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Young, fresh and vivid, the contemporary Athenian art scene is an interesting stage to observe and understand. Coming straight out of the underworld’s belly, Anastasia Pavlou speaks to the viewer about the psychological patterns that can be found within our contemporary existence. 

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Born in 1993, Anastasia Pavlou studied at the Athens School of Fine Arts (ASFA), from which she graduated in 2017 with jury honours. Currently living and working in Athens, Pavlou is greatly involved in the incredibly vivid, yet subcultural, Athenian art scene, a stage in which many young artists are pushing themselves aiming to reach new expressive leads. 

 

Anastasia Pavlou, Arachova, 2019. Acrylic, acrylic glue, collage and gesso on canvas.

 

Anastasia Pavlou’s research focuses on a variety of interesting aspects surrounding the examination of the openness of our psychological state, using mixed media both to obtain interesting patterns for our eyes to see and rejoice in, and to describe different levels of perception for the viewer’s mind to dive into. The visual language that can be found in Pavlou’s canvases, is simultaneously referential and interestingly personal; respectful towards the lessons of our great past, as can be seen in the mature usage of the abstract-expressionist vocabulary, while at the same time forward looking and thriving to discover something inedited. Speaking of painterly technicalities, Pavlou’s clever usage of different and counteracting media, united with an interesting colour palette and a series of mature chromatic juxtapositions, create for the viewer an image, which is both pointing towards a meditative and abstractive experience, and hinting towards the openness and vagueness that can spark from elements of figuration and composition. 

 

Anastasia Pavlou, Peachy Creamy, 2019. Acrylic, acrylic glue, collage and gesso.

 

In her first solo exhibition “Belly Ache”, in 2019 at Hot Wheels Project, in Athens, right outside of the vivid and energetic Exarcheia neighbourhood, the artist focused on the psychological state that us all experience after our moment of birth, when we enter our fragmented reality and begin our timed existence. A moment: a fragment that leads to our fragmented condition. An instant that separates us from our safe place, from “the round insides of someone else’s body, where all you can hear is the echo of things and all you can see is pink mist”, a place where “nothing had started nor ended”. 

“I think about the safe place we all create within ourselves. It looks very much like that first place. The round insides of someone else’s body, where all you can hear is the echo of things and all you can see is pink mist. You should let it go, but you don’t. This safe place becomes a secret retreat, a shelter, inside our heads, a reality, parallel to the one we share with each other”

Whether it is in our minds or in someone else’s belly, we all must seek for our shelter. When feeling lost or misplaced, we shall follow the flow of the expressive stream, the moment of recollection that can be experienced through a good work of art, the path that can lead us towards the understanding of our psychological state. 

 

Anastasia Pavlou, Installation view of “Belly Ache”, at Hot Wheels Project, Athens 2019. 

 

Cover image: Anastasia Pavlou, Installation view of “Belly Ache”, at Hot Wheels Project, Athens 2019. 

Written by Mario Rodolfo Silva

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