So tell us a bit about yourself?
My name is Georgia Hourdas. I’m a Painter from Tarpon Springs, FL based out of Queens, NY. The place where I grew up is a small Greek town my ancestors built in the early 1900’s after immigrating from Greece. My amazing family fuels my love of Greek culture and art. In the fall of 2016 I moved from Florida to New York to further my art career. Living in Florida, amongst the swamps and estuaries has blessed my color palette with varied greens, deep brackish-browns, sky blues, and pale pinks. When I think of Florida, I think of environmental biology and natural forms. New York has greatly changed and pushed my work. I have become very inspired by the persistence of the past into the present, in the form of ideas and symbols.
How would you describe your work?
My current painting series resembles geometric bars/nets in the foreground with organic backgrounds that teem with smaller details. I like to incorporate architectural elements paired with organic patterns, this helps ground and connect the other elements in my paintings. I’m having some fun right now working on a series of collages alongside the bar/net series based on Floridian ecology, Greek symbolism and alchemy.
I work on bristol with oil paint, graphite and marker. Right now I’m making pretty small works. Most of them are square in shape, I’ve been obsessed with square supports since my junior year of college, 5 years ago. The square is a perfect shape that I enjoy painting and drawing imperfect shapes inside of. This type of opposition interests me.
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Where do your influences come from?
My list of inspirations is ever-growing. The biggest thing that has shaped my artistic practice is driven by the attention I pay to my dreams and unconscious impulses. I’ve been immersing myself in philosophy and psychology. While I’m painting I like to listen to college lectures on personality. Lately I’ve been reading into Jungian Psychoanalytic theory regarding dreams. I just finished my second book connecting the practice of Alchemy to processes in the psyche. Because of my Greek roots I frequently look to Greek myths and ancient art. Greek amphora vases and acanthus leaves often appear in my paintings. I’m a big fan of Rococo and Baroque painting and architecture.
Art wise, I’ll always look to Matisse. It was Matisse’s Goldfish painting that first convinced me to become a painter. I really love Betty Woodman’s ceramics mixed with painting. Philip Guston has great heavy brush work mixed with personal symbolism. Tal R’s Keyhole exhibition. I appreciate Matt Kleburg’s encompassing architectural paintings and autumnal color palette, Josephine Halvorson’s woodland subjects, and Alicia McCarthy’s colorful woven lines. I also look at Caitlin Keoh’s soft flat colors and strong feminine symbolism.
What is your personal philosophy in regards to art?
Art exists to aid in the transcendence of the psyche. Through Art’s color, symbol and narrative it connect us to the history, tradition and culture that is carried on from the beginning of humanity. It is what lifts us up and extracts the human spirit.
How do you integrate this in regards to your work?
I try to use the psychological concepts I learn about in the materials I’m reading as the backbone of my work. I think at the deepest level my recent work has to do with the exploration of duality in the psyche. I aim to impress the simultaneous harmony and opposition of images/concepts that in their collision make a new third thing all together. Like a mixture of dream logic and waking life that results in a kind of multi-layered reality.
What projects have you worked on recently/are working on at the moment?
While I’m developing my latest series of bar/net paintings and collages I’m also attending a critique group. It’s called NYC Crit Club, put together and run by Hilary Doyle and Catherine Haggarty. It’s essentially a group of artists accepted into a critique based class that meet weekly to present and talk about each other’s work. We have a lot of fun together! Each meeting is held a different member’s studio. It’s really great for me as I’m still getting to know the city!