CM: Katerina Kampiti's series entitled Women Portraits: New York City Story began in 2003 and was presented at a namesake exhibition at Broadway Gallery of New York in 2006 and was enriched by three sections - Women, Men and Group Portraits - in Street Portraits NYC exhibition at NY Arts Beijing of Beijing in 2008.
For the making of the series Kampiti put into effect some basic parameters. Firstly, all her models are of strangers whom she randomly encounters on the street and have something that excites her. Secondly, these models are mainly foreigners who live and are active in the same city - New York is known to merge people as a network. The difference in form and appearance of these people reflects the city's character and evokes the atmosphere for a place at a particular time. In the photographs' background fragmentary details of the city compose amazing kaleidoscopes. Her models are photographed as a whole and their bodies are not cropped. Indeed, the photographer captures a frontal aspect of them with their gaze toward the lens. In her portraits Kampiti gives a complete picture of the human enitity in space. Finally, it is worth noting the intense color Kampiti's photographs, which is natural rather than enhanced, as characterizes her work. Kampiti says in her own words: "My work, is concerned with the human condition and with ideas of presence and absence, trust and intimacy, representations of selfhood, and how reality translates into pictures. I am interested in people that are unique and ordinary at the same time, avoiding photographic clichés of irony or sentimentality. What attracts me is a certain gesture, an attitude, a light, their clothes, and details of the city in the background".
In this Street Portrait Kampiti encountered Lorena as she enters her house in the East Village. Lorena agreed to be photographed with ease and unselfconsciously. Without being staged or beautified, dressed casually and with recyclable materials in her hands at a random moment in time, this portrait captures a rare instance of truth for Lorena. Kampiti was impressed with how this portrait expressed at the same time Lorena's aspect of strength and fragility. Her gaze is pure and highly invasive. In the photograph appears only one of her legs as if standing only on this, which highlights the delicate composure. Herewith the palette is characterized by intense shades of green with predominantly earthen tonnes.
[Megakles Rogakos 06/2008]
ROGAKOS, MEGAKLES Silent Dialogues: Multimedia Portraits Throughout Time 2008 The American College of Greece, Athens