I shall talk about Marianna Katsoulidi’s work in simple words that may yet touch upon a tiny edge of what she is aspiring to. Her work – images of a mature artist, a mistress indeed of the brush and palette – balancing on the verge of her excellent influences takes unexpected turns and leads the spectator – us – to untamed plains of the mind, or even slightly familiar ones, like pale memories of childhood afternoon play – but not quite.
While her vibrant colours rush into the channel of our optic nerve to peak in an explosion of bliss amidst our mind, our thinking stumbles upon a small detail that seems to prevent us from wholly surrendering to a euphoric whirl of colour. The unexpected of her forms, pulls lightly, but persistently, at our sleeve and dares us to feel what is known anew. We have seen these forms before; they have at sometime slipped quietly in the horizon of our imagination… In our dreams perhaps, maybe when we used to create images listening to “stories for little children”; maybe when our boss asked for more unpaid overtime.
No matter how strong the first impression before one of Marianna’s works, the daze does not suffice to let us stop there. Her work does not imitate the effect of a relaxant or stimulant for weary brains, nor the comfort and safety of a pleasant memory. On the contrary, it pictures accurately the magnificence and exquisite form any process can take when channelled away from the method of “the least possible effort”. It resembles Japanese Origami, the art of folding paper. Similarly, Marianna’s archetypal motives bend and fold to create unique and fresh compositions.
Marianna has achieved, through her work, to show us how reality can ascend to a world of fairy tale, of sparkling colour, of the high and the beautiful, without us altering its one dot. Take a deep breath, open your eyes, and dive without second thought into the world of her work – our world – where princes fall – but at least try to get back on their feet – angels have the face of our best friend, and our fears are no more than puppets of our mind, small, colourful things we move, like Russian toys.
And if much is left unsaid, it is because words will not do to speak with such clarity and rich synchronicity of as much as pours forth in the blink of an eye from one of Marianna Katsoulidi’s paintings.
Elina Tsavdari - Art Historian