Thursday, 30 June 2011

Pandemonia talks Food & Baloney!

JCC'S FOOD AND DRINK BLOG

Jamie Cotter Cra​ig Interviews Pandemonia

Pandemonia
Photos: Georgiadou Christina.

Name and Occupation

Pandemonia. Fine Artist. You must take a look at my website.
www.Pandemonia99.com

Size Zero or Hearty Eater?
I don't know about all that. I just live on star dust.


Which cookery writer do you admire?

Plato said that rhetoric is the counterpart of cookery in the soul.


Who is your favourite chef?

Berty Bassit. He caters for all sorts.

What do you like to cook for friends and why?
Candy Floss. It's light and airy just like me.

One kitchen gadget you could not live without.
Fridge magnets.

What sweets did you like as a child?
Cadbury Curly Wurlies

What is your earliest food memory?
Eating the icing off a cake


A celebration is not complete without......

A red carpet.


What is your favourite food item?

Another bite of the cherry.


You travel a LOT, which countries food do you look forward to most?

I never got to Hungary, they never give you enough there. I've had some good fry ups in Greece.


A cooking tip you would like to share with everyone?

You have to break a few eggs to make an omelet.

Favourite restaurant?
Room service!

Most memorable meal ever?
Jessica rarebit.

Where do you go for your favourite cocktail?
The Pharmacy

Which seasonal ingredient do you look forward to seeing most during the year?
Snow flakes for Snowy, he's my dog.

You have been extremely naughty and you are about to have your last supper, who would you like to join you?
Oh I could invite Hundreds & Thousands. Let me see...

The Michelin man - he always brings a few stars with him
Mr Atkins – you know its important to have a healthy diet
Willy Wonka – for dessert
The mad hatter – for tea
Cruella de Vil – Style
Mr Tickle – He's always good for a laugh.
Mr Kellogg – for breakfast.
Mr Campbells – for the soup
Baron Munchhausen – a sense of adventure
Dogmatix - mustn't forget Snowy

Which chef do you wish would whip up a delicacy for you?

Heston Blumenthal. Maybe he could make me a soufflé and meringue dress with matching bag and hat .

Fine dining or relaxed local?
Fine dining any day. One has to be seen in all the best places.

For More go to JCC's Food & Drink

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Life in Plastic

Nouse
Origional articel published Nouse. June 22, 2011
Text: Paris Bennett. Fashion Editor of Nouse
Phototography: Jenny Van Sommers



Pandemonia has the wow factor. Or perhaps Pandemonia is the wow factor. The phenomenon of performance art, has been formulated under the name Pandemonia, into a larger-than-life cartoon character, with the intention of provoking a reaction, whilst at the same time being a reaction. The presence of this doll-like figure certainly commands your attention unlike any regular arty or eccentric character. Indeed, being head to toe in latex, seven feet tall, and all woman is enough to merit interest from those in the industry also trying to create an unusual ‘image’.

In fact, the industry rather like the cartoon created by the post-pop conceptual artist. Pandemonia has been spotted at film premieres, glossy on location photo shoots, and even Boy George's 50th birthday party last week. Her fans and friends include Kanye West's ex Amber Rose, Philip Tracy and Steve Strange. But, standing the challenges facing art and artists du jour, this walking piece of art must also resolve her existential purpose.

As a conceptual artist, the ideas behind the art take precedence over traditional material concerns, yet this does not detract from the aesthetic appreciation of Pandemonia’s silhouette and features. She describes these as quite traditional features. “It’s figurative; it’s concerned with our relationship between identity and the media and who we are in a changing landscape. As a celebrity, albeit an artificial celebrity, I am the glossiest celeb of the glossies. I fit right in.”

Alluding to her image being not merely part of fashion, but of celebrity culture too, it seems ambiguous as to whether she is an item of gossip, an icon, or an imaginary celebrity. But she clarifies that her “ideas come from the mass media so it makes scene to put them back in there. That way I am communicating to a ready audience.”

“The celebrity arena is a platform to exhibit my work. I am inside the idea and have become the medium. Celebrity is the face of the media. As a pseudo-celebrity, I am a construction of media aspirations and dreams – A copy in the world of illusion.” If the birth of an innovative product in an already saturated market, involves the right product, in the right place with the right promotion, then she seems to have got it impressively spot on.

The female form is always being rearranged and re-worked, I am simply working within that time-honoured tradition

Although the conceptual side is important to this walking Barbie, would artistic expression through other mediums such as painting have a bigger impact? “Oh yes, I used to exhibit paintings and drawings in traditional gallery spaces but they always seemed so old fashioned. Our 24-hour media world is a more exciting and modern place to be in. When you watch TV you can’t help but notice that people are only interested in other people, preferably celebrities.”

The value of the character compliments conceptual. The raw appearance of the character seems to juxtapose the female silhouette. But she says, “females are far more alluring. Everyone likes looking at the female form, look at Art, look at advertising. In the West, the female form is always being rearranged and re-worked, I am simply working within that time-honoured tradition.”

Pandemonia is ‘re-working’ the tradition with a re-generation fabric. Latex relates to an industry of latex condoms, rubber playsuits and fetish. But Pandemonia says that she uses it “because it’s shiny. All the best things are shiny – gold, diamonds, cars, magazines, gadgets. Shiny means fresh and new. Almost everything you buy now is wrapped in plastic so it must be good.” She has tapped out human sense of allure being a primitive sensation felt by all. But it’s not just latex that re-works the female form, as she has used denim in the silhouette too. “That material also has lots of conations. It’s mass-produced. It once symbolised the working class and became a fashion statement of the rebel. A symbol of freedom and individuality. Disenfranchised from its roots and re-cut by top fashion labels.”

