| “The way to read a fairy tale is to throw yourself in.” (W.H. Auden).
And this is what Marianna Katsoulidi does. She throws herself, and everything she loves, into her work. She has been collecting and observing toys since she was young. Some of the toys became her models for the "Human Toys" project.
A project that is now 10 years old: these years were defined by an economic crisis that began in 2011 and will continue in 2021.
She chooses the protagonists carefully, just like she chooses where to place them: on the verge of the painting as if they are about to dive into the sea of reality, as if they are part of life. Or maybe they are. Do they look like us?
The toys in her paintings become something else, they move away from their original size and they play roles. We would say that they are like totems: toys-symbols that are loaded with dual meanings, the meaning of childhood but also the meaning of adulthood, the meaning of worship, and at the same time the meaning of atheism. The viewer does not look at them from a distance but coexists with them. These toys look like the dolls of Polanski's “Lampa” (1959). On the outside they seem to have no soul; they are ready to be repaired and are waiting for a child to play with them. On the inside, they are longing patiently for the fire that is going to save them from their limited purpose. They are not just toys; they are an identity.
The artist has a different approach to life and playfully "winks" at us. She wonders whether humans "are nothing but toys in the hands of an older child"...
After all, don’t we think alike during Christmas and as we leave one more year behind and move forward into the next one? |
photos by: Eleftheria Katsianou
Tatoiou 134, 14671, Nea Erithrea
Dec 19, 2020 - Jan 11, 2021
(IT IS A WINDOW EXHIBITION)
scan the QR CODE on the window display
2020, MARIANNA KATSOULIDI, Athens
Marianna Katsoulidi was born in Athens in 1979, where she lives and works.
In 2005, she graduated with honors from the Athens School of Fine Arts, in the field of Painting. Under the tutelage of T.Patraskidis, she took courses in Set Design, Engraving and Art Teaching in Secondary Education. She was awarded the Integrated master’s degree in visual arts. In 2008 she graduated from the 2-year postgraduate program of Fine Arts at the Athens School of Fine Arts, under the guidance of professor Tassos Christakis. She is a graduate student of the 4-year Postgraduate Program "Visual Psychotherapy", of the Art and Psychotherapy Center. The degree is recognized as a certificate of specialization in Art Psychotherapy by the European Association of Psychotherapy (E.A.P.)
From 2005 until now she has collaborated as a drawing, color, painting, and engraving teacher, with the Adult Education Center, the Cultural Center of the Municipality of Ilioupoli and the Vellios School of Art. She has also been involved in fabric painting projects and since 2006 she has been collaborating with the company Summit Team Building and Training as an art consultant in various creative team projects.
In February 2006 she presented her first solo exhibition entitled “Tentative Hikes”, at the "Egokeros Art Space". In total, she has held 7 solo exhibitions and has participated in more than 50 group exhibitions, the most recent being the "La Politica Della Grecia" exhibition, at the "Art Prisma Gallery", in January 2020.
Her works can be found in the Moschandreou, Luciano Benetton, and Frissiras Museum collections, as well as in many other private collections in Greece and abroad. Some of her paintings were used as covers for novels and poem collections. She has illustrated the fairy tale “When daisies were either white or yellow” by Gabriella Psilopoulou-Ieronimidou, which was published in December 2019 by Aparsis Editions.
Marianna Katsoulidis’s art falls between the spectrum of bold expressionism and of a detailed naturalism full of reality/fairytale contradictions. Her paintings are depictive, symbolic, with emphasis on design. The subject matter is anthropocentric while she draws inspiration from toys, myths, and fairy tales.