BIO: Athena Petra Tasiopoulos is a mixed media collage artist and fine art photographer. Originally from Pennsylvania, Athena studied photography at the Art Institute of Philadelphia where she graduated at the top of her class in 2008. She currently resides in central Vermont. Her work is collected internationally.
MIXED MEDIA WORKS
INSPIRATION: Athena describes herself as a collector of second hand images – primarily ‘cabinet card’ portrait photography from the late 19th - early 20th C. "My imagination is continuously lured by the mystery of found photographs – 'instant relatives' discarded and forgotten in musty antique stores. It is as if these souls exist in an interesting sort of limbo – simultaneously trapped yet saved within the photograph. I find myself feeling compassion for them. By re-inventing the portrait, I aim to disjoint my subjects from an antiquated identity, allowing them to transcend the constraints of time and place."
MIXED MEDIA WORKS ON PAPER - PROCESS: From these found photographs, Athena creates a digital composite by scanning and altering the original photograph to suit her desired composition. While the digital collage serves as the foundation of her work, her prints are then finished with the application of hand-drawn and painted embellishments in graphite, acrylic, watercolor, and wax pastel. Each composition is limited to a small edition of 25. (Pieces in the edition are unique and vary slightly in color, size, and hand-painted detail.)
ENCAUSTIC COLLAGE - PROCESS: For her encaustic works, Athena begins her process by mounting a collage of cut paper and photographs to wooden panel. A layer of encaustic medium is then applied to create surface texture, depth and dimension. "I see the beeswax as a shield for my subjects, a skin that preserves and protects—yet it is also vulnerable, malleable to my touch as I carve and etch into the surface."
TEXTILE COLLAGE - PROCESS: For Athena's textile works, the original photograph is scanned and manipulated digitally before being printed on fabric. These photo transfers are then collaged with textiles and hand-stitched to stretched canvas.
INSPIRATION: "Photography offers an overwhelmingly intriguing allusion to reality while simultaneously proposing to the artist the perplexing challenge of humanizing a mechanical technique. It is this challenge that intrigues me." Athena primarily photographs her surroundings -- both natural and man-made. Her aim is to illustrate the beauty, fragility, and truth of the present moment; the meditative poetry that can be found in the quiet and mundane. Her compositions are minimalist with a reverence for the formal elements of color, texture, and design.
PROCESS: Archival photo rag prints. Limited editions of 25.