Cypriot artist Penny Monogiou (1989) studied painting at the Athens School of Fine Arts (2007-2013) with Professor Yannis Psychopedis. Her works have been presented in group and solo exhibitions in Cyprus, Greece, France, Germany and Istanbul. She was honored with the 1st prize of the 6th Student Biennial 2011. Her sculpture "Through Time" was selected for the permanent exhibition of Eleftherios Venizelos Airport in Athens. In 2013 she moved to Hamburg, Germany, where she continued her studies in video animation. She is co-founder of Compassion Creative Collective, a non-profit artist collective. The collective works to reduce social stigma. It focuses on the recognition of individual differences and aims to advocate for solidarity and compassion in dealing with them. Penny Monogiou lives in Hamburg, where she works as a visual artist. Since April 2019, she has been pursuing a PhD in the Department of Philosophy and Cultural Studies at Leuphana University Lüneburg. The artist's œuvre moves in the field of tension between political appeal, individual suffering and questions of identity. During her two-month stay in Leipzig, Monogiou created an expressive series of portrait paintings. Inspired by excursions to the Dresden Zwinger and influenced by personal experiences with Greek icon painting, the artist creates figures that take up historical ideals of beauty and at the same time break with them. A woman in a baroque dress with a bouquet of flowers, a colorful depiction of the Madonna, a fine gentleman in a suit - but their faces are disfigured. Bulging noses, oversized heads and distorted mouths make the recipients pause and move closer. The vehement search for something familiar, a known emotion or an identifiable facial expression, remains unsuccessful. The rigid, grimacing faces are as difficult to read as the people of today's society.
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