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Poetic hybrids

Maro Michalakakos’ artistic universe is shaped through the contribution of conceptual schemes that are intentionally placed on the outskirts of a dreamy reality, closely connected with familiar memories, cultural references and erotic representations. Despite the seeming serenity of her compositions, the subjects are formed through a mild tension that results from the simultaneous use of contradictory concepts in the same context, and refer to love, submission, family life, communication and the boundaries of intimacy, coercion and death. Michalakakos thus creates a peculiar hybridity with poetic terms. After all, for her, poetry and literature are the highest forms of art, because they can – like her artworks – alleviate man’s anxiety for the idea of the inevitable end, with the least possible means and the most imaginative and unexpected combinations. The artist does not attempt to discover the meaning of life’s content, but to declare her trust in the power of creativity, human communication, friendship, love and cooperation. She thus makes her artwork a kind of carrier of an optimistic empathy, dedicated to the endeavor of a collective transition from darkness to light.

Animals and especially birds play an important role in Michalakakos’ work. Protagonists of a mythological visual universe coexist with each other in a conceptual form of love and survival competition. Often, parts from the body of birds of prey – such as claws – are symbolically combined with human features, creating human-animal hybrids. The dream world of Michalakakos, as an “uncanny transcription” of the Garden of Pleasures, renegotiates contemporary era’s conditions of freedom, through the ability of birds to be able to fly and live freely without any guilt. In her exhibition “Till It's Gone” (2016), held at the Modern Museum in Istanbul, the peculiar posture of birds and the in-depth research on the balance of animal ecosystems is paralleled with the anxious prediction of a dystopian future, resulting from the inability of man to ensure the sustainability of his existence in the contemporary post-industrial environment.


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