In the artworks which are presented in the exhibition titled “Side Face Alternative Full Face”, Lila Agrafioti deals with a very well known and customary theme in painting, the portrait. The difference in her approach lies in the fact that proceeding, the person pictured is called to answer a questionnaire which in effect makes that person the co-creator of the portrait, in a way. Thus, the painter combines her visual language and abilities with memories –often fragmented- , life experiences, as well as the mental and emotional background of the person pictured.


Oblivious to the “fear of the void”, sometimes densifying and other times spreading the composition out, with fields of light shades of colours and other fields, of colourful breakouts, she creates a pictorial universe, an indivisible whole, which avoids vagueness, frees the thought of the viewer and stimulates it with questions about the value of painting in our age. The viewer realizes that he is observing an artistic process, a conversation of painting with the most modern forms of art (photography, video, digital processing), a process which blends with his everyday life, however. A mix of taste, desires and fantasies, which causes us finally, as we explore the alternative portraits of Agrafioti, to trace out our own personal memories and needs. The properties of the people pictured, as well as of the viewers are not the result of the mere listing of the elements of which they are composed, but of the organic relationship which develops between these elements.


Ultimately this piecing together of parts of the picture and the fragmentation of the memory, as a result of the “reading” of the answers of the models in the questionnaire, instead of creating illusions in hard times for thought, according to the general consensus, manages to stimulate our thoughts and to inspire us. And as they have said, inspiration is not a condition in which the artist is, but the condition in which the artist wants to place the viewer.


Thessaloniki 10 May 2011

 Vasilis Petropoulos