Derek Eller Gallery is pleased to present bulletproof, an exhibition of new work by Despina Stokou.
Despina Stokou is a Greek artist who has lived in Berlin since 2002. For her first solo exhibition in the United States, she will present an installation of paintings and site-specific works. The show continues Stokou's deconstruction of the artist's image and the structures that mediate (and inherently distort) the experience of art and its reception; particularly the gallery system, money, language, and gender. The texts of her paintings come from her roles as an artist, curator, and writer, and from myriad sources: blog posts, press releases, recipes, online commentary, and an emailed survey of irrational fears. They include the personal, the political, popular narratives and stereotypes. Stokou uses collage, oil stick, oil paint, chalk, and spray paint to build up the surfaces of her paintings; layering them until the words often become illegible, narratives fragment, and the letters become imagistic forms. A text is medium for her just as is color or a picture from a magazine. As images, the letters (and their frenetic rendering) project a more immediate and primal power, freed of linguistic mooring, more akin to calligrammes than to prose. Underlying the critique coursing through her work is idealism and earnestness; exuberance as much as anger.
Despina Stokou lives and works in Berlin. She exhibits with Galerie Krobath in Berlin and Vienna. Her work has been included in exhibitions at Mikael Andersen Gallery, Berlin; Breeder Gallery, Athens; Midway Contemporary Art, Minneapolis; Center for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow, and several others.