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Meet the Artist | Ismini Tsofidou

Born in Alexandroupolis, Greece, Erasmia - Ismini Tsofidou, is an artist who works and resides in Athens. Although her academic background lies in finance and accounting, and she currently holds a position at the Ministry of Finance, her passion for handmade jewelry blossomed early in her life. In 2013, she embarked on a journey into sculpting, undertaking lessons guided by the sculptor Stelios Sarros. She has actively participated in various exhibitions, showcasing her creations at venues such as Contemporary Athens Gallery (2020) and ArtNumber23 Gallery (2020). Her artistic focus revolves around the exploration of the human figure as a conduit for expressing emotions, sexuality, experiences, and circumstances. Her work goes beyond conventional definitions and stereotypes associated with gender, emphasizing the inherent dynamics of the human body.

Erasmia -Ismini Tsofidou, Fragile Bending

How did you become involved in sculpture? What inspired your interest in it?

My involvement with sculpture came out completely by accident! I have always had a special love for art, while in the past I have dealt with painting as an amateur as well as with jewelry making. Creating jewelry gave me the need to explore new forms and materials that could make my pieces even more unique, a need that of course remains during the construction of my sculptures.

Nevertheless, my venture into sculpting began at the insistence of a dear friend to whom I owe a great deal. Her desire to explore something beyond traditional painting sparked our creative journey.

Subsequently, the contribution of my teacher Stelios Sarros was decisive. Thanks to his guidance and encouragement and due to the freedom he gave me to create any sculpture I designed, I was able to evolve and love sculpture more than anything else.

It would be intriguing if you could share how your two roles coexist; specifically, I'm referring to your work in finance and your artistic endeavors.

My dual facets, one in the professional realm and the other artistic, may appear at odds initially, yet they intricately complement one another. Engaging in public administration, I believe, contributes to my profound liberation during the sculpting process. The dichotomy of being a civil servant and an artist establishes a personal equilibrium for me, where one quality serves as a cathartic outlet for the other. Ultimately, as a person balancing logic and emotion, these two facets of mine become inevitable manifestations of my authentic self.

Where do you find inspiration for your art? Is there a particular influence or event that shapes your artistic expression?

I don't think that there is a single point that defines my art. There are certainly influences from various artists, however my experiences are those that have determined the way I create. Undoubtedly, love and death are themselves two states that make you reconsider things, see the everyday life from a completely different perspective and of course give birth to the need of creating. From then on, the constant observation of people, friends, acquaintances, strangers and the uniqueness that each one of us has, constitutes an inexhaustible source of inspiration.

What are your thoughts on participating in HiVerid Mind?

My participation in HiVerid Mind exhibition was really a surprise! I am very happy because I participated in a project, with women with different backgrounds and ways of expression that led to a very beautiful collaboration! It gave me the opportunity to meet new artists and of course to show my work to a completely new audience.

It also proved to me that when young people want to organize something they can do it very effectively and with great success. So I am looking forward to any future projects!

Erasmia - Ismini Tsodifou, Untitled

Is there anything on your mind regarding the future? Perhaps a goal or something you are currently preparing for?

  My goal is undoubtedly to continue to be inspired, to experiment, to create and to manage to expand beyond the borders of Greece. In my immediate plans, however, is the realization of a joint exhibition with the photographer Eleni Maitou.

You mention that: "Your work is based on the study of the human figure as a means of expressing emotions, sexuality, experiences, and situations, as well as the different forms it can take, transcending separations and stereotypes based on what is characterized as 'feminine' or 'masculine', but highlighting the actual dynamics of the human body." Would you like to talk a bit about transcending stereotypes and the need to highlight the human body?

For me, human body itself is a work of art, regardless of gender, age, and especially sexuality. All around us there is a series of fixed images, of what is masculine or feminine, strong or powerless, beautiful or ugly, provocative or conservative. For me these boundaries are quite fluid and subjective, as the way we physically express ourselves, consciously or not, turns out to be common for everyone and so this expression comes to confirm that stereotypes are simply social constructions.

So in my sculptures I try to capture these common forms and "reactions" by creating asexual or hermaphrodite figures, dynamic and muscular female bodies, male figures in unexpected poses and of course body parts that are particularly expressive and hide special dynamics and erotism.


All artworks and photographs copywrites belong to E. Ismini Tsofidou.

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