A New Photography Book Unmasks Fashion’s Glittery Façade
Anna Furman, New York Magazine, March 22, 2017Named after rapper B.G.’s song “Bling Bling,” the photography book Bling Bling Baby explores intersections of ‘90s hip-hop culture and contemporary fashion in lavish excess. While B.G. describes luxury goods as ultimate symbols of success, the photographers featured in Bling Bling Baby capture glamorous lifestyles with “a twinkle in their eye,” the book’s editor Nadine Barth told the Cut.Published by Hatje Cantz, the collection features striking images from a recent exhibition in Germany alongside Barth’s own poetic musings on diamonds, decadence, and conspicuous levels of consumption. “We say bling bling when the glitz almost hurts,” she writes in the book’s introduction, “when we’re blinded by so much luxury and sparkle.” Each photograph examines aspirational living, as shown in the slideshow ahead: In Polixeni Papapetrou’s Eden series, a young woman holds a lush bouquet of red and violet flowers in front of her face, obscuring her ability to see. An image by Daniel Sannwald takes a similar approach, replacing a model’s eyes with two gleaming pearls that match a gaudy white septum ring in his nose. Both images are vibrantly colorful and somewhat campy, underscoring the message that excess can be blinding.
Greek goddess of Australia: Polixeni Papapetrou
Jean Paul Gavard Perret, Ragazine, Vol. 12 No. 4Ten years ago Polixeni Papapetrou was a victim of a stupid controversy in her country. The pretext was that she photographed her daughter (six-years-old) nude. It was to understand nothing that Polixeni Papapetrou explores. Mainly the theme of the transformation and processing from childhood to adolescence, from adulthood to old age. Her experience of the disease made her even more susceptible to the fragility of the life. The beauty remains the essence of her women’s vision. The creator fights for the freedom of the women and of her own work. The Australian knows how to create a very particular “romanticism”. In the lyric which dissipates the intelligence she prefers the latter while remaining capable of offering feelings. They allow her to take the plunge of past in the present and towards the future, which the work announces subtly within its particular ceremonial.
Polixeni Papapetrou photographs youth, beauty and blooms
Ella Rubeli, Sydney Morning Herald, 19 August 2016Artist Polixeni Papapetrou likens human mortality to the life cycle of flowers: subject to seasons of growth, blossoming, and – inevitably – wilting. Her latest series is so dazzling in beauty and colour that you can sense its imminent ruin. Young women, almost suffocated by garlands of flowers in their "garden of Eden" are suspended in a moment of youth.
Déesse grecque d’Australie : entretien avec Polixeni Papapetrou
Jean Paul Gavard Perret, Lelitteraire, 21 July 2016Il y a une dizaine d’années, Polixeni Papapetrou a été victime d’une stupide controverse dans son pays. Le prétexte en était qu’elle photographiait sa fille (à l’époque âgée de six ans) nue. C’était ne rien comprendre à ce que Polixeni Papapetrou explore. Principalement, le thème de la transformation de l’enfance à l’adolescence, de l’âge adulte à la vieillesse.
Time after Time
Christopher Allen, The Weekend Australian, pp.10-11, 25 June 2016Gregg’s juxtapositions are primarily intuitive, that is, based on an aesthetic and imaginative response to the images rather than trying, as is so often the case, to force any interpretative straitjacket on to them. Thus Pieter Brueghel’s etching of an Alpine landscape (c. 1555-56) is paired with Polixeni Papapetrou’s whimsical yet poignant photograph of a figure, high on a mountaintop, with a deer’s head. This is perhaps the riskiest pairing in the show, because the highly saturated photograph is so foreign to the linear etching, but the thematic affinity seems to make it just plausible.
The Elvis cult: photographs of the star’s enduring fans
Ella Rubeli, The Age, Melbourne, 25 June 2016Each year on August 16, a throng of faithful mourners gather in Melbourne cemetery to commemorate the death of their idol: Elvis Presley. They are dressed in leather jackets, some with their hair greased back, most with large bunches of flowers, striking sultry poses in worship of the American star. It was 1985 when photographer Polixeni Papapetrou first encountered this annual ritual and was drawn to document the near-religious-scale cult.
Empty Kingdom, USA, December 2015I was born in Melbourne, Australia, to Greek immigrants. I have lived in Melbourne all my life. I love to visit places all over the world and admire them greatly, but I work best in Melbourne. I have trouble imagining living anywhere else, as the city and the rural character surrounding Melbourne inspire me so much.
The Art of Dying
Dylan Rainforth, The Age, p. 46, 8 September 2015Invited artist Polixeni Papapetrou has a closer relationship with the idea of mortality than most, having being diagnosed with terminal cancer almost three years ago. "She wanted something positive," Cass says, "and she's made a beautiful, contemplative series using flowers as well as a very iconic image of [her daughter] Olympia."
Polixeni Papapetrou : à l’est de l’Eden
Jean Paul Gavard Perret, Le Salon Littéraire, July 2015Face au Malin (souvent incarné en mâles) Polixeni Papapetrou se fait visionnaire d’une forme de paradis qui ignore la chute des corps féminins. Ils sont porteurs d’espoir, ils deviennent un miracle, une entorse face à la pesanteur du monde. L’artiste offre une sorte de rêve mais dont le romantisme est particulier et en quelque sorte dialectique. Il permet à l’alphabet féminin d’imposer non un logos mais une poésie. Elle devient une méditation sur l’essence du féminin, sa présence face à la barbarie des pouvoirs masculins.
Storm in a Teacup
Alexandra Manatakis, Neos Kosmos, Weekend edition, 27 June 2015, P. 19For some, the most essential form of storytelling is the power of the written word, but for photographer and artist Polixeni Papapetrou, photos can transport the mind into a surreal world of narrative. Through her photographic career spanning more than 20 years, Papapetrou creatively reinforces the importance of the image that carries her style and cultural identity.
Fiction coated truth pill presented
Dylan Rainforth, The Age, p. 40, 24 June 2015Aboriginal culture is based in oral tradition, with Dreamtime stories passed on just as memories of colonial injustices are. It makes sense then for an Australian exhibition to look at history, memory and identity through the frame of storytelling.
Anne Summers Reports, Sydney, February 2015, No. 11, pp. 15-20,In the series Lost Psyche I wanted to talk about history, memory and psyche. The Immigrant, for example, portrays a nineteenth-century immigrant (played by my my daughter), but countless others have followed her, often bringing with them to their new country a world of harrowing memory and fragile hope. Often the immigrant—such as my parents coming from Greece to Melbourne—are torn between the past of their home land and the future of their adopted country. The work is also a metaphor for the journey from childhood to adulthood.