New York.- By Vicki James Yiannias
Athens-born artist and award-winning photographer Tina Psoinos isn’t wasting any time.
Her photographs appeared in two photography books in 2010, and just ten months after her November 2010 solo show of paintings at the Aragon Gallery of the Angel Orensanz Center in New York, in August 2011, her work will be included in a group show at Kouros Gallery in New York. It doesn’t stop there: at Kouros again, look for her third solo show in New York sometime in 2011.
Ms. Psoinos, whose artwork and photographs have been exhibited internationally and won many awards, first came to the US to pursue her studies in 1986. She earned a BFA from Hunter College in New York and has done course work there toward a Masters in Photography.
Shown here are collages from her last series, “Layers Desigual” (meaning uneven, or unequal), that can include photographs, drawings, acrylic paint overlays,and newsprint. Each of the collages — named after the place depicted and the dominant color used — is the culmination of various experimental attempts in the “transcending light and color found in Greece, Indonesia, and New York”, says Ms. Psoinos.
Ms. Psoinos gave the Greek News a look into her thoughts and the nature of her work.
GN: Are you influenced by Pop Art? Is there a little bit of Rauschenberg there?
TP: No influence from Pop Art. Although unconsciously it could be, as it is all around us. My great mentor was Roy DeCaravas, whose work and teachings have definitely influenced both my art and artistic approach, although it’s more apparent in my earlier work.
GN: What are some of the points you’re making in the “Layers Desigual” series ?
TP: I like to bridge places, people, objects, etc., that would normally never co-exist in the same scenario. The work embodies the co-existence of contrasting forms of media, of animate with inanimate, and of distinctive attributes of culture and place and time, creating an environment that reflects the harmony of their discourse and speaks to our longing that we can all similarly connect disparate elements of our inner selves.
GN: What drives your work?
TP: I’m attracted to light and I chase it with my lens on places, objects or people. The images then become part of a series. I always have a number of different ongoing series that I work on almost at the same time.
GN: Do you record observations of one kind or another or are you creating your own reality?
TP: Creating my own reality mostly, even when I record an observation, because I like to abstract, using movement or light, or simply by way of cropping the image.
GN: Do you start a work with a thought for its final look or do you let it develop as it may?
TP: I start with a general idea as if out of a dream and I always let it develop. The shapes of the original images, once put together, dictate the steps that follow. Often I work on several versions of the same image until I find the one that satisfies the purpose of each piece….which to me is to raise my heartbeat even for a moment….the moment the creation is complete.
GN: Do you keep to a work schedule or do you wait for inspiration?
TP: You can’t force inspiration. I work when inspired and then I develop the images further and/or work on the technical parts with or without full inspiration only when I have to meet a deadline. Otherwise, if I have the luxury of time I get back to it when the time is right.
GN: What kind of work will you be showing at Kouros Gallery?
TP: I’ll be in a group exhibit about how artists view Greece. My participation will be with a “Layers Desigual” work shot in Greece. I am also invited to do a solo show at Kouros; the month and theme to be determined.
GN: A curator said that you were “born in an environment of classic aesthetics”.
TP: It is a reference to my grandmother, and to Greece in general.
GN: Do you come from an artistic family?
TP: Yes, my grandmother was a formally trained painter for whom painting was a passion….after her marriage she kept it as a hobby. Both my brother and I got the art bug and some of her talent!
GN: When did you first feel inclined to be an artist?
TP: I grew up next to a younger brother that knew from day one what he liked and that he was great at it. I was intimidated and shadowed by his brilliant talent so I didn’t even give it a thought….I was the best in my class in all our art projects but it hadn’t clicked yet. And then in college I took a photography class as a prerequisite for computer graphics and it was love at first sight.