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Chara Kontopoulou

Meet Chara Kontopoulou, a visual artist, based in Cyprus. Her abstract paintings incorporates layering of materials to create a pseudo-three dimensional effect.

Chara received her BA of Visual and Applied Arts from the Aristotle University and her MA of Arts Management, from the University of Manchester. She participated in group exhibitions in Europe. Her paintings are based on abstract, analytical, and organic art.

Hey Chara, let’s talk about what motivates your art. What influences or inspirations drive your abstract artworks?

Travelling inspires me a lot. I find inspiration by observing different people, cultures, and nature. I’m using my camera to capture moments and transfer them to my work. Some of the artists that influenced me are Van Gogh, Mark Rothko, and Yayoi Kusama.

What drew you to the world of abstract art? 

What excites me with abstract art is its refusal to conform to a universal understanding or meaning. Art makes you either think or feel. For me, when art is too obvious and straightforward, it loses its intrigue. Also as an artist, I love the freedom of creating something entirely new from my own imagination, bringing to life ideas that exist only in my mind.

What do you want to communicate with your art? Can you share some insights into the emotions or ideas you aim to convey through your artworks? What messages or experiences do you hope viewers derive from your paintings?

 I began developing my own style having a single and very honest purpose: make people observe.

I think that the world of social media and constant ads push us to rush through everything. Through my art, my aim is to offer a pause; invite people to slow down and truly observe in a more meaningful way.

This led me to use resin for its reflective allure and also as a means to captivate viewers, as we are inherently drawn to anything that shines.

Similarly, I employ color for its emotional resonance and incorporate large organic forms for their meditative qualities as they are made of multiple layers of resin and paint, resulting to an actual depth.

Due to the nature of the materials I’m using, you can see different reflections of yourself and the space inside the painting.

In the end, the viewer becomes the main subject of the painting, giving a whole new perspective to the artwork.

As his reflection is mirrored back, he creates his own distracted poetic image, which is fascinating and seductive, in a very simple and human way. It is during this juncture that I perceive the fulfillment of my original artistic intent.

Can you describe your artistic journey? What do you do when you need inspiration? Do you think that creativity is a habit?

I have different images in my mind which I mostly collect from travelling. I make the first draft of a painting in my mind, which will develop during the procedure of creating. Sometimes the result is clear to my head, and I know exactly what I want to create. When it’s not, I follow my instinct and let the process guide me to something new and beautiful.

I don’t think creativity is something you can pick up as a habit. I think that everyone was born creative, but some people just have more of it than others. The real difference lies in how much importance people give to creativity in their lives. Some people just can’t live without it.

What are your future plans? What can we expect from your future artistic endeavors?

I’ve spent the last 2 years in my studio working on new materials and techniques and now I’m finally ready to showcase my new work. I’m planning to participate in group exhibitions in Europe, which also includes lots of travelling, meeting new people and generate new ideas.  

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