Influenced by these artists I created the Artsteps exhibition of my house experience with house objects and food as well as the Black and White exhibition with the film pictures. Two different examples of how I would present work physically before the Covid-19 outbreak.
Chuck Close – Photo-mosaics
I was interested in Close’s practise because of his strong will to create art even after his health problems. Close’s work reveals an interest in technical skills that he was forced to developed in order to create photo-realistic art. Like Close uses small abstract shapes to create layers that would then reveal a form of a realistic portrait, I was inspired to use a lot of similar pictures to create collages. The collages I created over the quarantine period is a project under development that does not make sense yet, however, I hope to develop it further. I would like to create a larger outcome with digital collages that would form an image like Close does.
I found balance in Tillmans’s photography, he inspired me to create a photography process routine of taking pictures of simple everyday objects like food, under natural light and a background of reality. His work extends in different projects, inspired by the Still Life one, that is an ongoing project since 1999, I was looking on how to photograph my personal space in the house. A lot of times he places objects next to the strong natural light of a window to create pure colours. A lot of times I did the opposite thing, where I would photograph objects that are already in a place with no natural light. I was hoping that the environment would create a feeling of sadness and disappointment that I felt during quarantine period.
I was impressed by Hirschhorn’s collages, the exposure of reality through very strong and violent moments was shocking. There is obviously the question of what is ethically right to show or not in an artistic image, however, Hirschhorn brakes the standards and chooses to expose the reality in order to commentate on the discussion of how reality is hidden or shown on media and what is acceptable as an image and what is not. For example, he creates pieces of collages that expose images of war conflict and violence, that would appear pixelated if they were uploaded online, and on contradistinction he pixelatets forms of fashion advertisements that would be displayed on huge scale billboards.
Krista Van der Niet
Krista Van der Niet, Fruit, 2008, Contemporary Dutch Photography.
Fast Food Culture in Renessance Style
I was trying to find photography artists that use food as models. I found the work of the two artists mentioned above very innovative and visually interesting. The display of still life objects placed in a contemporary environment reveal a humoristic critique on our westernised way of eating and consuming.
There are several artists that influenced my work to move from painting to experimental photography and performance art.
Chang herself started as a painter that later was influenced by performance art and changed her practice. I really like her early works, the pictures, and the videos have the 1990s and 2000s style of image with greeny and blue colors. I like her shocking images that contain nudity, drugs, cigarettes, and objects symbolizing body parts. I started looking at her work when working with color photography, but through her work, I started finding interest in technology that I never liked before. I started using a low quality image, coming from phones that were very popular at the start of the 2000s.
I really like his shocking photography as well as the way he makes collages with them. It is interesting that the pictures are black and white but you can still feel elements of blood and flesh. He exposes the raw youth of the time showing the violence and over sexuality and drug use like it is the most common everyday experience. My work tries to capture the same thing, this exposure of reality with no filter or romance when it is not needed.
Chien- Chi Chang
I’m interested in outspoken and brute photography, it reveals the beauty of the simple moments. A lot of times there is no beauty in reality, Chien Chi Chang photographs experiences of very violent moments that are a lot of times overlooked and hidden by society. In 2005 he created a series of photographs called “Double Happiness” that exposes in a very brutal way the bride trade business in Vietnam where young girls are offered to one man who pays and gets the one he likes.
I am particularly interested in uban photography, thus, I wanted to find a way and through repetition, of shapes and objects that are recognisable in the urban view, to create my own style of depiction of contemporary life.
I was influenced by the photography artist Alex Webb and his choice of framing very simple but emotionaly heavy everyday moments. I like the intence colours that the film photography had in the 90s, furthermore, it works very well with Websb’s pictures creating a sureal image of happines in brutality.
post with pictures of the artist: https://mariaparaschidou.wordpress.com/2019/11/05/alex-webb/
Through making art I want to highligt and attract interest to the uglines we create and we find beauty in. I belive that this contrast between reality and utopian image of our suroundings is a very dipolic attribute of humanity, thus, I try to expose it through photography and repetition of similar image.
This contrast for example is very evident in contemporary advertisment. Even though the capital city can be the most ugly view of a country, we will still advertise it as the best experience of beauty, showing only a specific image that attracts tourists. In the city center of Athens the most usual image is something like this, that is always free:
City Center Athens, Maria Paraschidou documenting Athens- pictures, 2019.
But tourists are only called over to visit this, that always has a price:
My aim is to expose the real image of things but still focus on the beauty of ugliness, especially in urban photography.
My work is very influenced by the Bauhouse movement as well. Influenced by my visits to Nottingham Contemporay Museum, the exhibition Still Undead: Popular Culture in Britain Beyond the Bauhaus, and the Bauhaus Archive Museum in Berlin, I was focusing on simple lines, plain shapes and obejects of utility. What I found very interesting about the movement was it’s philosophy, reconception of the material world in order to reflect the complete entity of the arts. As I understand it, the creative encompasement of objects previously concieved as non artistic, into the artistic creation of all kinds. The transformation of furniture into very minimal designs and pieces of art is something that influences the way I use objects into my painitings and photography.
