Petros Chrisostomou / “Still Alive/Still Here”

Petros Chrisostomou constructs hybrid spaces, combining the concerns of artist, sculptor and
curator. His work, as much sculptural as photographic, draws inspiration from concepts of
hyperreality. These works not only revel in signs and symbols – the simulacra of contemporary
life, they transcend that postmodernist trope of the simulacrum, offering distinct traces of the
skewed realities of the Dadaists or fantasies of the Surrealists. These qualities are underpinned
and stabilised by the architectural accuracy of his miniature interiors, which draw from broad
influences, from classical Palladian or a White Cube gallery space, to the contemporary
commercial kitsch of fast-food joints, or even a depiction of his childhood home as in the 18
Fortis Green series. The self-constructed model interiors contain life-size objects and within this
context, the objects are transformed into oversized sculptures, surreal representations of

Chrisostomou’s work questions how we interpret them using a range of incongruous visual
clues, obscure constellations of objects and spaces, with symbolically rich contexts. Most
recently this work is made with materials collected from stores located in Brooklyn, Afro
American hair extensions, grooming products, and Dollar store items, that in turn are socially
connected to the communities they reflect.

Similarly the environments chosen to present these objects tell a story –through a lucid
observation of Brooklyn’s subcultures- and link a thread throughout the geographical and social
connotations of these works. As a product of Globalization, born in London to Cypriot parents,
and now living in New York, Petros Chrisostomou explores the idea of the indigenous habitat, by
creating these boxes from which to work in, and juxtaposing these items to form connections
and disconnections. They become symbolic metaphors for a decentralized notion of where we
find ourselves culturally grounded, and the spaces that we relate to as home.

Petros Chrisostomou was born in London, 1981. He lives and works in New York. He was a
resident on the International Studio and Curatorial Program, New York, as well as the winner of
The Red Mansion Art Prize, where he worked for a concentrated period of time in Beijing,
China. His work has been included in public and private collections worldwide.

Recent exhibitions include ‘Other Worlds’ SCAD Museum, Savannah, Georgia (2019) ‘La
Collection BIC’ Centquatre, Paris (2017) ‘Miscellaneous and Blended- Art from NYC’ Museo De
Arte De Sinaloa (2014) ‘Nirvana- Strange Forms of Pleasure’ MUDAC, Musee de design et d’art
appliques Lausanne (2014) Vertigo, Xippas Gallery, Geneva (2013) ‘Ficciones, International
Biennial of Photography, Punta Del Este, Uruguay (2011) Plastic Lemons, Spring Projects,
London (2011) Fresh Faced and Wild Eyed, The Photographers Gallery, London (2009) In
Present Tense-Young Greek Artists, EMST National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens
(2008) 3rd Beijing International Art Biennial, British Pavilion, Beijing (2008).
Editor’s note: Extract from a text by Roy Exley

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