I explore the presence and absence of figurative suggestions, eliminating specific details to express a dream-like snapshot from my subconscious, a kind of cinematographic film still that’s neither “here nor there”. This “in-between” space is where I currently am in these times of the pandemic, I want to see the streets alive and bustling, but there is an eeriness in the absence of people, a spaciousness with open streets, empty tables, doors wide open, but no one walking through them. This paradox drives me. I seek to reconcile both ends of the spectrum in my work, juxtaposing bands of color with plays of light and shadow, precise hard edges, geometric forms, and improvisational and fresh brushwork that is both turbulent and free, controlled and sustained. Essentially, the paintings are reflections of my current experience as I seek to understand where I am, where I am going, and how I relate to this place where I find myself in these strange times.
I maintain a regular studio practice of drawing from direct observation aspects from my daily life, the blasé day-to-day, small fragments, glimpses of the day that are soon to pass. This practice brings me into the present moment, informs my work through the carefully observed line and spatial relationships, as I intend to have an anchor in reality while working from my imagination. This allows me to express a more free and gestural brushwork while simultaneously working within a structure informed by the carefully observed outside world. As I develop my paintings, I begin building the surface with thin layers, handling the paint with fluidity like water, and exploring the depth and richness of oil paint through chromatic sensitivity and tonal values. In this way, I hope to bring to the viewer a sense of joy and sensual pleasure in the color itself.
Fotini Christophillis is a painter currently residing in Greenville, SC. She holds an MFA degree from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts/Tufts University (2016) and a BA in Studio Art and
Arts Management from the College of Charleston (2008).
Fotini works primarily in oil on linen or canvas. However, she finds drawing and working on paper with gouache and watercolor also important to her process. The artist finds inspiration in depicting cityscapes and natural forms.
She received two Arts Grants from the City of Charleston Cultural Affairs Office to present group exhibitions, including an exhibition as part of the Piccolo Spoleto Festival. Fotini has exhibited her work nationally in galleries in cities such as NYC, San Diego, and St. Louis, as well as the Redux Contemporary Art Center and the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art in Charleston, SC, and at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Fotini's works are in private collections throughout the USA and Europe.