The ongoing tension between art and graphic design has been tumultuous even from its earliest inception. Andy Warhol, began as a commercial illustrator, a precursor to graphic design - if you will. This profession undermined his efforts as an artist in the earlier stages of his career. However, Warhol nurtured his talents and blurred the lines between the consumerist sphere and art, thus help bring the Pop Art movement to the forefront during the 70's & 80's.
Still, it can be difficult to ascend that title of "graphic designers" for artist in the creative realm. Artists such as Jeff Wall or Portland based Jim Riswold have embraced these newer technologies of graphic design to further their presences in contemporary painting and photography practice.
Maria Vassiliou is Toronoto based artist, who is also breaking these barriers to evoke a deeper lying message within her works. Currently on exhibition at Yogathletix are the emerging artists, Maria Vassiliou and Nicole Moss. We spoke with Vassiliou to delve in deeper to her works on view and process.
ET: Can you discuss the themes in your series made at YOGAAthletix?
MV: My collages explore the perceptions of reality and people's personal comprehension of the world around them. The themes in this series revolve around representation and freedom. At the time of their creation, the original images of most of the women used in my art, were used for the visual, often sexual, satisfaction of the viewer. I am trying to emphasize this correlation between sexual satisfaction in the visual for viewers. It is to them to derive a conclusion whether that be positive or negative, but it is my desire to confront the viewer.
ET: What is your fascination with pin up girls?
MV: My fascination with vintage and pin-up girls comes from the possibilities of different modes of representation- I'm able to apply new elements to old images and give it a completely new and alternate meaning, altering it's original purpose. I hope that the new context I've created allows for a space of discussion and in some ways, alters the viewers perspective of women and traits attributed to them.
ET: What gravitates you towards the medium of digital media and the use of manipulating images?
MV: I'm enthused by the ability to create pieces of work that are typically created through traditional means, (ie) cutting, pasting and so forth with current digital tools. I believe it showcases the innovation and progress of our society and displays the technological advances that have been made not just in sciences or more academic streams of work, but as well as in the arts.