IRA TSANTEKIDOU

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We have been literally conquered by Ira Tsantekidou‘s women. They are exotic, sophisticated, daring, self ironic and beautiful. When they look at you they are flirting, and when they look elsewhere they flirt with themselves. Only women painted by a woman can convey this double layer of seduction: the body as object of desire on one hand, and a narcissistic, endless act of self love on the other. Only a woman can show so much feminine complicity, along with an “esprit de finesse” that lets her paint a plump, rounded bottom with the same ligthness and frivolity as if painting a smile. Ira’s women are either barely dressed by a transparent baby doll or, when jewellery is enough of a dress, with no clothes at all. Ira’s technique starts from oil on canvas, then enriched by other medium and materials that resembles laces, liquid gold and silver, plaster, textures and bric-a-brac. Her tribute to Picasso, Braque, Gauguin, Lempicka, Modigliani, Balthus, Casorati and Baj is humble, yet evident.  There’s even a slight, probably involuntary, reference to Blair Drawson’s dramatic illustrations and Michael English’s pop art paintings. All this is just a small part of her rich background because Ira Tsantekidou is not only an accomplished painter but also an artist who’s able to transfer her culture and complexity on the canvas with apparent levity and irreverence. She lets us admire and get full pleasure from the bursting parody of life: a flower here, a couple of playing cards there, then a bird, a butterfly, a coffee that got cold, a piece of coral, a newspaper. What’s the meaning of all these details, dwarfed by the explosive, silent beauty of a natural seducer? Only Ira can tell.

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