The Curator’s Eye: Goddess of Beasts

Selected by Cable Griffith, exhibitions director, Kirkland Arts Center

Dimitriou creates encaustic and mixed-media paintings of adapted and invented archetypal characters. Though influenced by traditional iconography, she uses her work to critically address her sources. Borrowing from tarot illustrations, religious icons and art history, Dimitriou combines familiar imagery to create her own world of personal expression and social commentary. Her use of symbolism — incorporating books, calendars, puzzles and fortune cookies — is as layered as her paintings’ surfaces.

High Priestess, 2008, encaustic and collage on panel, 47 x 24 inches

These added elements are chosen for both their visual and symbolic qualities, adding a sense of mystery to her constructed narratives.  What appears to be a playful use of found materials is actually a very deliberate and considered criticism of blind faith. Dimitriou demonstrates a command of strong composition, a dynamic palette and a unique ability to blend material, technical and conceptual components into a body of work that is both beautiful and unsettling. —Cable Griffith


“The first painting I sold was a mixed-medium figurative concoction of female body parts spliced onto reptile and animal anatomy. Several decades later, my painting skills have improved but the content hasn’t shifted too far. I’ve come to accept that I enjoy the company of animals over most humans. Hence, a Madonna with a healthy rack of goat horns is far more trustworthy than the basic Byzantine or Catholic models.” —Carla Dimitriou