Pennsylvania native Athena Petra Tasiopoulos is a mixed media collage artist. She describes herself as a collector of second hand images—primarily ‘cabinet card’ portrait photography from the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Tasiopoulos says of her work, “My imagination is continuously lured by the mystery of found photographs. It is as if these forgotten souls exist in an interesting sort of limbo -– simultaneously trapped yet saved within the photograph. I find myself feeling compassion for them. By re-inventing the portrait, I aim to disjoint my subjects from an antiquated identity, allowing them to transcend the constraints of time and place.”
While the photo collage serves as the foundation of her work, a layer of encaustic medium is then applied to create surface texture, depth and dimension. Tasiopoulos says, “I see the beeswax as a shield for my subjects — a skin that preserves and protects while remaining vulnerable, malleable to my touch as I carve and etch into the surface."
Tasiopoulos has shown her work in a number of group exhibitions including BCA’s Vermont Metro Gallery, Burlington, Vermont; Chandler Center for the Arts Randolph, Vermont; New City Galerie, Burlington, Vermont; GUSH Gallery Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Candela Gallery Richmond, Virginia; and Lightbox Photo Gallery Astoria, Oregon. She has had solo shows at the Abington Art Center Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 2012 and in Stowe, VT in 2016.