Independent Curator

“The density that we observe in Daphne Anastassiou’s works constitutes the succession of incursions that have passed through the format, coating it with memories and promises over which the artist will trace later the profile of her protagonists.””

Curatorial Mario Fonseca
Daphne Anastassiou and the painting.
Painting is an action that converts the flat surface of a canvas into a horizon; this is, however, a fiction. From the most severe realism to the monochromatic abstractionism, the purpose of the painter seems to be to condense a fragment of the Universe on a bi-dimensional plane. Is that unique possibility the one that mobilizes her efforts, her aptitudes and vocation. Moreover, since the ancient times an imprint on a wall has created a connection with the unknown, for better or for worst, an incantation of spirits, a gesture of going beyond. Painting has been the register of what existed in the past as much as the register of what could exist in the future, both always designated by the same moment, the present. Painting is the present of all possibilities, be they imagined or tangible, and at the same time the present constricts time, the support of a painting can only be bi-dimensional, because it must freeze volumes and displacements in order to display them. To circumscribe painting to the present, that is, to the present of the artist, provides an infinite freedom in the seizure of the Universe.

The painting of Daphne Anastassiou can be seen from the angle of these parameters; in addition, the preceding thoughts emerge from a survey of her paintings. Her works cover a period of barely more than ten years and do not have an abundant curriculum: they respond to a permanent attraction to art. That attraction led her to participate in a workshop for personal development based on artistic expression, which stimulated her latent vocation. Suddenly, the passage of time in relation to Daphne Anastassiou halts at a point in the present and expands relentlessly in all directions of the perimeterless plane on which she never ceases to paint. Conscious of the state of a momentary suspension of eternity, the artist opens a dialogue with the instances that shape her and through which the constants and the imponderables of the cosmos flow. Wisdom shows her that nothing is pressing and even just a single answer could integrate all others, but this interchange is bountiful and her paintings evolve one after another. The colors provide evidence of this persistence and intensity.

In order to record the evolution of the Universe the surface of a canvas must be transparent. The density that we see in the work of Daphne Anastassiou is achieved by a succession of incursions that have passed through the support, impregnating it with memories and promises, upon which the artist will trace later the profile of her protagonists. These are gesticulated sketches whose materiality moves indistinctly from impasto to gouache, integrating the textures and transparencies to the artist’s selection of pigments, in a process that expresses a rich sense of improvisation: the freedom of chaos as the key to the underlying fractal order. When convoking the cosmos, the Universe, there is no pre-established way to paint. The virtue of the artist is to have been ready at the very exact moment in order to influence in the seven cardinal points, whose beginning can only be seen in a given and unique moment, and

whose orientation may be prolonged for a second, or for the ten, eleven years or more that the artist has been pursuing them, only to expire also suddenly, at another moment for which she is equally ready. Daphne Anastassiou paints, as I can observe, as if she had always painted, as if this has been done in a one and only present and her works show the typical inflections of the emphasis of each dialogue and, primarily, of each interlocutor.

We do not know who exchange signs or words with the artist, she does not know it either, she really does not care about it: are their lines who she cares about, the colour of their gestures, the density of their voices, the silent that goes on. This is what she transfers to the flat surface of her canvases to expound on the vast horizons, the elevated heavens or the sinuous movements that these dialogues shape, erecting scenarios onto which the interlocutors that really matter will be expressed, we are these interlocutors, you, me, herself, a few sometimes, a lot in another occasions. It is then when the artist takes the pencil and splits these surfaces of unfathomable colours in order to give us a place in time to finally develop the fiction of the painting,

Establishing from the present, the past and the future, spreading the space and the movement from the bidimensional plane. Thus, the characters appear, we all appear flowing towards the boundless, receiving the rain from the cosmos, re establishing the tangible exchange with the Universe.

There was a moment when Daphne Anastassiou sought us to dedicate to the title of this show and we researched the Greek of her origins. Emerged terms such as éctesis – profession of faith, diánoia – intuition of the last principles or ataxia – peace of mind, but finally she chose the word that summarized and projected all her purposes: Agapi, love.

Mario Fonseca
Santiago, Chile, Octubre 2009