Despina Stokou

Despina Stokou is a Greek artist who has lived in Berlin since 2002. Stokou deconstructs the artist’s image and the structures that mediate (and inherently distort) the experience of art and its reception; particularly the gallery system, money, language, and gender. The texts of her paintings come from her roles as an artist, curator, and writer, and from myriad sources: blog posts, press releases, recipes, online commentaries. They include the personal, the political, popular narratives and stereotypes. Stokou uses collage, oil stick, oil paint, chalk, and spray paint to build up the surfaces of her paintings; layering them until the words often become illegible, narratives fragment, and the letters become imagistic forms. A text is medium for her just as is color or a picture from a magazine. As images, the letters (and their frenetic rendering) project a more immediate and primal power, freed of linguistic mooring, more akin to calligrammes than to prose. Underlying the critique coursing through her work is idealism and earnestness; exuberance as much as anger.

The content for the painting Lady Gisghaine derives from an online forum discussion back in 2004 about the most famous or renowned yachts of the last decades. Found when googled “famous-yacht-names”