Penny Konstantinou

Konstantinou Penny
© Mara Kallinikou

Born in 1978, she studied Painting under Triantafyllos Patraskidis and Photography under Manolis Baboussis, at the Athens School of Fine Arts (2000-2007), graduating summa cum laude. She also attended the A.S.F.A. Photography Studio under Manolis Baboussis (2000-2003). She joined the Erasmus program for a period of six months at the School of Fine Arts of Seville, Spain, under Antonio Sabrana. She completed her studies by attending laboratory and theoretical courses, as well as courses for the teaching of art in secondary education. She lives and works in Athens.

Works

Solo Exhibitions

2018

Studying Art Arts Center Pow Wow Athens

2015

Dialogue Eikastikes Anazitiseis Athens

2013

In Substantial Time Chyssothemis Art Gallery Athens

2007

A.S.F.A. Graduates Union Athens

Press

The artist is not life’s spoilt child. The artist doesn’t have the right to live irresponsibly. He is committed to the undertaking of a difficult task which often becomes his cross.

W. Kandinsky

There isn’t beauty in art if this doesn’t reveal something of life’s ugliness.

Marlene Dumas

With an extrovert and communicative mood the artist Penny Konstantinou presents her new work at her new individual exhibition entitled “Dialogue”.

A series of small works, done by a mixed technique from “Ψ” unit concentrate what Konstantinou unfolds with easiness in her oversized works, painted in acrylic and oil canvasses: balancing between the duality of human existence, the good and the evil, the socially acceptable and the misfit, the exposed and the isolated, the known and the unknown self. This balancing element exists in the core of her work, whereas its ‘surface’ is overwhelmed by colours and fragments of images-elements that constitute her artistic imprint.

Konstantinou adopts a very personal artistic code with definite and direct references on one hand to the works of great masters and movements in the history of Art and on the other hand to pop culture products. From these she derives and familiarizes images and moments which the anorthodox – almost controversial – coexistence in her work result in the creation of electrifying painting compositions that have an instinctive, luring effect on the spectator from which he cannot escape.

The tempting colours and the easiness on spotting and recognizing the references in her work is catalytic for the connection of the spectator with it, as at a first level they capture his vision and ensure his mental and emotional involvement. Nevertheless at a second level, the spectator is unexpectedly exposed to an unfamiliar atmosphere. The instinctive, violent and atrocious deformation, the expressionistic use of colour that flows on the canvas, the intense conflict of the dark and the bright, as well as the dark rough lines that describe and entrap figures and areas, awaken an indefinite sense of threat, frustration and anxiety.

Primitive fears, suppressed but familiar, come to surface. Nevertheless the unfamiliar in Konstantinou’s case doesn’t come to haunt the present under any circumstances.

A figure that appears obsessively in her work is that of Mickey Mouse, Disney’s famous character. Konstantinou chooses a scene from “Steamboat Willie” the first black and white film, starring Mickey, that first appeared on the screen in 1928. Mickey Mouse except from being and emblematic pop figure, which can be integrated in the frame already mentioned, is also a reference to childhood, innocence and optimism. Its presence is indicative of the artist’s intention to confront and not to exorcise the emerging nightmares during this adventurous journey to self-awareness that is Art.

The tempting compositions of Konstantinou in space and time, these enigmatic collages with the playful aspect and the innumerable depth, are the honest result of her personal confrontation with the ghosts of human existence. A confrontation with which we share through the Dialogue that the artist “opens up” with us with bravery and generosity.

 

Eleni Zymaraki-Tzortzi

* From “Exposure”, http://elzimaraki.gr/392/