Petros Chrisostomou constructs hybrid spaces, combining the concerns of artist, sculptor and curator. His work, as much sculptural as photographic, draws inspiration from concepts of hyperreality. These works not only revel in signs and symbols – the simulacra of contemporary life, they transcend that postmodernist trope of the simulacrum, offering distinct traces of the skewed realities of the Dadaists or fantasies of the Surrealists. These qualities are underpinned and stabilised by the architectural accuracy of his miniature interiors, which draw from broad influences; from classical Palladian or a White Cube gallery space, to the contemporary commercial kitsch of fast-food joints, or even a depiction of his childhood home as in the 18 Fortis Green series. The self-constructed model interiors contain life-size objects and within this context, the objects are transformed into oversized sculptures, surreal representations of themselves.
Chrisostomou’s work questions how we interpret them using a range of incongruous visual clues, obscure constellations of objects and spaces, with symbolically rich contexts. Most recently this work is made with materials collected from stores located in Brooklyn, Afro-American hair extensions, grooming products, and dollar-store items, that in turn are socially connected to the communities they reflect.
Similarly the environments chosen to present these objects tell a story – through a lucid observation of Brooklyn’s subcultures – and link a thread throughout the geographical and social connotations of these works. As a product of globalisation, born in London to Cypriot parents and now living in New York, Petros Chrisostomou explores the idea of the indigenous habitat, by creating these boxes from which to work in and juxtaposing these items to form connections and disconnections. They become symbolic metaphors for a decentralised notion of where we find ourselves culturally grounded, and the spaces that we relate to as home.
Petros Chrisostomou was born in London in 1981. He lives and works in New York. He was a resident on the International Studio and Curatorial Program, New York, as well as the winner of The Red Mansion Art Prize, where he worked for a concentrated period of time in Beijing, China. His work has been included in public and private collections worldwide.
Born: 1981 in London, England, United Kingdom
RA Schools student from 2005 to 2008