Interview: Aristea Panagiotakopoulou
Luca Curci talks with Aristea Panagiotakopoulou during the third edition of ROME INTERNATIONAL ART FAIR, at Medina Art Gallery.
I am Aristea Panagiotakopoulou, a multi-disciplinary artist, expressing myself through different media: Photography, Visual Art, Dance and Writing. I was born in Greece, where I am currently based, but have also lived in Boston Massachusetts. My work has been exhibited internationally, in galleries, Cultural Centres and Art Fairs such as the Armory Art Week and the Swiss Art Expo. I have participated in various dance projects, such as the project Gala by the French choreographer Jerome Bell at Onassis Cultural Center (Athens, 2017). Since September 2020 I am a member of the global network of artists ART for Social Change, an initiative of ART HUB Athens, bringing together artists from around the world with the common goal of achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through art. My work has received an honorary distinction at the Street Photography category of the Lucie Foundation’s International Photography Awards (May 2019), one of the most prestigious photographic contests worldwide. My writing activity as an Art & Culture Editor in ArtViews.gr and a Personal Development blogger in EarthToHeavenTips.com -a website I built and run myself- as well as my long term employment in the Petroleum industry, have given me the opportunity to expand my artistic perspective, through the contact with multi-national, diverse cultures and individuals.
Luca Curci -How did you get into photography? Do you remember why you took your first professional photo?
Aristea Panagiotakopoulou – I was in photography since I was thirteen years old always taking photos for me, in order to satisfy my need to keep the moment in a picture and never thinking that one day I might do something with those pictures. I never had the notion in my mind, still today that I am taking a professional photo. I always felt the need to capture what interests me and always wanted to keep the moment for me. These are the photos you see, these are the photos that people choose to have in their own spaces. Sometimes I like using the camera in unconventional ways in order the create pictures that resemble to paintings.
LC – According to you, what makes a good photo? Which details do you focus on?
AP – A good photo is an interesting photo, a photo that creates emotions to the viewers, a photo that captures the viewer, a photo that magnetizes the eye, a photo that tells a story, even if it is an abstract theme or not even if it is a colorful or black and white. I focus mainly on shape and color. I am very excited by colorful shapes especially in my underwater series.
LC – How is your creative process?
AP – Creativity is a constant process. I am inspired every day, by controversial environments and people. Anything can be a source of inspiration for me. After that an anxiety overruns me that has to do with the realization and the implementation of my idea. It is not easy to bring your idea into life when you have to collaborate with others to make for example artifacts for every day use as sous verres, press papiers, lambs, prints processed with liquid glass for the walls etc and aim to have a perfect result. I love my art being in people’s spaces especially my underwater series and elevate their mood with my pictures. My art is colorful and joyful and that is the feeling I aim to create to the viewers of my art. I believe that the natural state of a human being is joy. In this joyful universe I want to transport the viewers of my art, the joy I feel when I am in the water, seeing all the wonderful images that I am in shooting
LC – Are your artworks focused on a specific theme?
AP – Not really. I go through phases as everyone I suppose. Right now I am very excited by underwater photography. I adore diving and I adore the sea, generally the water all year long. There I mainly find my inspiration and my themes these days.
LC – How is being an artist nowadays?
AP – Difficult as it has always been I suppose. It is difficult to be understood and convey your ideas, but it is always worth it trying to communicate them. I have the need to support the preservation of the environment through my art and I am always trying to find ways to do so. The oceans is my great love. I am showing this beauty through my art trying to motivate everyone to preserve it.
LC – We were attracted by your last artistic production, has the artwork presented been created for the exhibition or as a part of preexisting works?
AP – These artworks are underwater photos taken during the summer of 2021, processed on liquid glass for the exhibition.
LC – Do you agree with our vision of art and what do you think about the theme of the exhibition?
AP – The concept of liquidity relates to the ancient Greek philosophy. As a Greek I am always keen to this concept and find fascinating the opportunity to collaborate with people that have a vision like Luca Curci. As an artist my vision about the preservation of the environment coincides with the support by Itsliquid of various organizations about the environment. I am absolutely delighted by this collaboration. MIXING IDENTITIES gave me the opportunity to discuss the joy and bliss of the human body and mind when in the liquid environment. There is a constant exchange of energy that is beneficial for the humans. The liquid environment absorbs all the negative energy that is accumulated in the human body and mind leaving it relaxed and renewed. It is normal since the biggest percentage of the human body is liquid.
LC – Do you think ITSLIQUID GROUP can represent an opportunity for artists?
AP – Itsliquid is a very powerful platform with an innovative mind full of strength behind it Luca Curci directing it. Artists benefit from the exposure they enjoy through Itsliquid and the consultation of Luca Curci.
LC – Did you enjoy cooperating with us?
AP – It was a pleasure cooperating with you since you are very well organized and have an inspiring way, offering security every step of the way.
LC – What do you think about the organization of our event?
AP – I absolutely enjoyed the opening of the exhibition, it was a pleasure participating as it was a very well organized event.