"I gravitate towards the sun and seek to experience fully the sensuality of light and nature through my painting process. I also find inspiration in people and urban crossroads. The tension between my need for nature and light and the complexities and surprises of culture is a paradox that drives me."
Fotini Christophillis is an American painter currently residing in Greenville, SC. She has exhibited her work nationally in galleries in cities such as NYC, San Diego, and St. Louis, as well as the Redux Contemporary Art Center and the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art in Charleston, SC, and at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. She received two arts grants from the City of Charleston Cultural Affairs Office to present group exhibitions, including an exhibition as part of the Piccolo Spoleto Festival. Fotini's works are in private collections throughout the USA and Europe.
"I gravitate towards the sun and seek to experience fully the sensuality of light and nature through my painting process. I also find inspiration in people and urban crossroads. The tension between my need for nature and light and the complexities and surprises of culture is a paradox that drives me. I need the tension and the friction as well as the spaciousness and the buoyant light, and this push and pull is where my work thrives.
Phillip Guston said of painting that “It’s a long, long preparation for a few moments of innocence.” And it is in those “moments of innocence” that I feel fully alive and authentic, allowing the imagery from my subconscious to emerge, experiencing a “sense of new life”. I feel joy in these moments and joy again in connecting the work with an audience, embracing the dialogue and new life that is born from establishing these connections.
Although I work primarily in oil on linen or canvas, drawing and working on paper with gouache and watercolor is also important to my process. I begin building the surface of my paintings with thin layers, handling the paint with fluidity like water, while also exploring the depth and richness of oil paint through chromatic sensitivity and tonal values. In this way, I hope to bring to the viewer the same sense of joy and sensual pleasure in color itself that I experience in the act of painting.”
MFA, The School of the Museum of Fine Arts/Tufts University, Boston, MA (2016)
BA, Studio Art and Arts Management, The College of Charleston, Charleston, SC (2008)
This review was published by Circle Foundation for the Arts © CFA Press ∙ Images are courtesy of the artist