Painter of the month, AYGI newspaper

by Leda Kazantzaki

Elena Chasalevri creates fantastical spaces combined with realistic elements.  To that end, she structures them at varying, morpho-plastic  levels of meaning, using different materials and different techniques.

Her bureaucrats are surrounded by heaps of documents, walls made with innumerable drawers and portrayed with stark, intense faces. They are faces “in dialogue” -   through their tonal gray shades and by erasing or emphasizing certain characteristics - with works of East German artist Gerhard Richter of the 60’s and 70’s. They are also images which reconcile.

The bust of a pretty woman as immaculate as in mainstream television shows and in fashion magazines, demonstrates -  through her frozen smile,  the small squares of the digital image which  partially cover her and the unfinished designs of flowers on her clothes  which are also displayed next on the adjacent landscape - our entrapping in TV standards which are unable to communicate and ultimately ruin natural beauty.
The Skin-dowry leads us to the amazingly beautiful - and almost forgotten today in the age of plastic hollywoodian  surgery – the natural traces we leave, when we age,  to our faces,  but as abstract prints on paper  as well.

Her Observatory is created with, pencil drawed, cart-postal. The Story about Gregor Samsa, the tragic hero of “Metamorphosis” by Franz Kafka, who becomes a detestable insect, brings to mind the hateful propaganda of the Nazis about Jews and the subjugation of the masses. Which are metamorphosized through the "horror of office" -inadvertently and unconsciously, or deliberately- and their dense linear mapping, to detestable insects. While the labyrinthine, rambling thoughts of the comme il faut  person, the decent prudish citizen, mutate into a dead end staircase which is reminiscent of works of Picabia.

Chasalevri  attempts, like Richter, and by taking Kafka as guide,  to reveal with the means of photorealism and surrealism, a reality that lies behind the image of photography and painting. And to connect the words of the caption with the image, in a critical review of contemporary everyday thinking that prompts us to reflect on how we live.

To show, as Franz Kafka says in one of the "Letters to Felice," "a feeling that resists all logic, even though logic is certainly the only one who is right, that tells us that if there are circumstances beyond the actual and real, these should be the only ones to count on. "