Photini Stephanidi

Stephanidi Photini
© Marios-Panayotis Pelonis

Βorn in Athens in 1962, the artist and illustrator Photini Stephanidi – daughter of the painter Yannis Stephanidis – completed her studies in Painting and Fresco at the Athens School of Fine Arts in 1986, under Yannis Moralis, Dimitris Mytaras and Konstantinos Xinopoulos. Her illustrations have featured in over seventy published works, including publications with Greek folk tales, literature and poetry (among them many collectors’ editions). Notable among the many prizes and distinctions her work has gained are the Bratislava Illustrators’ Biennale Plaque (2001), the Greek State Prize for Illustration (2003, 2007 and 2011), the Belgrade Illustrators’ Biennale “Golden Pen” (2005) and “Plaquette” (2010), the first prize for illustration from the Greek Section of I.B.B.Y. (1995, 2005 and 2011), her selection as the Hellenic Republic’s candidate for the 2004 Hans Christian Andersen Prize, the 2008 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Awards and the 2009 B.N.F. (National Library of France).


Solo Exhibitions


Solo exhibition Zivasart Gallery Athens


Christos & Photini: Word & Image Gallery 7 Athens


Icons on Eros Gallery 7 Athens


Saveurs d'Ame Périple / Arts et Lettres Helléniques Brussels


The Strange Love of the White Horse and the Poplar Tree Art Space 24 Athens


The Painting Looks Like a Fairytale Municipal Cultural Centre of Nea Ionia Volos


The Romantic Cat of the Deeps Harta Bookstore Volos


With the Paint-Brush of the Tales Miranda Art Gallery Hydra


The Statue Who Was Always Cold Charta Bookshop Volos


Eros and Psyche, Sappho and Without a Shadow Chyssothemis Art Gallery Chalandri


Shards of Absence Gallery of Art and Books Athens


Words and Pictures Heidelberg Town Hall Heidelberg


Paintings Polyedron Art Gallery Patras


Paintings Clasing Gallery Münster


Paintings and Engravings Chryssa Gallery Katerini


Paintings, Illustrations and Workshop Town Hall of Aghia Paraskevi Athens


Paintings Art and Literature Space Athens


Miranda Art Gallery Hydra


A Book Cervantes Institute Athens


Painting Eleni Koroneou Gallery Athens


Photini Stephanidi begins her painting from the journeys of a gaze that surveys and illuminates, that delves deeper and internalises the “small and great world” of everyday life, of experiences, of memories, of expectations, of dreams, the world of the ephemeral yet defining, along with the other world, that of desires and the enlargement of the momentary, as it is captured by and springs up from the subconscious. In the visual reconstruction of all those ‘groups’ that make up her own ‘environments’, what comes first is the poetic way in which she puts them together, associatively, conveying the after-sensations of what is, ultimately, a polynomial reality. Her colours, earthly and joyful, transfuse a nostalgic and dreamy mood that nurtures and, simultaneously, dilates the insignificant details, which take on a semantic range, conquering, in her painting, their unprecedented value. In an abstract way, or, at other times, combining the recognisable elements of a more realistic language, Photini Stephanidi paints in the way that a sensitive receiver would keep notes in a journal. In her work, nature becomes human experience and, conversely, human experience becomes a synaesthetically vibrating ‘landscape’ that contains conflated times, places, rhythms, seasons, qualities, flavours, scents and sounds, which evoke musical natural frequencies. In essence, the painter depicts, through her psychic oscilloscope, realities, fictions and transcendences that negate decay and banish oblivion, bridging the gap between past and present, the contracted and the uncontracted, and the questions of life with its exclamation marks.


Athena Schina
Art Critic and Historian
* From the group exhibition catalogue “Ploes XXI: Nepenthe and Eothina”, Petros and Marika Kydoniefs Foundation, Andros, 2015.