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Petros Chrisostomou opens "Pandora's Box" at Garis & Hahn
Duplicate. Photo: Courtesy of Garis & Hahn.

NEW YORK, NY.- Garis & Hahn presents Pandora’s Box, new work by New York-based British artist, Petros Chrisostomou. The artist’s first show at the gallery will feature photographs of assembled objects and their intervention upon the luxurious architectural models he creates. The illusionary effect Chrisostomou achieves highlights the artist's playful and theatrical approach to his art practice, which fluctuates between mimicry of the real world and construction of a surrealistic reality.

Created from materials found in his new Brooklyn neighborhood, Chrisostomou incorporates the ephemera of the everyday into his work--shopping for hair extensions and grooming products at his local Bodegas and Dollar Stores he incorporates the geographic and social DNA of his neighborhood into these works. Achieving both acknowledgement of globalized culture, as well as the specifics of place, Chrisostomou’s work explores the idea of indigenous habitat. In this way, the photographs become an homage to the real and imaginary characteristics of place, and an examination by the artist of his own rootlessness and decentralized concept of a cultural home. This translation of the familiar into the alien repurposes the objects used, already loaded in their own references, creating tension in a scene both familiar and bizarre. The grotesqueness achieved in these contrasts calls into question the perversity of our fetishization of certain objects, from shoes, to hair-dos, to art.

In Pandora’s Box Chrisostomou revisits the classic Greek myth, in self-aware acknowledgement of his own Greek Cypriot ethnicity, and in investigation of the concept of Myth itself through his continued examination of the cultural meaning of objects. Chrisostomou imbues his work with feminine power and psycho-sexual imagery, a call-out of the often misogynistic interpretations of the Pandora myth, and release from the haphazardness with which Pandora is said to have unleashed the world’s evils. His work in these “boxes” lends literal consistency to the story of Pandora’s eponymous box, as does the meta-concept of contemporary art display within the standard “white box” space of the gallery. Ultimately, the show presents viewers with the opportunity to contemplate the larger conceptual undertones of the iconic myth.

Petros Chrisostomou was born in London, 1981. He was a resident on the International Studio and Curatorial Program, New York and received a MA in Fine Art from Royal Academy Schools in London, and a BA from Central Saint Martin’s College of Art and Design. Recent selected exhibitions includeVertigo, Galerie Xippas, Geneva 2013, Paris Photo LA, Galerie Xippas, Paramount Pictures Studios, Los Angeles, 2013, FIGURED, BRIC Rotunda Gallery, Brooklyn New York (2012), Plastic Lemons, Spring Projects, London (2011), Revolver, Galerie Xippas, Montevideo (2010), Artists for Athens, The Breeder/Athens Playroom, Athens (2010), Fresh Faced and Wild Eyed, The Photographers Gallery, London (2009), In Present Tense-Young Greek Artists, EMST National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens (2008).

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