Spotlight Contemporary Art Magazine 12
“Current Masters 4″, World Wide Artbooks
“Current Masters 3“, World Wide Art Books
“International Contemporary Masters 12“, World Wide Art Books
Contemporary Art Curator Magazine – http://www.
Circle Foundation for the Arts – https://circle-arts.com/
6 Oct 2007
“In the exhibition “No Gravity”, hosted in Pro Art Gallery, painters Marina Koraki and Christina Kassapa and sculpture Kostas Vritias present two different worlds, the bottom of the sea and the sky, both sharing the lack of gravity in common. The bottom of the sea, with fish and sea shells full of color and light, is depicted in Marina Koraki’s canvas … ”
Issue 251 – 17 Dec 2006
“… the venue of Pro Art Gallaey, owned by Mirella Legaki, hosts the group art/installation exhibition of George Papadimitriou, Eleni Parmakeli, Alexandros Stathoulas and Marina Koraki”
Eurydice Trison Millsani
Marina Koraki told me:
“ I was born and raised in Drossia.
I’ve always been painting, which I consider part of the artistic trait that genetically runs in my whole family.
My grandma, of Pontus origin, unwillingly immigrated to Pireaus Greece, after she had been expelled from Constanta Romania. Being an orphan, she got into sewing, a craft she eventually excelled at. She was artistically skilful at embroidering and crochetting lace. She wanted to pass her exquisite craftmanship knowledge on me and used her SINGER sewing machine to instruct me. Understandably, I was the one who inherited her sewing machine! I used to make clothes for my dolls thus developing profound respect and love for handmade items and got into the habit of not throwing away anything at all. I learned how to make use of every single bit.
My grandpa, on the other hand, was an “artist” on his own way. He used to construct doll houses and create his own small “worlds”. He made me toys, which were in “flesh and bone” unlike the commercialised patterned ones sold in toyshops!
My parents were both talented and good at painting but they rather disapproved of my decision to become a painter despite the fact that no one could deny, my genetic inclination towards Art. Apparently, they never managed to make me change my mind and when they got convinced of my firm decisiveness, they stepped back and have never stopped supporting me ever since.
At the school of Fine Arts, I was lucky enough to be one of Botsoglou’s students. I should confess that I had a really hard time with him and my relation to him was quite difficult. He was never approving of both my romantic mood and themes I would choose. However, he helped me immensely acquire and develop painting techniques. Angelos Panagiotou, showing a paternal attitude towards me, was a great teacher, as well. He helped me find myself, become demanding and technically competent.
I have always had difficulty adjusting to reality. Daydreaming and contemplating have always pushed me into an existential quest. What I could not find answers for in Religion, I would search in metaphysical dreaming. While studying at the School of Fine Arts, I kept finding refuge in the library especially in periods when doubt flooded my mind. I browsed through the books where I dived into the vast richness of images. That was how I happened to meet Klimt. I closely observed the way he treated elements of dream combined with realism, worked the figure with the background, the use of gold and its qualities to function both in a metaphysical and decorative way, which, in the long run, has always made Klimt’s portraits charming indeed!
Contemplation, Philosophy and Quantum Physics helped me vastly in order to find answers to the questions that troubled my mind. They also helped me gain and develop my personal aesthetic attitude. I am a beleiver but not a religious bigot.
I have seriously engaged with the subject of “Butterfly – Psyche” for the last nine years. For me the buttefly is a fascinating creature being delicate and weightless. It does resemble extraterrestrial at times, which quite often intimidates a few. Scary might it look, it is unarguably a symbol of beauty and renaissance.
Marina Koraki: Art and Spirituality
What is immediately apparent when observing Ms Koraki’s paintings is a fairly highlighted need for expression. “I cannot handle emotions”, she declares. Still, when looking at her canvases, it is an explosion of emotions which is forced upon the viewer right at first sight which gradually triumphs thanks to the artistic and inventive management of the artist. Themes and materials gracefully entwine, thus creating a symbolic world. Objects and natural beings tend to capture the viewer and lead him to philosophical and metaphysical paths of meditation, which the artist herself has long before cultivated through her own personal reading and contemplation.
But how does painting, which is tactile and aesthetic,come to being without actually destroying its intangible background? Besides, how are existential concerns investigated and analysed through the painter’s view without burdening the paintings themselves and devaluing their aesthetic quality?
This is a demanding challenge which Koraki does not hesitate to face by eclectically picking her themes and meticulously developing her style aiming at perfection.
The artist’s love for beauty, an ultimate value in her work, prevails in her commonly – if not obsessively – used light motifs: the sea, the man, the pomegranate, the fish, the butterfly, all of which have carefully been created and depicted.
However, the almost surrealistic rendering of the figures, the elaborate artistic design and the smooth saturated surface would probably shed coldness, were it not for the artist’s unique passion for colour and her mastery of its use beyond any convention.
This is how the monocromatic human figures gather together to constitute a distant pantheon, as if saved from a realistic past. The use of red and gold in relatively small shapes add a sensually warm vibration to the panels. Detail is of great importance and it is easily detected on the embossed surfaces with the adhesion of diverse materials that, through very personal techniques and pastal amalgam, dig into the colour without losing their identity: lace ond objects as emotional remnants of her potential nostalgia of the magical world of childhood.
It is a creation that does not forget how material is purified from thought and how the hand, beyond its craftmanship, is the oscillograph of the soul.
