Six questions for
Maria Mavropoulou

Tique asks six questions to an artist about their work and inspiration.
This week: Maria Mavropoulou.

Artist Maria Mavropoulou
Lives in Athens, Greece

How do you describe your own art practice?

My practice is not tied to a specific medium but I would say that it is mainly image based. For years I used photography but my work expands to new forms of images, such as VR and screen-captured images, GAN and AI-generated images. I’m always interested in exploring the most novel technology available to me and to create work that reflects on the new ways that images can be produced with every technological advent, that also shifts the way we perceive the world around us.

Which question or theme is central in your work?

My work explores the relationship we have with the digital sphere, be it with the devices we use to access it, with the algorithms that dictate what content is served to us or the separation of the mind and body during our online sessions. Lately I’ve been using Artificial Intelligence to create work that explores the power politics between machines and humans and the new possibilities that are now available by this new kind of AI-generated images.

What was your first experience with art?

I really can’t remember! Art was something that was a need for me, a way to understand the world around me rather than something that I encountered at some specific moment. I mean, I was one of those kids that were always drawing and making things with any material available since I have a recollection of myself. I would spend a lot of time outdoors, curiously examining plants and flowers, making statuettes out of red clay, which was the soil of our garden, gathering pebbles and shells whenever we went to a beach and then making compositions of them. There were a lot of art books at home and flipping through the pages was something I loved to do. Growing up it felt natural to study in the Arts School.

What is your greatest source of inspiration?

My main source of inspiration is my personal experiences but during my research I also look for statistics on the topic that I’m interested in. Sometimes, myths, stories and even religious texts may inform my artworks as well. Furthermore, since my work explores our relationship with technology, reading about the new advents and innovations and experimenting with them is always inspiring!

What do you need in order to create your work?

It depends on every different project and its needs, but in general, what is the most important thing to me in order to create new work is time. Having “free time” is the most valuable. I don’t feel creative in a 9 to 5 schedule, on the contrary, I’m a night person. Also I tend to follow my inner rhythm and work a lot or take a break if I feel like it. I genuinely think that working time is sometimes as important as non working time.Taking long walks in nature or taking care of my garden are activities that give me the time and the space to reflect deeper on the things I’m working on.

What work or artist has most recently surprised you?

I couldn’t pick just one! Balarama Heller’s work has been an inspiring discovery, and I’m also re-reading James Bridle’s book Ways of Being which is makes very interesting connections between technology, biology, intelligence and other-than-human-beings, ultimately bridging western and eastern worldviews. Lastly, an exhibition that felt impactful to me was “Moving Definitions” curated by Tanvi Mishra at Rencontres Arles this summer.

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