Still Undead: Popular Culture in Britain Beyond the Bauhaus, Nottingham Contemporary Museum, 2019.
Gap Crit Exhibition, Maria Paraschidou, 2019.
Furthermore, walking around the Nottingham Contemporary Museum I was greatly influenced on how I displayed my first Gap Crit exhibition in term one. I was mainly influenced by the informality of the exhibition, the display of pictures and papers with no frames or specificaly lined display. Ι belive that this Gap Crit was a very crutial moment for my work. I embraced the urban element into my work as well as it was the first time I experimented with new objects and transparent backgrounds like the window for the first time. One other element that I imitated from the NCM exhibition was the natural light component. Entering one of the rooms of the exhibition, the natural light revealed a different outcome. The big windows and the outside view deffinetely added an extra layer to the arcitectural and to the contemporary objects of bauhaus style. This exactly was what I tried to do with my transparent drawings and other objects that I placed next to the window. I tried to pick a space that could host an exhibition but beared an arcitectural and a cold environmental element, that would refer to the urban reality. Obviously my work is also influenced by the 21st-century urban street reality, thus, it contains a lot of graffiti.
A lot of times I understand objects as creations of art that need to be placed in an image as the main models. Objects usualy carry a story and identity that has a lot to say about the contemporary way of life. Spray cans for example that I like to photograph, can be looked at as symbol of the fast developing and fast producing of things nowadays.
Nottingham Contemporary Museum post: https://mariaparaschidou.wordpress.com/2019/11/05/nottingham-contemporary/
In Level 5 I also had looked into photography for a while that was focusing more on color and objects. At that point I was interested on how handmade editing on photography influences the outcome of the image and transforms reality to beeing non realistic. Influenced by Bauhaous and the movement’s use of simplicity as well as utility to create art created a series of pictures that I now feel that influenced me a lot into object photography and my final projects.
Examples of the series:
In the progress of photography, I started being interested in Video art as well. I wanted to experiment with performance and video art and exhibit work that would be through new mediums and something different to what I was doing until Christmas. I created a video for the Under-whelmed and Over-saturated exhibition that I took part in, being my first professional work that was something different from painting. We created a promoting campain with an Instagram page, a Facebook page, many different posters and booked a very big and artistic space for exhibition. I think this was my most successful exhibition tha hosted more than 200 people during the three days of exhibition. I gathered a lot of experience in desplaying artworks, sound and image fasility set up, advertisement and photography skills.
Through this experience I felt a lot stronger in exhibiting photography artworks as well as doing something closer to video and performance art. It was a good push and a god base for my current development.
After this exhibition I started visualizing my Degree show exhibition to something closer to photography rather than painting.
At first I could picture my exhibition being photography images in relation to painted backgrounds. I had an image of a caotic space in my mind that would refer to street art and graffiti calture and would create a contrast between the black and white photography and the spray paint.
Due to Covid-19 I had to completely change my practice. In the midle of March I traveled back home to Greece, it was one of the most crucial moments for my degree development, however, the facilities and mediums that I could carry with me were limited.
I chose to stop using film photography as I felt like it made no sense when I am not able to develop my own pictures and experience the whole development and outcome in the dark room as previously. The limited space and time led me to use a digital camera that I borrowed from my friend and start taking pictures of the house.
I was in a 15 days quarantine when I traveled back home and that experience greatly limited my motivation and creativity at the time. I was a lot influenced by the low confidence and the problems I was facing due to the outbreak of the virus.
I started taking pictures and videos of my reality, documenting any supermarket visits and house experiences with my quarantine roommates. Unfortunately, the idea of creating a video came to nothing as the facilities I have are not enough for creating a profecional video through my laptop. Thus, I started focusing on digital photography moving from slow image-making to very fast and numerous image-making.
The first two pictures where an effort to find a person throuh my view from the house, something that was very difficult due to the period. I found out that a security guy or a cop was everyday in the same place. This experience of no people in the city center of Athens made me extremely worried and scared for the future.
In development, I had the idea of starting photograph rituals and experiences that take place in the house.
Firstly I tried a time-lapse of the outside view and the inside view and then created collages:
looking at these collages I started thinking of doing a “handmade time-lapse” of my house experience. That was when I started taking pictures of similar objects around the house in different days and times, with different backgrounds in order to collect a series of my house experience over quarantine.
I experimented with different digital collages.
Coffee Everyday Routine:
Experimenting with how to exhibit my work I started thinking of online databases and websites I could use. My first idea was a simple website where you can just view photographs in groups and galleries. That is what I made , However it felt like something that was irrelevant with what I wanted to show and commentate up on through my exhibition. Later I tried an exhibition in Artsteps.
I made an artsteps exhibition with some of the pictures to visualise a possible exhibition to present as my final degree show exhibition, however, it wasn’t what I wanted to do with my pictures. I think that it would look nice as an exhibition, with huge good quality pictures but I still wanted to do something different from a simple display of artworks.
When the lock down was over in Greece I started going out again and photographing the streets still with a digital camera instead of a film camera. Still interested in graffiti and street culture.
