Helene Pavlopoulou

Emigrantes del Amor | 2008

Exhibition in Astrolavos Gallery in Athens

curated by Manos Stefanidis


Manos Stefanidis

Light! Once you were mine!

Oedipus at Colonus

That verse by Dimoula, could serve as a definition of art: "So what is lost is not in vain..." A phrase similar to Cavafy's "the efforts of the ill-fated Trojans". Everywhere disasters, a sea of despairand art is a bottle tossed on the waters, a plank, not of salvation, but of loneliness. I write all this because painter Helene Pavlopoulou is practiced at loneliness, while her images often draw comfort or support from a fascination with words or images in verses.

(If only, once again, our sorrow-brave sorrow- were the cost we paid for choices we have made in our life]. But speaking of painting and this latest chapter in Helene's work, we must underline the many-faceted ways in which she expresses her vision, an inner world that pulsates dramatically, wanting to take on colour and, of course, light, like a halo on something invisible, highlighting faces, places, objects... Objects which existed and which, one day, will exist once more.

Her compositions, an amalgam of figurative representation and suggestion, abstraction and al­lusive narrative, tell stories, enact theatrical action, play out hidden passions, bead-drops of emotion and a torrent of tears, always through the use of solid form-giving structure. In her work one can slowly utter the phrases of a painting, which will endure and continue, meandering on.

We are all wanderers, errant and itinerant, arriving as strangers from an unknown life and pro­ceeding on to our yet unknown death -while love acts as the sole proof of our existence.
Therefore what does the painter paint?
The manner in which bodies travel, when they give themselves over to sleep and the place to which desires head, once they are satisfied.
And also, how voices and bodies are left, once they are stripped naked, and glow luminescent in the dark, with a brightness that burns their very pores.

When they learn, in a manner harrowing yet redeeming, that love is light. Love, Eros, the most misunderstood word of our times. As it was scooped up by the sick, the mercenary and the nouveau-riche with greasy hands. And that was when love hid in the niches of old houses, in picture frames and the margins of drawings.
Men kick the air - masculinity - while women, who have tossed their caps over windmills, go si­lent, withered. But, when the time comes, they get their revenge.

The works of Helene Pavlopoulou have much more to say. At times to the rhythms of pop,while at other times with the multifaceted entropy of the Mannerists.The past survives effortlessly through the sighs of the present. In any case, the future lies in wait fordefenceless mankind.
On the other hand, the rest of the world marches in an opposite direction. Everybody minds their business,looking down in shame. Silvertongued critics write by the yard, and artists, staggered by the one thing they love, their own selves, lay out their reds with such professional emotion, that they bring to mind the lights of a red-light district on Filis Street. But it isn't the light.Or even the fire that burns yet redeems.
The ancients knew it well. The only wayto express a tragedy is to sing it!
And this is why Pavlopoulou finds reguge in poets/ songwriters and this is also why her paintings stand out from the crowd.
As to the rest, we are all Emigrantes!

P.S. Images are a model of reality (Wittgenstein)