Refined irony and a bit of nostalgia for the lost paradise of innocence depicts Maria Toxavidi’s solo exhibition at Gallery 7, where a well-executed assortment of materials and colors tenderly organizes the narrative through a carte-postale that is being unrolled as a documentary of personal memories. But, what’s more, as a memoir of painting and of all things that she collects passing by the pop to the kitsch and to as many contemporary anxieties that constant need of a fashion’s new overcoat can give.Article by Maria Maragou appeared on “Eleutherotypia”, Monday the 7th of July 2004.
Yet again on pop’s constellation
As to Maria Toxavidi, she somehow returns to the decade of the 60’s. She draws up her inspiration in pop magazines and symbols of that era, but, not restricted in worldly representations she includes in her contemplation religious iconography as well, and by a most strange and wholly distinctive manner, creates her “Twenty-nine and one stories”. It is precisely that personal, to some degree ironic view on things that makes her art cute but not simple as she manages to incorporate in every single one of her pictures countless, unintelligible at first glance, symbols. Even her technique is compound. It seems that she employs an all of her own procedure that allows her to duplicate preferred images from old periodicals and paste them in her canvas. Next, by the use of a computer she integrates selected fragments of texts on these pictures or at their borders. By another, equally innovative technique she combines all the above, thus creating her new images. Images, that though looking like collage, they are neither that, nor montage. Inventiveness and dexterity characterize these pictures classifying them in a distinctive creation area. Her work has plenty of humor and seems to criticize the era she inspects in, while at that very instant she symbolizes it.
Article by Peggy Kounelaki, “ATHENS VOICE”, 10th-16th of June, 2004.
“Around the World in 80 seconds”
Maria Toxavidi’s art exhibition “Around the World in 80 seconds” in Gallery 7 is spread out in 24 paintings organized around two axes: a series of collected postage-stamps from all over the world and an other, consisted of polaroid photographs. Both series get further thorough development by a distinctive technique of hand-printing on canvas. The result is peculiar and out of the ordinary. Hand-made pictures, “embroidered” with nine successive layers of imprints that though giving the impression of being computerized they are not, that even if they bring to mind collages and photomontage techniques they are neither that. It would be more precise if we did say that what we see on these pictures is a “visual mix up” in which techniques, subject matters, styles and artistic movements are equally blend: kitsch and pop, symbolism and figurative art, graphic arts and decoration. Postage-stamps and polaroids are framed in such a way that every image gives the impression of a “play within a play”. One surface succeeds another whilst on all sides, symbols, objects, bordures, decorative patterns, complete sentences and sayings are spinning all-around.
Maria Toxavidi’s oeuvre despises the void, entirely conquers it, and denies negotiating with it even on the slightest part of the painted surface. Subject matters, decorative motifs, teeny components, narrative episodes are presented in the greatest extent. The idea of “horror vacui” will be exposed as a critical intention for her in the phrase “Everything vs. Nothing”, one of the many phrases that pop out among the song verses, the explicit titles and the various postage-stamps. And that “everything”, the “whole thing” contains portraits and altered figures of beings, totem animals of North American Indians, images from magazines, comic books and numerous other resources of pop culture, African cameo, carousel toys, extraterrestrials, indigo children, beasts of the Apocalypse and lots of women: celluloid heroines and comic girls, odalisques, Venuses and beauties of former times. Her pluralistic iconography draws from David Lynch’s cinema and the allegoric universe of Hieronymus Bosch, UFO’s mythology and the mysticism, Holy Books and the tales stories in order to compose a sui generis, post-modern art.
Article by Giota Konstandatou, “HIGHLIGHTS”, review for the arts and culture, issue 28, May-June 2007.