Face Study, 2021
Watercolour, ink and acrylic on paper
About the Artist
Martha Zmpounou (b.1987, Greece) is a visual artist whose work revolves around the idea of the human figure and portrait as a space of expression and exposure. She see's the human body as a fragmented yet multifaceted entity, an outcome of a process of layering. Working mostly on paper, this layering process is usually expressed with the use of a mix of water-based media, where the artworks are driven forward by the medium’s inherent qualities, its fluid and transparent nature. It is a mode of work that embraces accidental bleeds, unfinished or seemingly underdeveloped areas, next to others meticulously developed in detail. This results in a fragile dynamic balance between abstraction and representation, one which seeks to capture the tonal and morphological particularities of a sitter’s skin or facial characteristics, and in essence, their very self; the transient and ambiguous element in the figure depicted, all that is supposed to be masked and hidden in portrait or figure. This epitomizes a group of work that conceptually is underpinned by an effort to subtly undermine the glorification of an idealized, polished self, complete and coherent, which is usually evident in traditional portraiture. Rather, Martha is drawn towards the incomplete and incoherent, the fragmentary and the cryptic. Martha lives and works in London, UK.