the weight given to the hands, which are charged with sketching the depicted figure in its entirety. They become both the starting point and the finish line. Sufficiently eloquent, depicted with a pretentiousness that borders on vanity, they turn the detailed and the decorative into the essential, and win the bet. The hands become ‘faces’. With their admirable design quality, as well as the elaborate confrontation between them, they condense, in an exemplary way, the age and personality of the depicted, features that are potentially borne and conveyed by the face. The painted result ‘downgrades’ that value of the face, destabilising the viewer from the safety of a palatable viewing of the work. Fotaki attempts a fresh investigation of expressiveness, under new terms.

That expressiveness is extended and completed by a distinct painting style. The artist treats the de-materialised body of the depicted as a reflection of its emotional charge. Landscapes or weather conditions mirror the subtle hues of existential and emotional experiences within the outline of the figure, taking the place of flesh. For each ‘portrait’, she selects a snapshot that, according to the artist, captures and conveys the essence of its dominant emotional dynamic. Most importantly, the psyche takes on the role of structural element in the composition of the painting. It serves a dual purpose, as a tool of conceptual interpretation and, additionally and most interestingly, as an architectural part of the painting itself.

Another feature that is evident in the work of Fotaki is that she takes pleasure, through her remarkable technical competence, in bringing her viewers face-to-face with confusion and puzzlement. Her skill in painting brings up questions about the kind of technique she uses. The satisfaction she receives is confirmed in the smug smiles of the girls in her “Jocondas” series.


Ioanna Papadopoulou
February 2006