Amidst the clamour of modern art and the attempt to impress through shock-invoking images or to attach meaning to representations which fail to touch the audience, Marianna Katsoulidi’s paintings effortlessly open paths to the viewer, and invite him to participate in their creator’s considerations. At the same time, they offer “keys” for access to inner spaces that the viewer is unaware of or chooses to forget.

The artist, lacking pretension, selects as a starting point simple objects of everyday life: toys. She delivers them in dimensions that have departed from what we can hold and twist in our hands. The size of the toys seems to reach that of living humans. Archetypal images – the mother of many, the rider, the couple, the child with his pet – become “keys”, which set the viewer opposite himself on one hand, and on the other hand, opposite the rigid, prefabricated roles that he is asked to adopt in everyday life and his everyday contacts.

The sweetness, fun, the cuteness of the game lives on in Marianna’s colour and exquisitely balances the portentousness of a toy now adult in size, through the accuracy of her fluid design. Common images stir familiar feelings, while inviting each of us to feel ourselves, in order to set our uniqueness and liveliness apart from the minstrel with the guitar and the long eyelashes, and the overtly absorbed sportsman with the riffle.

The question that lingers in the creator’s mind, “what if, in the end, we are not but toys in the hands of a grander child?” is accurately impressed in Marianna’s serious and noteworthy toys. However, the painter winks with an air of optimism and a mood for opening up through her work as she persists in choosing toys as her subject. Her images end up as a strong reminder of the need to stay in touch with the real self, no matter which costume and posture he has chosen to wear.


Elina Tsavdari – Art Historian