Art critic's review 2013

Elena Chambou’s art comes from a history of great creative `impulse not driven by academia but more in the spirit of ‘Outsider Art’. Her branch of ‘Outsider Art’ is often termed as ‘Visionary art’ and visionary it is too. We get images of spiritual evocation that are pure, raw, sexy, and passionate. Her work seems to deal with iconography from times long forgotten. However, it highlights the modern woman’s inherent potential to really experience a more potent relationship with herself and life. Her art suggests that women are not only equal to men but divinely different; her art seems to suggest.

Her celebration of women through her painting shows the inner world of women to be ‘Goddess like’, to be powerful, passionate and behold the wisdom of life. A parallel with the symbolism of ancient art forms can be seen where images of women were often seen as heavenly goddesses. Even Picasso flirted with the iconic symbolism of the divine sensuality of women.

Her work has the rawness but yet evocative surrealistic expression as the legendary and revolutionary Frida Kahlo. It beholds the innocence and colourful story telling as the flamboyant Marc Chagall. She also expresses traits of the great Gustav Klimt portraying his extraordinary detail and embellishment. The influences are endless but yet every piece is unique and is her own.

It was not formal lessons in colour theory that paved the way for Elena’s rich dialogue with colour. In fact the story was a far stranger path, but was ultimately, tremendously, fruitful. For one of Elena’s earlier jobs was to become an extremely accomplished hair and make-up artist; trained at the highest level at the legendary Vidal Sassoon. Through the experience of working constantly with colour, mixing it for hair, and blending it on skin; she learnt the art of a colourist, where the end results were to be walking