Chara Kontopoulou (born 1993) is an artist originally from Cyprus, currently living and working in Manchester, UK. Her paintings of alternating layers of resin and countless brushstrokes create the illusion of a 3D painting. Due to the nature of the medium, a shiny and reflective surface is created, the aim of which is to mirror the viewer and make them part of the artwork.
How did you get into art?
I was always into art; I think it is something that I was born with. From a very young age I was spending most of my time painting, participating in art competitions, or studying great artists. When I was 12 years old my grandpa registered me to an art school, and it was the moment when I realized this is what I want to do for the rest of my life.
How would you describe your style? What makes your work special?
My paintings are based on abstract, analytical, and organic art. I use multiple layers of resin, paint, and other materials to create an actual depth or the illusion of a 3D painting.
Due to the nature of the material, you can see different reflections of yourself and the space inside the painting. In the end, the viewer becomes the main subject of the painting, giving a whole new perspective to the artwork. As his reflection is mirrored back, the viewer creates his own distracted poetic image, which I believe is fascinating and seductive, in a very simple and human way.
How do you go about developing your work?
I have different images in my mind which I mostly collect from travelling. I create the first draft of a painting in my mind, which will develop during the procedure of creating. Sometimes the result is clear to my head, and I know exactly what I want to create. When it’s not, I follow my instinct and let the process guide me to something new and beautiful.
Who or what influences you?
Travelling inspires me a lot. I find inspiration by observing different people, cultures, and nature. I’m using my camera to capture moments that inspire me and transfer them to my work. Some of the artists that influenced me are Van Gogh, Mark Rothko, and Yayoi Kusama.
Make us curious. What is planned next?
I am currently working on a new series of work called “The colours of Aegean” which includes travelling to Greek islands and capturing moments that will then be developed in small-scale paintings following my own style and technique.