Wednesday, February 1, 2012


Elena Nani is an amazing photographer and talented artist whose paintings and sketches of people, faces and interesting places are filled with strong character and life. She captures intense human expressions on film and canvas and transforms her own emotions into the striking images. Not only does Elena put her heart and soul into the tips of her brushes and pencils, she has the uncanny ability to transform something rather mundane into an extraordinary image.

Here in an exclusive interview, Elena talks about her creative art, her inspirations and her distinctive style:

Can you tell me a little about your family background and how long you have been painting and sketching?

I grew up in a family of artists, and five of them were involved in some form of art. One of the members, (my uncle) was a self-taught painter and sculptor. From a very young age, I saw my sister (self-taught) to paint and I always admired the sketches she did. I remember myself, making sketches in secret because my parents thought I should be devoted to school. 
was for me a challenge, but also a form of expressing emotion as it was very difficult to be heard in an eight-member family.
I started out being interested in clothes designs, but with no real agenda at that time, I moved quickly on. However, I never stopped loving fashion.
As far as painting is concerned, I started promptly after an El Greco exhibition. It was a revelation for me to see his artwork up close. I was then 18, and I have never stopped painting and drawing since.

I know that you have studied philosophy and psychology. Do you think that they play a role in artistic expression?

Art is always a philosophical yield of psychological states. In my painting, where the main subject of the expression is the multi-dimensional man, I portray my emotions as a form of psychotherapy of my own soul.
Can you describe your process of creating a sketch or painting?

I can describe myself as a person of multiple stimuli. The "muse" is not enough for me; a strong feeling is also needed to start the movement of the brush.
That is “INSPIRATION” for me.

What is your favourite subject to draw or paint and why? Do you ever sketch from photos?

As I said the main subject of my work is man, but for aesthetic reasons I prefer sketching or painting women. I can express the feminine beauty, charm, grace, movement and a shape full of curves, very easily. I think it's easier, more familiar, and it is entirely my own need for the expression of femininity.
Although, I would prefer to always use artist’s models, unfortunately there is no such option. I paint from photos due to circumstances, but it is incomparable to the feeling that you have working with a human model.

Are you inspired by other artists or the ever-changing artistic influences, both past & present?

Αs I have already said, the painter who motivated me to paint was El Greco, then the Renaissance painters such as Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci, also, the more recent, Caravaggio, Rembrandt and Dali.
But after nearly 7 years of attending painting classes, I eventually formed my own style. So, I can say that the last person who influenced me was my teacher Constantinos Tsigkris, who greatly formed my way of perceiving and displaying of objects.

How would you describe your own style of art?

I would describe it as free, pragmatic, and without limitations. Definitely a style that has its own character but also develpos only through the emotions of its creator.
You also enjoy photography. Tell me where you like to go and what kinds of things you like to catch on film.

I became interested in photography last year. My favorite subjects are always near the ocean, in trees or models on a catwalk. I like outdoor photography and fortunately, Athens has so many contradictions that are inexhaustible.
I have also photographed models, fashion shows and Barbie dolls with which I experiment. However, I would say that nature has proved to be a major attraction for me.
                                          Athens Xclusive Designers Week

Which of your exceptional talents; painting, drawing and photography, do you have more fun with?
Although all my talents are overlapping, I can say that I have more fun with photography, with which I feel the joy and excitement of a young child.

Finally, is any of your art work for sale for those people who admire your work?

Of course, my ultimate goal is to sell my work, but for now, I work personally with the primary purpose of enriching my collection.

According to Pablo Picasso, "the artist is a receptacle for emotions that come from all over the place: from the sky, from the earth, from a scap of paper, from a passing shape, from a spider's web." Elena Nani, uses her deep sensitivity to capture and display a remarkable collection of magnificent images, either through the camera lens, on paper or on canvas. She explores the boundaries of everyday life with a fascinating artistic approach and then shares its beauty with the rest of the world.


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