Irini Karayannopoulou

born 1973

Irini Karayannopoulou is a Greek painter and illustrator, the author of collages, animations, and music. Stylistically diverse, her works usually appear in the form of series created in various media that, in the exhibition space, take on the character of an installation. Stylistically, her paintings and drawings refer to the tradition of press illustration and children's books. Their protagonist is often a young girl — perhaps the artist see herself in this figure — struggling with puberty, youthful rebellion, and body image. Self-perception, seen through the prism of cultural mediation, is also the theme of a series entitled ‘You Am I’. The artist uses photographs of luxury products ad campaigns appearing in fashion magazines. Karayannopoulou deprives the models — statuesque beauties with perfect bodies hidden under expensive clothing and arranged depending on the nature of the campaign —of their faces, subjecting them to a direct intrusion at the hand of the painter. Sometimes, their new face is the face of the artist herself, a colourful splash of paint, or a simplified, geometrical shape based on the original. Their new images are also devoid of the logotypes and products they advertised. The artist claims that in this way she tries to deactivate the process of cultural mediation of subjects and their bodies, presenting them with a specific painterly autonomy and anonymity.

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