Efstratia Machairidis was born in Athens and grew up on the island of Rhodes. She has graduated from the Department of Civil Engineering of AUTH and a year later she has got a Master on the Steel Structures from the Imperial College of London. After a qualifying exam in November 2014, Efstratia started her studies of Engraving in the Athens School of Fine Arts with professor G.Gourzi.
The works of Efstratia are varied. Most of them focus on the human face and with skillful drawing lines highlight corners, shadows and aptly project the expressions. Black and white appear in the majority of her work, though in quite a lot we will meet sepia in the place of white.
- Which are the materials that you use?
Regarding the drawing, the materials the most familiar to me are pencil and pen. I may turn to charcoal, watercolor and acrylic but I always return to the intimacy and security of Black and White.
In engraving I have so far worked with metal, plexiglass and now I explore the wood.
- At what age have you realized that you wanted to become an artist and in what occasion?
Certainly at the age of 6 and I remember it because I was sick for the first time and my father in his effort to cheer me up, he made with me little men of clay. The fact that I was making something with my hands, and also, this was another kind of language of communication with another person, was to me a magical window into a wonderful world.
- Who or what influences and inspires you?
Certainly everything is starting from the human figure and everything that «rotates» around it. A look, a gesture in the street, a music, an odor. I always hook up an image, a sound and an odor. Maybe because it strengthens my memory. If I forget the look I can «remember» by the smell or the sound.
- What is your favorite piece of your work?
I never pick. For me they are all parts of myself. They are my «need» when I draw them.
- A word or a feeling that you hate?
Pity. I would never want to hear the phrase I have pity for you. Other thing is pity and other is compassion.
- What are the favorite topics in your art?
I would dare to say the human figure. Either as a whole or as details of human anatomy.
- What is the feeling when you finish a work?
I think a sense of «emptying» in a positive way. Like a deliverance from the agony to come out with an idea on a paper just as I imagine it.
- Who is your favorite artist?
Hard to say one. I would indicative say from the painters:
Egon Schiele, Lucian Freud
From the engravers: Albin Brunovsky, Alevizos Tassos
From the sculptors: Auguste Rodin, Alberto Giacometti
- What kind of work would you like to have created?
Egon Schiele (1890-1918), Self portrait with arm twisted above head
Lucian Freud, Double portrait, 1985-86
Andrew Wyeth, Christina’s world, 1948
Tassos Alevizos, Τhe girl with the thorn, 1962
The girl with the thorn – Tassos (Alevizos)
- What makes you feel proud of your work?
My own absolute truth that allows me to express without words.
Thank you Efstratia!
You can see more of her projects on Behance
Editing: Eleftheria Vonaparti – Translated by: Gretel Athanasiou