We spoke to artist SOFIA ANTZEL about economy in Greece, her desire for create simple, minimalist images and her daily influences (spoiler: it’s friendship).
MAZIPOS – Describe the place you live at and it how influences your work.
SOFIA ANTZEL – I’ve grown up in a big city of Greece and when I finished school I moved in a small island called Syros and began my studies as a designer. I am thankful of being here. My country, as you might have heard is in crisis the last years, so everyone is worried. What I find really interesting in Syros is that although people are worried here too, it is easier to forget those problems just by looking at the sea, or going to swim or have a long walk by yourself, you can just go to the groceries and meet a friend, have a chat that will change your mood. This is what influenced my photography too, i don’t take pictures of the crisis, the refugees or poverty, I like to picture friendship, nature and happy little moments.
M – What are the challenges a young artist faces in your country?
SA – Well, a young artist in Greece. I will say that it’s difficult to support yourself financially being an artist in Greece, but a lot of things are happening the last years. There are opportunities to show your work. It is sad but a lot of young artists leave the country nowadays. The country is in crisis and art is not a priority, young people who find jobs in other countries leave. The good thing is that the last 10 years an important number of artistic teams are formed and try to face art as a method and solution to the crisis and social problems, and this is like a movement that I believe that will have good results in the future.
M – Your images have a very strong narrative feel. By placing two or more elements in the same composition you create a whole new world of stories. What’s the process behind your creations?
SA – It is true. I don’t want to make pictures. I’m very interested in image synthesis. I combine photos, white space or other elements to make a synthesis that will manage to remind me of the situation, the feeling, the sounds or the memory of the moment the photos were taken. I try to use the white space as an extra object that becomes a part of the composition, I don’t want it to be an empty part of the canvas, but a part of the story.
M – There’s a young, candid sensuality in your pictures that immediately feels like Summer. Who are the girls in your photos? In which context do you approach to them?
SA – The girls in my photos are my friends, I usually take pictures when the weather is sunny and particularly when in vacation. I like to picture them just in everyday moments, like eating an ice cream or sleeping, or sunbathing. I find interesting these natural moments. My themes are rarely melancholic, I am often in a melancholic mood, that I don’t want to “see” it in my pictures, photography is a way of escaping sad moments and recalling the good ones for me.
M – What are you currently working at?
SA – I am currently working a collage series using thread and pictures, either mine, or magazine pictures, old card postals, or anything that can be found in the box i collect paperwork.