Martha Zmpounou is a visual artist based in London. She holds a degree in Fine arts and Painting from Aristotle University of Fine arts and in 2011 she completed her MA at Central Saint Martins College of Art. Since then she has been awarded several awards including the De Laszlo Foundation Award (2011) from the Royal Society of Portrait Painters, the Secret Art Prize, and she was shortlisted for the Jerwood Drawing Prize (2015) and the Ashurst Emerging artist Prize (2017). Her work has been exhibited and published widely in the UK and abroad. Some of her exhibitions include the Jerwood Drawing Price, the Royal society of Portrait Painters, the Royal Institute of Watercolour Painters, The Threadneedle Prize, the Discerning Eye, Modern Panic III, Xhibit and AOI’s best of British Illustration Images 35. Her work was selected to be published several times at Aesthetica’s annuals, Creative Works and ArtMaze magazine (summer 2017). Her professional portfolio also includes collaborations with several clients including Nike and UAL.
My recent work revolves around the idea of the portrait as a means and space of exposure. It seeks to subvert the apparent glorification in portraiture and invoke the fragmentary and the discursive. I mostly like using a colorful mix of water based media and working from the fashion and pop culture, masking and layering are deployed to create figures whose identities emerge out of a play of hiding and revealing. I seek to create fragmented and grotesque portraits that touch upon the misinterpretation of the human figure in media and evoke the undermining of the idolized personas that are portrayed, balancing between beauty and repulsion.