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.’
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).
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.
‘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.’
Photographer: Tassos Fragkou