Τhe series of art works entitled “Icons” that Maria Rigoutsou worked on , is an effort to point out the dominant role of the images nowadays as well as a personal blending of two different professional directions, namely that of journalism, along with that of painting.
The images are taken mainly from the press. The artist processes the latter through special computer software, printed afterwards on a background that refers back to an old Byzantine icon. Every single background is separately worked by hand.
The contemporary image, placed in this context, acquires the religiosity, the sanctity and the force that is attributed to it today.
Maria Rigoutsou plays all at the same time with the stereotypes and it is precisely for this reason that the titles are an inseparable part of her works.
As an example PIETA is the title of a work, where a Palestinian holds in his hands his killed child. In PIETA, the dominant role is not incarnated, anymore by a woman, The Virgin Mary, but by a man. In addition to that, this man is a muslim, printed on a Christian Byzantine background.
The contrast enhancement, as for example is the burning, from bombardments Bagdad, as opposed to the glittering Monaco and the game with the socio-political stereotypes is the essential ingredient of this series of works.
The same thing happens with the work entitled ‘Who is enjoying herself more?’ picturing jovial women in Teheran, dressed in their black traditional clothes, with women in a brothel in Hamburg.Where is the woman really more oppressed in these two pictures.
The works do not aim at answers, but at questions.