The two great and longstanding obsessions in the art of Lambrini Boviatsou are the self-portrait and an extreme realism bordering on the photographic. And the truth is that neither of these two fields has many exponents in Greece. The artist herself writes about the former: “Reflection is a confirmation of existence, a confirmation that we present indeed the image we believe we present.” In this way she structures her entire work about herself upon the notion of a representation which is sometimes fleeting and sometimes exhaustively detailed. Painting is, of course, a (mediated) reflection of reality. Boviatsou turns this pattern into a complex situation where the image (of the painter herself, usually) is mirrored on some reflective surface and then the two of them together, artist and reflection, on the painted surface. The more curved the reflective surface the more distorted the painter’s image will be. So along this way we go through the entire range of reflection, from the entirely faithful one of a mirror to the dramatic distortions reminiscent of the old ‘houses of mirrors’ in fairgrounds. Here we find an aspect in the painting of Lambrini Boviatsou which has yet to be studied sufficiently, that of humour and caricature-like distortion.

Through the process of this multifaceted study of reflection, Lambrini Boviatsou essentially unfolds a commentary on the fundamental concerns of painting in the last century, from pure representation to the fragmentation of the form with stopovers at geometric art or surrealism, to which many of her heavily distorted figures rather unexpectedly allude. Finally, we must talk about the main body in the painter’s language: the extreme realism or photorealism, as it is called.

In our days, after a century-long adventure, painting is free to take up the thread from the point where everything started. If the invention of photography opened the floodgates for many painters to abandon their art and adopt the newfangled profession of photographer-initially imitating the style and the aesthetic of painting (Pictorialism), until eventually painting’s own quest for representation was disputed-today we have another kind of freedom. Today, a painter like Boviatsou is free (yet, actually, not just free but also incredibly skilled and disciplined) to confront photography in its main ‘arena’-that of the most absolute and detailed representation. Needless to say, of course, what we are talking about here is painting rather than photography, and as such it possesses the most difficult and demanding virtues of that medium. This is why an artist like Lambrini Boviatsou appears today as one of the most valid presences for the salvation of the genre…

Thanassis Moutsopoulos

From the exhibition catalog: Lamprini Boviatsou – Οbjectivity, Thanassis Frissiras Gallery, 2011, Athens.