Also, thanks to Klimt’s influence, Koraki cultivates a love for the decorative, “le décoratif” that Matisse has so long sought, which helps her escape from the dogmatism and dryness brought by ideas and principles.
Butterflies are the subject that has been concerning her the most. She depicts it in a plethora of versions. The soul – butterfly worked alone, in spirals or in kaleidoscopic formations – is the form that combines more than any other, spirituality and materiality. A symbol and alluring motif, it flutters from one painting to another spreading energy and beauty.
Eurydice Trison Millsani
Marina Koraki: Don’t forget to remember as an artist comes of age
Τhe development of an artist’s vision takes time to mature and evolves throughout their lifetime. Each artist is different. Some reach that maturity at a relatively early age, while others might not experience this until later in life.
Marina Koraki’s work shows this evolution — the “becoming” of Marina Koraki. Graduating in 2006, she is on her path to becoming the artist she is ultimately meant to be. Her work ranges from decorative to graphic to fine art. Into her examination of the world she brings a vibrant palette, informed lines and complex, tactile surfaces. Ms. Koraki states that her vision is to understand how the world works — to figure out the truth behind the “obvious” that the mind can see — and how humanity and life on Earth relates to the microcosm, and ultimately how this relates to the macrocosm of the universe.
Ms. Koraki examines several themes in her work, for example: Creation, Lightbodies, Cosmic Sea and The Butterfly Effect. The works share similar methods and vision, but follow different visual paths. Her fascination with various forms, and their relationship to structure, come through in each series. Ms. Koraki utilizes multiple media to highlight the subject as well as explore and expose the media itself. The results are lush and alluring. Each series may be seen as part of her journey.
In the “Creation” series, color, form, and surface unite to celebrate sexuality and sensuality in organic shapes that mesh human and floral forms. There is a playfulness to the images that bring pause to remind us to let the mirth in. Ms. Koraki does not hide the sexual connotation as phallic symbols intertwine with more female formations of petals and leaves. The surfaces are tactile; the palette is alive with passionate reds beating with intensity and desire, with illuminating golden hues offering thoughts of hope, light, and life. Works such as “Focus” and “Arsenokoites” are reminiscent of Georgia O’Keeffe’s “Black Iris” and “The Blue Flower” in composition and color, as well as the interplay of female and male sexual forms. “Lily” pays tribute to the photographic work of Robert Mapplethorpe and images such as “Calla Lily” (1982) and “Tampa Orchid” (1985). Ms. Koraki’s works show the same intense focus on a single form, pulling the viewer into the sinewy lines and colors, and vision of beauty and the energy of the soul tying into the world of nature and the eternal mystery of element and form.
“Lightbodies” is a collection of theatrical figures posed to dramatic effect. The lighting and treatment is reminiscent of the artist Nikolaos Gyzis’ works such as “The Spider” and “Behold the Celestial Bridegroom”. Man and woman appear alone and entwined like Adam and Eve. In “Persephone and Adonis”, passion is emphasized by the orchid’s presence, symbolizing love, beauty, and fertility. “Uranus and Gaia” shows the couple sitting, the woman’s belly suggesting a birth on the way – a smear of red across their torsos indicating passion, union, the fluid of life – bonding the couple together.
Ms. Koraki’s “Cosmic Sea” series, dating from 2015 to the present, shows the progression of her voice. Elements of Gustav Klimt, Paul Signac, as well as imagery of fractals and environmental aerial photographs coalesce. Ms. Koraki’s influences from philosophy, religion, anthropology and quantum physics mesh with archetypal symbols, Art-Deco references, and even the theatrical overtones of Punchdrunk to bring her work more focus. Shell shapes grow out of Corinthian columns that speak to the ocean and her Greek heritage and harken to archetypal symbols of time past. Paint is incised in swirls as cell-like life forms glitter acrossthe landscape surfaces. She draws the viewer in on many different levels, swirling along with the vibrancy and mayhem, but never feeling lost.
“The Butterfly Effect” examines, as the artist explains on her website, “the butterfly like a soul seen through the passage of centuries in ancient civilizations and religions; like heaven as the bright and eternal abode of every soul, the energy center to which the soul returns, is reborn, and continues the circle of life to infinity”. To do this, she mingles different approaches and media. The pieces are titled with dates as though they are steps on a journey. It prompts thought on how things change over time and may be experienced differently at different stages in life. To miss one image in the series might mean missing out on a leg of the visual journey through life. The images weave in and out from a very decorative approach, as in “5th Dimension Earth, apr 1”, “5th Dimension Earth, apr 2”, and “Diary”; to works reminiscent of ancient mountainous landscapes such as “Open Sky, apr 7” and “Open Sky, apr 10”; to the colorful explosion of Klimt-like glitter in images “Light Source” and “5th Dimension” . Reds and oranges are introduced throughout, but come to full power in images “Sunset” and “Since the Beginning”.
Throughout these paths there is ultimately an expression of beauty through a love of color and media. Ms. Koraki explores life as she works on them. They show a relationship with the media and a desire to have that media convey the complexity within the cosmos. She believes that our flesh and the material world are made from energy glowing with gold and white light. The beauty of her world and her mastery of materials makes following her journey a uniquely creative and thoughtful experience. She wants to remember that we are a small part of a complex universe. We should pause to appreciate beauty, love, positivity, unity, and harmony.
Ms. Koraki’s visual language will continue to evolve as her images reflect her maturing vision. For now, she spreads her own butterfly wings to try out as many avenues of expression that she finds interesting. There is no reason not to. See her work at marinakoraki.com
January 8, 2020