Dio Horia gallery is happy to present Sticky Watermelon Love an exhibition of works by Greek artist Despina Stokou at the gallery’s Mykonian location from August 23 through September 25. Sticky Watermelon Love is Despina Stokou’s first solo exhibition in Greece.
Throughout her career, Despina Stokou has developed an artistic practice that is based on the unconventional fusion of different public texts that together explore popular culture and take a stand on various political debates and on how these debates are mediated by contemporary public forum. Stokou creates time intensive, large format paintings and drawings that are not pieces merely to be looked at, but sublime objects meant to be experienced both as universal tools to update the current vocabulary used on contemporary debates and as a time capsule capturing the media pulse of a specific moment in time.
Sticky Watermelon Love includes all new works that explore gender fluidity and sexuality nowadays and how these issues were conceived and addressed in the 90s. The text sources that one reads in her artworks are sourced either from gender identity terms as currently prominent in the mainstream 2018 public conversation about gender fluidity and sexuality or from 90’s R&B love ballad lyrics. Stokou meticulously combines these two diverse texts sources to examine how much work still needs to be done (in terms of media vocabulary reproduction legislation and the cultural narratives) to achieve gender understanding and public dialog about gender, sex, sexuality, women and gay rights. In her works Stokou accompanies these deconstructed texts with direct paint, oil stick, markers and paper collage in an explosive, sensuous mix of material.
Despina Stokou, born 1978 in Athens, lives and works in Los Angeles. After studying painting at the Athens School of Fine Arts, she completed her masters in “Art in Context” at the University of Arts in Berlin. She has been exhibited numerously at Kunstverein Gera, Gera DE; KW Institute of Contemporary Art, Berlin DE; Midway Contemporary Art, Minneapolis US; and the Center for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow UK. Her work is held in numerous private and public collections such as the Deutsche Bank Collection; Schwartz Collection, Harvard; and Zabludowicz Collection. Her work has been reviewed in The New York times, ArtForum, ARTsy, Monopol, among others.