At the start of the year I was still interested in drawing paintings and doing sketches.
During last summer I developed my first film, and with the start of the Level 6 year I experimented with tracing memories from photography and sometimes abstracting shapes taken from photography to create vague outlines, drawings and paintings.
On the one hand, tracing teqnique allowed me to maintain specific details of reality that is hard to depict by hand, on the other hand, copying a picture a lot of times could appear shallow in context. That was something that occupied me a lot during first term.
Through an efort to find my personal style and develop the tracing sketches I started creating collaged sketches. Sketches that would contain parts of diferent images from my photographs. This kind of scetches started to make more sence as well as carry a personal identity.
Every time I followed a ritual to create a drawing, for me it was very important to collect the elements, from a photo, that had a character. When it was people like the Hold my hand when nude-xxx, I wanted to focus on same caracters at different times and possitions. Some other examples of sketches also contain repetition of caracters in different situtations.
Here there is deffinetely a link to what I do now. Initialy, I had taken the picture and afterwards I would focus on intersting poses and objects, then I would reproduce them to create a new image that is deffinetly very close to reality but is still a drawing. Reality would still matter to me even though I would reproduce it as a drawing; I would focus on my personal view of the image, how I conceive it and reproduce it. Looking into this idea I started realising that maybe it would add more to the image, if would start focusing more on the initial creation of the image; the photography part.
Thus, I started developing film pghotography skills. I chose film as at the time, the slow making image proses allowed me time to focus on elements that I would photograph rather than the quality of the picture or the amount of frames that I would produce.
Meanwhile, a lot of experiments faild to create something that I was interested in to develop.
Collages with minatures of pictures, collages with the drawings and collages on paintings was things that I desplayed on exhibitions and in my studio, however, they had a one time show-life as I could not find my style through them.
I find painting and sketching less interesting lately, so after some failing attempts I focused on developing more photography projects after that.
One Use film camera photography:
In one use camera photography there is no manual options, you point and shoot. Thus, it is very difficult to come out with a good outcome. I tried with 4-5 different films and cameras to come up with some good photos. My first time took very a very long period until I finished my film as I was paitient to find the best frame to capture, later I was more spontanous and quick up on what to take a picture of as my skill became better. This experience was my first film camera experience and here I have some good ones and bad ones to compare.
One use Fuji camera, well captured and developed pictures, Kimolos, 2019.
In the set of the three pictures I’ve selected some of my favorite ones. There are three elements that I take into account to consider one of my pictures successful. Firstly, like in the first one, movemet and action during a strange or a strong moment. Secondly, a well placed frame that contains an interesting image of reality like the porks in the second one. Lastly, an experimental portrait that is not in a normal position. As there are no manual options with one use cameras, I focused mainly on having an interesting colour outcome, contrast between elements it the pictures as well as expresive human forms.
In the next two pictures I find less interesting elements and I consider them as failed ones. The portrait one has a shalow context and as for the first one there is barely something visible. However, the first picture could be interesting in a consept of low developing light images that could form a series of vogue and strange outcomes.
One use Fuji camera, not so well captured and developed pictures, Kimolos, 2019.
With this camera the experience was completely different, the choice of a very good lence changed the quality of the outcome and I was able to focus on a smaller scope in the image. I presisely placed models and picked landscapes of artistic interest that reveal spots with very clear details. I believe that I did a huge progress with photography skills because of film camera photography as it is challenging and fussy.
Canon AE-1 Program Camera, two of my best colour film camera frames, 2019.
There is an evident progress in portrait capturing, there is an interest in the vogue shapes that the different colours create because of the adjastements I made with the camera, the movement of the different human forms and the modest breadth that is created by the 1,8 focus point adjustment. In the second image I’ve selected a landscape one that contains interestind aftrenoon light that I belive is very well captured and elements of both a city environent as well as a contrast with an exotic plant image. i I belive both the pictures managed to show some skills in photography.
Black and White Landscape, developed by me:
Black and white portarits, developed by me:
House and Objects:
My practice is about exploring the streets that we live in. I believe that we ignore the power that we have to challenge and change the norms of how public space is perceived and configured. My art tries to unveil the uniqueness of urban reality as well as its relationship with the contemporary human.
My work is currently embodied in three different ways of image-making. Black and white film photography, high-quality digital photography, and low-quality phone photography. Through film photography, I found a way of protesting against my addiction to fast art and fast image creation. I slowed down and observed more. The slow image-making procedure of film photography enables me to spotlight the pleasant monotony of every single experience. By framing little details that surround me on my everyday routine, I try to highlight the ignored and the not important. Inspired by the overwhelming bombarding of information through social media, I wanted to throw my work into a new experience, outside my safe zone. The limited number of images that can be captured through film photography forces me to pay attention to the framed material, thus, uncover a unique beauty of reality.
However, due to Covid-19, I was forced to change my practice. Being unable to interact within the street and develop my films, I was forced to use digital cameras and capture my “house experience” during the lockdown. Contrastingly, I chose to overuse digital photography and create countless images of similar objects and scenes inside my personal living space.