Theodosia Marchant’s work first came to my attention in 2017, another alumni of Jeff Hamilton’s street art fair. Her work is at once fresh and new, but also characteristic of artwork that one might find in museums in ancient Greece or Rome. There is a sense of mythology that is old and new. A tribute to our ancestors, maybe? Let’s see what she says about that.
You were born and raised in Athens, Greece, one of the world’s oldest cities, with over 3,500 years of history and art. How did the culture there influence your own art?
I was born in Athens indeed. I love that city. In many respects, it reminds me of Los Angeles. History is abundant in Athens; it is everywhere you go. Downtown, for example, one can come across the excavated remains of ancient temples, with people having cocktails inside. You can’t help being influenced if you walk and live in such an environment. From a young age, I was fascinated by the narrative art on the ancient Greek pottery, beautiful stories depicting strong figures and messages. This style has definitely shaped me in some way or another. Consciously or subconsciously, my art is all about telling a story.
You were just part of the LA Art Show in DTLA. What was that experience like, and how did that opportunity come about?
I have worked with bG gallery a few times in the past. Being part of the LA Art Show and working with such a fantastic gallery, is definitely unique. This was my first time; it’s always good to be exposed on an international platform event.
Why did you choose painting instead of sculpture or some other medium? How did you first get into it?
I got into drawing and painting when I was very young. Recently, I have had a go with free standing paper sculptures and enjoyed it very much. The process is very different and if I was to do it more, my whole process might change. Also, in the past, I have had a go at stone sculpting, but, I’ll be honest, painting is for me, at least for now.
A great deal of very talented artists that I know have a hard time actually selling their own work. Are you a good salesperson, or do you rely on others with more expertise to handle the sales?
I do both really. I rely on galleries, and I do it myself a lot, too. I’ve never had a hard selling stance; on a personal level, I take commissions, and from word of mouth, I have been introduced to art collectors who like my work and either buy existing work in my studio or commission me for new.
Your subjects often appear to have no faces. What happened to their poor faces? Are these the things of nightmares?
Lately, I have started giving them more facial features so they are not totally faceless, but yes. my initial work relied a lot on the gestures and movement I was aiming to create on my paintings. I wanted strongly to communicate my message solely through body language. When I first started showing my work, it was also mainly black and white; again, I felt that color might distract, so I relied on gestures and minimalism. Recently though, I have been adding more and more color and facial features and I have been enjoying this a lot.
Have you participated in any public art projects, or have the desire to?
I have not; I do see from time to time calls for such, but I haven’t had the chance to respond to any of these. My focus is not there at the moment so much perhaps in the future.
Who are your favorite artists in Los Angeles that you feel haven’t gotten enough attention?
It depends what kind and type of attention we are referring to. I am surrounded by some artists who make it into shows, have their collector base, make private sales, and all seems good from the outside; on the other hand, I know artists who do none of that and are still very happy with their art development and creative process. So, I find this to be subjective; what is success and attention for one might be different for another.
I almost always ask, what’s next?
A solo show. I am so excited to announce this. The date has not been confirmed yet, but it will be sometime in the spring. I have created an entirely new series of sixteen paintings. Not sure if the entire collection will be shown, but, to be honest, once I started, I could not stop. There was more and more coming into my head which I wanted to say.