CM: Sylvia Sarropoulou's Mama is a study of the artist's mother. The title is characterized by the simplicity and immediacy of the way in which a child calls the person that gave it life. In the case of Sarropoulou, her mother has also inspired her in life by being herself a painter. Mama is a portrait represented frontally, which nevertheless evades frontality as every side of the face varies as much in color as in luminosity. Sarropoulou was not interested in a realistic representation. The manner in which she renders the face is spontaneous, with broad and swift brushstrokes. Sarropoulou chose to minimize the skin's naturalness and to accentuate the head's immateriality as a spiritual countenance. Thus she distanced a familiar person with an aim to deify it. This portrait's atmosphere is characterized by the solemnity of the art reserved for aristocrats. The composition presents Doric qualities, which ensue from the structure's verticality and the expression's plainness. The face's confrontational gaze is reminiscent of the way in which the ancient Egyptians represented the Pharaohs in their funerary masks. Sarropoulou creates a pyramidal composition emerging from the all-white dress and supported by the hair. The light background relates to the back side of ancient reliefs. Thus Mama turns out to be something futher than the title's suggestion of intimacy - a monumental portrait destined for a mausoleum.
[Megakles Rogakos 11/2006]
ROGAKOS, MEGAKLES Silent Dialogues: Multimedia Portraits Throughout Time 2008 The American College of Greece, Athens