Studio Rue Blog

Meeting the Mad Queen. Katerina Fanouraki, the pure candid grotesque artist

Meeting Katerina, or Titina as she is called, is like entering a fantasy, and don’t expect to be smoothly carried away, because her work is as innocent as it is terrifiying. A grotesque fantasy that her beautiful and troubled creative mind can imagine, a work inspired and fueled by her inner life experience, by the relationship between herself/her body and the society.

‘Grotesque is really important to me as a theory and art practice because it can terrify but at the same time be very attractive. Fear attracts us in grotesque while it awakens the hidden hang up of death we carry since the time we come in life.
REGINADEMENS1_800x533I first met her work through the project ‘Regina Demens’ a set of portraits taken by Italian-Jordanian photographer Mustafa Sabbagh, and as beautiful the pictures were, as attractive her poses were, there was still something in the imaginary of her character that was meant to be discovered.

Titina is both a visual and a performance artist, and by embodying different characters, she challenges her viewers in a far greater experience than simply gazing at a picture.  Her work has the power to reach out and cummunicate, changing biases, cultural views, and esthetics, in my case.

Her work is both about death and birth, dark and light, her art reminds us that death and disintegration is part of life. I found most powerful the photo series ‘Life and Death-Reborn‘ (2009).
LIFEANDDEATH1Life and Death-Reborn (2009), Photographer: Anastasia Boykos

Titina is influenced by performance art as well as contemporary dance, mentioning Pina Bausch, the butoh dancers, the spectacular ‘DV8 Physical Theatre’.

And of course, the amazing Marina Abramovich, less her ‘clinical’ take  on the performance, going rather for the grotesque. Her greatest influence is Cindy Sherman,  with the difference that Titina creates  her characters through a series of pictures that narrate a story, and not only through a static frame.
Cindy-Sherman-for-Harper-s-fashion-photographyCindy Sherman for Haper’s Bazaar, 1993

Cindy-Sherman-for-Harper-s-fashion-photographyCindy Sherman for Haper’s Bazaar, 1993

I love grotesque and expressionism so when someone watches my “Alice in Wonderland-Revised” and “My imaginary boyfriend” can surely understand the ascendancy of the Czech surrealist cinematographer, Jan Svankmajer and the Polish visual artist Tadeusz Kantor.’

Alice in Wonderland-Revised, Katerina FanourakiKaterina Fanouraki in ‘Alice in Wonderland-Revised’ (2011),

Photographer: Tassos Fragkou

You can find out more about Titina both as an artist and as a spectacular human being on her Facebook page.

About Alina

Founder of Rue des Trucs & Rue9 brands and e-boutique Studio Rue is mainly a blog about my interests, trips and creative projects that I love and support. Studio Rue is involved in styling, costume designing, fashion branding and editorial projects. Need an idea, word of advice, or you want to share your ideas with me, please feel free to contact me at

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