Tackling feminism through irony and pop symbolism

Tackling feminism through irony and pop symbolism

Konstantinos Patsios’ upcoming exhibition in Budapest and Paris is a tangle of paint, paper and irony that revisits the female form. It decodes the artist’s interest in feminine and feminist issues, using known painting metaphors long ignored by the male-dominated art world.

Using recognizable motifs from classic works of the history of art, Patsios gives his colour-soaked compositions new descriptive value through his additions and fusions. People, landscapes and symbols, recognizable or insinuated ones, are enriched with his painted interventions and make historical references or create symbolic allegories.

It is my attempt to represent the feminine figure secluded from the male gaze,  it’s a different take on what it means to portray “the fairer sex.” I blend traditional portraiture with elements of contemporary life.

Each artwork has a diverse take on the female form, though it consists of subjects depicted in a realistic manner. Fashionistas,  young girls with their heads on the clouds, chubby Renaissance figures, all mixed before polka dot patterned wallpapers.

Women appear like enchantresses, surrounded by spiritual objects to help with their daily routine, though it’s a wider experience than this, that I am narrating. I am dealing with feminine issues from motherhood to sex appeal, also with the seismic popularisation of cosmetic beauty and the terms of sensuality in a body-changing culture that is being so pervasive nowadays.

Although they may seem naïve at first sight, I think there is a strong underlying political dimension in my pictures. I use a variety of expressive media, from painting, sculpture and photography to large scale installations. Art and especially image have their own rules: they go beyond paint, brushes and paper, over to constitute a narrative. Psychoanalysis is not sufficient by itself to interpret an image. A piece of art provokes aphorisms and coincidences. It may not be in itself a cause for war, but it will always be a mirror.

One of the principles in my work is the synthesis of non-matching materials, data and the completion of an unequivocal picture. Another personal obsession has to do with confusion: sometimes when the narrative is tiring to my viewer, I juxtapose a tangled mess in order to stop thinking and start seeing!

Best described as a ‘paraconceptualist’, artist Konstantinos Patsios synthesizes painting metaphors, from conceptual art and expressionism to pop art, all delivered with a sense of mockery and irony.

 My work is a synthesis of several painting metaphors, from conceptual art and expressionism to pop art, all delivered in a sense of mockery and irony and an invitation to critical discourse.

The artist’s latest exhibition, highlights a work method that Patsios self-deprecatingly describes as “a tangled mess”. He uses the idea of “femininity as a masquerade” – a set of poses adopted by women to conform to social expectations of womanhood.

I would like my work to form a new field of thinking where all contradictions are resolved and a new type of harmony governs both the visual and the logic!

The expression he uses himself to characterize his work is ‘submersion to the unconscious’, because he systematically repeats the black element as an expression of the unconscious, the dream, the total void, the end, the death. It is also a tribute to the German romantic artists of the 18th century, who brought to light unconscious phenomena, such as repressed emotions, automatic skills, hidden fears and desires.

My work has to do with the random, says Patsios. “Every little paper fragment of the city walls and every fragment of my own life are transformed into a surrealist creation that draws its force from the unconscious, adopts its unruly and free structure, expresses desires and fears through the language of the symbols and emerges through the logic of the dream, where everything is possible.”

K.N. Patsios participates in a group exhibition in Paris Salo VIII, from 17 to 21 June.

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