CHRISTINA TZANI (GR)
Through watercolour paintings, Greek artist Christina Tzani explores strong subjects that communicate conflicting emotions, often featuring children.
In treating sensitive subjects such as child abuse, she creates powerful and ambivalent artworks. Tzani’s paintings appear delicate and appealing, but at the same time unsettling because of the subject choices and the contrasting colours.
The images create discomfort as the viewers are appealed by Tzani’s skilled use of watercolours, but disturbed by their subjects. Many of the portrayed children show bald heads or clenched hands, details which enhance their vulnerability and fragility.
The blank background strengthens a sense of isolation and abandonment which heightens the dramatic effect of the artworks. Although treating sensitive topics, Tzani’s artworks are unique in that they also highlight the resilience of children by conveying a sense of empowerment through their straight eye contact, strong hand gestures and body language.
The artworks do not victimize the children, but rather present them as vulnerable, yet proud survivors, as many of them confront the audience by staring directly into their eyes in an almost aggressive manner. Through the gaze of the children and captivating colours, Tzani makes the viewers voyeur of the children and unable to look away. Tzani creates artworks that raise ambivalent feelings in the audience such as appeal, horror, guilt, fear. Thanks to her technical skills, Tzani’s children and their stories claim a place in the spotlight, conveying powerful stories of abuse and survival.
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