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From ‘Rich Bitches’ to prizes at the Frissiras Museum

glowaka

THE FRISSIRAS MUSEUM in Plaka is hosting these days an exhibition which focuses on the contemporary figurative trends of our times in painting. ‘New Horizons of Painting Part 1: The identities of Others’ which runs till June, presents works from around the world, via which each artist deals with the notion of identity in his/her own way.
For some of these artists, the aim is to unmask coveted contemporary identities: For example, for 32-year old Polish artist Viola Glowacka, it is a matter of exposing a certain kind of female identity which is idolised/glorified today, but which in a sense stunts a woman’s deeper development. Her ‘Rich Bitch’ series presents us with women whose mask-like faces make them look like zombies. Portrayed as soulless beings, these women are the ultimate products of our material age. I asked Glowaka to explain to us, what these women represent for her, and she answered: “’Rich Bitch’ is a series of paintings, that touches on the current condition or situation of women and feminism. If you want be a strong and independent woman you have to assume the position of a distinguished, sophisticated and bossy woman… It is a sign of the times, to be posh, wealthy and beautiful. I would like to get to the core of this problem. I want to analyse it, strip it and simultaneously unmask these women. To bring to light how they haven’t found themselves and are contrary to themselves…”

renaud

French artist Bran Renaud on the other hand, prefers to focus on twins, maybe because they are a metaphor of the double-self inherent in most people. His work ‘American Flag (Pink Twins)’, portrays two little red heads looking very prim and proper, but who could have also been previously cast in ‘The Shining’… One of them wears a mask and stares at the viewer in a creepy-cute manner. Maybe there’s a Jackal and Hyde in all of us after all…
Ewa Szczekan’s paintings on the other hand, try to link man and beast literally, by placing women in natural settings, naked, and often accompanied by wild animals – from white arctic tigers to jet-black panthers. The women are both exposed and vulnerable, but at the same time the wild animals don’t seem to be posing a threat, instead, they seem to be protectors. Enlightenment philosopher Jean Jacques Rousseau’s belief in the ‘noble savage’ and in a romantic primitivism seem to spring to mind. The paintings suggest that maybe it’s time we reconnected with nature, to attain once more that age of innocence, in order to overcome the ‘evils’ of human civilisation.
Other artists also taking part: Teodora Axente, Norbert Bisky, Stephen Chambers, Bogumił Książek, Li Ji, Frédérique Loutz, Marcin Maciejowski, Florian Merkel, Alexander Tinei, Verebics Ágnes, Constantinos Vaviloussakis, Yiannis Ziogas, Christos Michaelides, Ismini Teligioridou.

ewa

The return of the Frissiras Art prize:
This year also sees the return of the Frissiras Museum’s Contemporary European Painting award. Two prizes (of 3000 euros each) will be awarded. The first prize-winner will be selected by a committee of art professionals, while the second prize-winner will be selected by the public. An exhibition of works by the 20 finalists will also take place at the museum (July 1- December 30).
The 20 finalists that have been selected (out of 200): Andreani Giulia, Axente Teodora, Bataillard Marion, Csato Jozsef, Haack Simone, Szczekan Ewa, Adarti Anna, Valsamaki Chryssa, Giannopoulos Christos, Katsoulidi Marianna, Krontiri Aphrodite, Krystalla Aspasia, Limnaios Yiannis, Michaelides Christos, Moschos Nikos, Perros Vassilis, Routsis Gentsi, Salpigkidis Giorgos, Flessa Despoina, Fragkakis Dimitris.
The committee of art professionals that selected the artists: Professor & Director of the Museum of Cycladic Art, Nicholas Chr. Stampolidis, Director of the Basil and Elise Goulandris Foundation’s Museum of Contemporary Art, Kyriakos Koutsomallis, Director of the National Museum of Contemporary Art, Katerina Koskina, Dean of the Athens School of Fine Arts (ASFA), Panos Charalambous, artist and ex-faculty member of the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Pat Andrea, artist and ex-Dean of the Athens School of Fine Arts, Chronis Botsoglou, founder & Director of the Frissiras Museum.

  • ‘New Horizons of Painting Part one: The identities of Others’ runs till June at the Frissiras Museum (3 Monis Asteriou St, Plaka, tel 210-331-6027). Open Wed, Thurs, Fri 10-5; Sat, Sun 11-5. Closed Mon and Tues. Tickets at 6 euros (or 3 euros concessions).
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