CM: Katerina Aslanidou's Sofia is the portrait of the artist's best friend. This painting was created at the studio of Aslanidou in Athens during the summer. It was included amongst approximately thirty works for her diploma by the Athens School of Fine Arts, which were exhibited there. They share in common their subject - friends of the painter, which visited her studio and happened to have the time to pose for her. Sofia is a fellow student of Aslanidou and both have spent a great part of their student years together at the School, including the years of practice in Seville, Spain.
Herewith Sofia appears seated next to a table with her coffee. Of plastic interest is the co-existence of abstract elements (the hair, the shirt and the trousers) and naturalistic elements (the furniture, the stretchers and the coffee in the cup). These elements initiate a dialog of empty and filled patters. The same happens with color - the blending of warm colors and their relation with one another on the painting. Aslanidou acknowledges it was daring to make Sofia's left arm red as a result of her spontaneous decision - as she claims - "to balance colors like on scales". The brushstroke's swift gesture is owed to the speed required, on the one hand to ensure the model retains its position through time, and on the other to capture the work's character and preserve its warmth. The juxtaposition of empty areas done with swift brushstrokes and areas rich in details came as the work was being made. As a matter of fact Aslanidou has a positive memory of Sofia as one of the most spontaneous paintings she has created. She enjoys the intimate moment that this work represents, a moment full of simplicity and naturalness.
At the background's left side is revealed the verso of a stretched canvas of greater dimensions than the present work. On the canvas appears a copy of a Persian miniature, which the artist had kept in her archive for its compositional and chromatic qualities. Considering this miniature to be a necessary balancing element of the background, Aslanidou thought of it and introduced it in her composition. This miniature's theme - a tiger devouring a deer - plays with the interpretation that different viewers give upon beholding it. Of course - for the artist - such a solution does not imply anything further, but it is open to any interpretation and view. The work's cold-hued vertical lines are shadows, which may not have been part of the model's actual environment, but served the painting's compositional balance.
ILIOPOULOU-ROGAN, DORA A Tribute to the Alumnae Artists of Pierce College 2006 The American College of Greece, Athens
ROGAKOS, MEGAKLES Silent Dialogues: Multimedia Portraits Throughout Time 2008 The American College of Greece, Athens