The exhibition “Polaroids 1977-2009 – Pieces of a painted-on memory” is a personal artistic “tribute” by Yiannis Psychopedis to instant photo Polaroid.
As raw material for his painting, photography has always been an integral part of Psychopedis’ work, in which the languages of photography and painting merge through social critique and political commentary. In the late 70s the subject matter of his work met a radical shift from public, social space to the private zone. The photographic presence of Polaroid started to undertake the primary role, with its instant nature and intense amateuristic naturalness, that capture the human relationships at their most private moments, in closed rooms and hidden spaces.
For Psychopedis photography has never been the ultimate objective. It has always been a personal documentation, a note, the initial image or multiple different experiments, depicting a theme from various angles. In the 70s, though, at some point the assembled material of Polaroids with various subjects became itself the painterly surface. The small photos themselves, after being painted on, started to transform into small images with artistic totality. Through the layers of colour, photography gave over its place to painting, forming small pieces of a painted-on memory, consisting of images from private and public space, as well as artistic comments on art history, its faces and motifs.
The painted-on Polaroids undoubtedly contain painting as a basis, but they go beyond it, transforming it into a new, imaginary painterly event.