Let’s not deceive ourselves. Helene Pavlopoulou’s painting cannot be perceived at a single glance. Despite the intense colours she uses, the clearly distinguished and well-formed shapes, the red and gold fires, her paintings aren’t the least explosive. On the contrary, they contain a mysterious leisureliness. They could be a flower opening its petals; a shadow dragging along the wall; a ripe fruit oozing; or even a wound bleeding.
In order to perceive the essence of these works, you have expand into them, inhabit them for a time, to settle unhurriedly into these previously unknown spaces, which wipe us out and rattle us, because, without understanding how, they elusively offer us the perspective of an insect, of a memory, even maybe that of a deity.
Helene Pavlopoulou does not depict the visible world: she paints the veils of the mind. Her women and men, her birds, her flowers, her bodies, which dance, are immaterial simulacra, which share inefable spaces with the very structure of matter, the vibrations of time, the flows of energy, with the macrocosm and the microcosm simultaneously, with what we are and what we imagine so that we can exist.
Through years of painstaking expressive searching, Helene Pavlopoulou has contrived to formulate a genuine semantic science. She works on this with discipline, with a personal reading of the world, of inner life, of consciousness. Her works have dealt with eroticism, with the aesthetic of modernity, with cultural archetypes, with the vacuums of existence, with awe in the face of life, with the uncertain quest for fulfilment and meaning. All these have made Helene Pavlopoulou an artist of the first rank; fully committed to art as a way of life; a warrior of the avant-guard, who has opened roads in the visual arts panorama of Greece today. Her painting is not purely symbolist, nor fully naturalist, realist or surrealist. Her paintings are robust images of the contemporary world and, in essence, however strange this might seem, her patient creative oeuvre appears more like conducting a sacred art, like the metaphysical painting of icons of her ancestors, like the slow and detailed experience of those who, applying on humble wood layers of colour and gold leaf, attempted to capture an internal light in a dimension foreign to this space and time. With this effort, Helene Pavlopoulou is rendered exceedingly Greek and exceedingly pan-human.