about the work
Chrysanne Stathacos‘ artistic practice is influenced by feminism, Greek mythology, and Eastern spirituality. In her works – paintings, prints, installations, conceptual works, and performances she deals with existential questions of life such as identity, death, and nature. She resorts to a wide variety of methods that range from ritual meditation to interactive video chats for the realization of her artistic ideas. In 1997, Stathacos developed The Wish Machine project for public spaces, which toured the world for twenty-five years. Here, passers-by could purchase a wish connected with a scent at a vending machine, such as rose = love, or lavender = happiness. Raising awareness of natural sensations was intended to stimulate reflection on one‘s desires.
Her approach to printmaking is also unconventional. Chrysanne Stathacos does not use secured, traditional printing methods but experiments with natural materials, primarily hair, rose, and ivy leaves. For the Hair Paintings (early 1990s), she uses her hair, dyes it, and prints it directly onto linen fabric using a press, thus creating a direct imprint of organic structures and the information inscribed in them, including that of her self. Using this process, she creates artfully patterned textiles that are mounted as paintings or made into clothing. The printed, swirling lines condense into different figurations and are reminiscent of female bodies. In the process, hair triggers ambivalent associations: Sensuality, seduction, power, taboo, fetish, and disgust. The presentation of body hair can be read as a critique of the common ideal of beauty. Stathacos thus makes a feminist statement that is still relevant today. However, the taming of hair is also an expression of cultivation and an attempt to master nature. Chrysanne Stathacos‘ Hair Paintings illustrate her search for hidden meaning in the natural and cultural things of the world; they question our relationship to nature and confirm that it begins with ourselves.
Chrysanne Stathacos (* 1951 in Buffalo, New York) is a multidisciplinary artist of Greek, American, and Canadian origin. Her work has encompassed printmaking, textiles, painting, installation, and conceptual art. Stathacos‘ current artistic practice is heavily influenced by feminism, Greek mythology, Eastern spirituality, and Tibetan Buddhism. The artist has participated in countless exhibitions in museums, galleries, and international venues using a variety of media but is best known for her unique combination of performance and installation. Most recently, her works were shown at the 13th Gwangju Biennale, Gwangju, South Korea, Cooper Cole, Toronto, Canada, Breeder, Athens, Greece, KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin, Madhavendra Palace, Nahargarh Fort, Jaipur, India, Castellani Art Museum, Niagara University, Niagara Falls, USA and Fernberger House, Nagano, Japan. She has also realized numerous projects in public space lately at documenta 14 in Athens. She has received funding for her projects and artwork from foundations and government agencies such as the Art Matters Foundation, the Japan Foundation, the Canada Council for the Arts, and the Adolph & Esther Gottlieb Foundation, among others.