Anastessia Bettas is a visual artist based in Toronto, Canada. She has a formal education in art history, marketing and fine arts from McGill University, University of Toronto and Toronto School of Art. Her work can be found in private collections in North America and Europe. Anastessia explores abstraction through the use of encaustic paint which she first learned over ten years’ ago. She developed an admiration for the encaustic paintings of Jasper Johns and Brice Marden and their works had an impact on her in choosing encaustic paint as her preferred medium.
Her influences include urban landscapes, aerial views and cartography. She uses intuitive mark making and grids to transcend the hectic pace of city living and traffic congestion. The grids are also symbolic of a journey charting emotional and imaginary territories.
Anastessia creates her paintings by using incised encaustic techniques together with multiple layers of paint, scraping back and repainting until the desired effect is achieved. It’s a physical process resulting in painterly effects that represent urban erosion, decay and chaotic energy.
Review of Final Descent by Christina Turcotte (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The work of Anastessia Bettas questions how everyday persons find ways of making maps of their own, by challenging, even ignoring, official, printed maps that are produced by government urbanists and cartographers. The artist carves zig zags, onto layer after layer of grids, confusing our sense of the usual purpose of map-making—which is to direct persons along particular routes, and to fix persons within certain coordinates. The artist creates an interface between two kinds of mapping: one that exists and one that is brought into existence. Rather than accepting how maps govern the directions of our movement, in horizontal and vertical directions, this work calls upon the interlocutor to ask: “what does my journey look like?”
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