2013 – “Superheroes”, One Art Space gallery, New York
The exhibition “Superheroes” at One Art Space was my 1st solo show in New York. The gallery owner was Daniel Giella and the gallery director Elizabeth Villar. Daniel’s father, was Joe Giella, an American comic book artist best known as a D.C. Comics inker during the late 1950s and 1960s, a period known as the Silver Age of comic books to both historians and fans alike. He started working in the 1940s as a freelancer for Fawcett Publications and Timely Comics, where he got the chance to ink the Captain America comic book. Soon he started working for DC Comics on books like Green Lantern, Flash and a few others under the direction of Julius Schwartz. He continued working for DC all the way through the 60’s, when he was often collaborating with artist like Carmine Infantino, Gil Kane, Sheldon Moldoff among many others. He also took over as a penciler for the Batman daily comic strip for the newspaper after Sheldon Moldoff left it.
The deafening and fierce speed of New York City triggers Maria Fragoudaki’s anxieties and inner battles, exposing her to a more complex side of human existence and vulnerability. As a result, the great Superheroes came to live and influenced this body of work.
As many artists that have been influenced by Pop Culture, Maria chooses Superhero characters and pictorial narratives to explore emotional territories to find answers and to be able to connect with her own traditional values.
This series of paintings coincides with my arrival to NY and the residency at the School of Visual Arts two years ago. Obviously, NY was a major inspiration, as well as a place where the superheroes fitted so well. At this point of my life I feel that the superheroes are so present and have inspired me to such an extent that this solo show is only the beginning .
With a serious academic education and a clever perspective, she provides a methodical examination of the relation between painting and collage. She utilizes a variety of media such as oil and acrylics on large canvas surfaces.
Maria’s technique in the use of the color palette and the appropriation of other elements, such as signpost and graffiti, enables her to create a statement that becomes a visual and intellectual exploration.
Fragoudaki brings to New York 18 paintings, prints and objects; one of the paintings is a mixed media large scale Abstraction titled “Superheroes costumes” in this painting the spectator can clearly identify the characters costumes behind the color texture and shapes, as if you were back stage on a Broadway play.
Maria challenges herself and opens her inner world to the audience, sharing courageously her emotions and conflicts. She believes the fragility and the immense strength that makes her identify with the Hulk, a large humanoid that possesses near limitless superhuman powers and great vulnerability, attributes that grow more potent the angrier and threatened he feels.
To conclude, Maria Fraoudaki’s first solo show in New York induces the public to connect with their emotions and conflicts This exhibit allows each of us the opportunity to discover our own personal Superhero.