My work explores the constant change of our identity, its destruction and re-construction through portraiture using, as a medium, everyday-discarded materials such as printed-paper recycled from magazines, leaflets and catalogues. By using paper, whose use-value is emotional and consumerist, I want people to investigate into the idea of consumerism in society and people’s neglectful tendency towards the environment.
Our identity is the mirror of our society. Printed-paper doesn’t only offer fragmented insights of our society, one of the mediums through which advertising messages are spread and in this way, as other mass-media, it contributes widely to the increase of material consumption. Consumerism is degrading the stability of ecosystems and the ability to provide humans and other species with healthy environments.
Consumption and material possessions have a key role in the construction of our identity. We are what we buy. Any product is embedded with certain symbols of identity and consumption functions as a way to create a sense of self. What we purchase is not just a product, but also a piece of a “language” that creates a sense of who we are. We build our identity around what we consume. But consumption has an illusory e momentary nature. As fashion, any product grows obsolete very quickly. Nothing lasts for long, everything is disposable. In the same way our identities are also temporary and changeable, in a state of continuous flux.
Figure and portrait has always been one of my favorite subjects. I like to depict people I don’t know – strangers. I use images of real people. Sometimes they are ordinary people taken from social media (Instagram, Pinterest), sometimes celebrities whose faces can be seen everywhere in countless photographs.Like our identities, my portraits are fluid and mobile, constantly changeable as soon as the viewer moves, full of fragmented memories and stories.
They are portraits, as they represent a person looking directly at the viewer, but they mean more than that. They represent universal features of our cultural environment. They symbolize the kaleidoscope of constant and rapid changes in which nothing keeps its shape that characterizes our society. They give us vivid and constantly updated records on our culture.They become abstract composition although the original image is always recognizable, making the viewer engage with matters beyond what is immediately visible and raising public awareness about the issues relating to our environment.
By manipulating, transforming, selecting, cutting and folding paper, using different techniques, I create complex 3D and 2D collages.