"Sometimes I feel that being a member of the contemporary Art-World is like belonging to another species."
- Stella Kapezanou
Stepping into the funky universe of Stella Kapezanou. A London-based artist currently finishing a Masters in Fine Art at Chelsea College of Arts. The customary ‘everyday’ habits and beliefs of the capitalistic Western world are placed under critical gaze by Stella. Propelling us to rethink the seemingly usual happenings around us. We spoke to the artist about the thoughts and processes behind her artwork...
There is a vibrancy, yet a deep philosophical profoundness to your artwork. How do you go about achieving this? I paint my thoughts. I think in pictures and transfer my whole belief systems and experiences onto the canvas. My paintings seem somehow unreal because they are, they depict scenes that never quite occurred, the sky is the ideal sky, the green grass the perfect stand-in for all lawns. The color reproduction happens in accordance with my wish, not reality. The world gets captured not as it appears, but as I want to perceive it.
Much of your work is about the “everyday” habits of people living in the materialistic Western world. What social regularities and customs are you most intrigued by? I’m interested in images from everyday life in the Western world. I love observing people. I want to capture the emotional state when they seem disconnected from their surroundings, when they look to be defined by their personality and not their soul. I always strive to allow the viewer to observe more deeply what is happening right next to them. This way, I wish to capture the temporariness, decay and mortality of humans.
What's your usual creative process before and during painting? I usually take pictures myself with my camera and cell phone, or whatever’s handy. Sometimes I collect images from magazines that attract my eye. Frequently I also use patterns from my childhood memories, such as my grandmother’s bed sheets or tablecloths. I only focus on very particular parts of them, while using imaginative elements on the same theme. Then I paint the details from memory. When I begin to work on the blank canvas, I only have a vague idea of what I’m going to do. I add all the extra elements during the process, according to what I feel that the painting itself is asking me to add.
Is there anything you wish could be changed about the world of art? Sometimes I feel that being a member of the contemporary Art-World is like belonging to another species. There’s different languages, interests, habits, routines, studies, friends, even holiday destinations than the rest of the people. There is also a devotion to all of the above. It’s not that I wish the Art-World changes. I just wish that more of the people I love were a part of it.
The biggest influences upon your artwork? Well, there's quite a few. Edward Manet, my favourite old master, the highly stylised Alex Katz and the amazing capturer of suburban life, Eric Fischl.
Aspirations as an artist? Well you know, I paint and I dream big and I want it all, so a list of aspirations would be endless… Finally, any messages or words of wisdom for the people reading this? Being in alignment with our source I guess. By simply being in a better-feeling place, inner or outer. Painting helps rise my vibrations, whether I’m doing it, or looking at it. As painting, unlike other mediums, requires me to slow down and observe deeper.
You can enjoy more of Stella's work on her website: https://stellakapezanou.com/