As the story of Pandemonia unravels, it becomes apparent that her paramount expression and reaction is about self-awareness, which could be argued to characterize the celebrity industry itself. The inflated and fixated hairstyle, pop up chest and attention to details that includes matching shoes, bag and outfit co ordination can relate to any celebrity. But which celebrities in particular have looks which have been borrowed from? “I’m inspired by whoever is in the media at the moment, for a while it was
Paris Hilton. She’s perfect because she’s famous for nothing and she’s blonde. Today we are getting a lot of
Cheryl Cole. I wonder who will be next.”

I’m not sure whether she intends for the stark irony; at London Fashion Week her image bombarded the style pages, finding itself next to the very celebrities she takes inspiration from. She responds “People have interpreted me in all sorts of ways. My presence offers a subtext, a reflection on what is happening.”

But do the celebrities object to her social reflection, view this 3D inflated latex symbol as a mockery of their existence? “They are all receptive to my work, reactions run between amazement and amusement.” This refreshingly seems to epitomize how seriously we take the media, and how light heartedly the celebs categorise themselves

The three way relationship of audience, media and celebrity appears to show the power being dominantly placed at the celebrity’s feet. The inflatable items to the suit, such as the handbag and hairstyle represent the transience of celebrity shelf life. “My head and bags are empty they are only surface. It’s so easy not to look beyond the surface. I have thought about inflating other areas but I think it’s important to stay elegant.

“My Marlboro dress is my favourite creation. It sits in a space halfway between reality and advertising. When I wear it I am imbued with the force of nature, the power of the Marlboro mountain. I am inside the medium. The alchemy of myth and advertising entwine and fuse together around me.”

The consistent focus on a rather brand categorised industry, I find myself trying to remember Pandemonia as ‘artwork’ rather than ‘product’. However, her most profound expression is to view celebrity culture as a market, but rather as an artistic expression. All surface, with hidden substance, in which Pandemonia appears to have created a perfect positioning of herself in our culture.

Friday, 17 June 2011

The STreeT ArT Show

Where: Opera Gallery London
When: 16th June 2011

Paying homage to the street artists, Pandemonia attends private view in Londons west end.
Photo: Nick Harvey

Pandemonia sips champaign in front of Sabers - Abstract flag in pink and purple


Style Brake Down

Hair - Inflatable blonde with low lights
Clothes – Marlboro red Dress.
Shoes – glass slippers
Bag – inflatable Marlboro clutch bag
Accessories - Matching red gloves and black sunglasses

Exhibition of paintings of...

Keith Haring, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Banksy, Blek Le Rat, Seen, Ron English, Logan Hics, Crash, The London Police, Nick Walker, Saber, D'Face, b, Swoon, Kid Zoom, Alexone, Anthony Lister, Alexandros Vasmoulakis, How & Nosm, Mr Jago, Sweet TooF, Rich Simmons.


Pandemonia in 3D
Photo: Anthony O'Neill

OPERA GALLERY LONDON
134 New Bond Street,
London W1S 2TF,
UK

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Boy George's 50th Birthday party.

boy George
Where: Boy Georges 50th Birthday.
When: 14th June 2011

Spotted at London's Lightbox, Pandemonia chats with twitter follower LaQuif.


Hair: Inflatable palatinate blonde
Dress: Blue cartoon shift dress.
Bag: Matching inflatable blue bag.
Accessories: Black plastic sunglasses.
Shoes: Blue rubber mules


The Gossip: Pandemonia chats with new fans, Steve Strange, Martin Kemp and Philip Tracy.

Monday, 6 June 2011

Shopping in downtown Athens.

Pandemonia: Athens: May 2011

Pandemonia
Ariving by yellow taxi.

Pandemonia
Shopping at Prada and Loui Vuitton

Pandemonia
The antique market

Pandemonia

Pandemonia
Coffee on Eleftheriou Venizelou

Photos: Georgiadou Christina.
Soul Magazine Interview

Friday, 3 June 2011

Soul Magazine

Pandemonia
PANDEMONIA: London based fine artist in Athens
Photos: Georgiadou Christina.
Text: Soul Magazine


One of the most provocative figures of contemporary art has visited Greece for the exhibition’s ARRRGH! Monsters in Fashion opening at the Benaki Museum. In the streets of Athens, Pandemonia has created a project especially for SOUL.

Pandemonia: a tall, plastic, ironic incarnation of contemporary pop culture. Covered from head to toe in latex, she is provoking since some time ago the established art scene by wearing self-invented costumes, presenting herself in high interest exhibitions and achieving features in internationally renowned magazines.

It’s about a living pop phenomenon that has visited our country in May 14th in order to attend the exhibition’s ARRRGH! Monsters in Fashion opening and to take part in Atopic Bodies [FIVE]: The Monsters’ Ball, a fashion performance specially conceived by the ATOPOS CVC team for that night.

We followed her minute by minute. Pandemonia

Soul: What was your relation to art, before adopting the identity of Pandemonia? When did that happen, and how did you decide upon it?

Pandemonia:I used to exhibit in traditional gallery spaces but they always seemed so old fashioned. Our 24-hour media world is a more exciting and modern place to be in. When you watch TV you can't help but notice that people are only actually interested in other people, preferably celebrities.
I now chose the celebrity arena as a platform to exhibit my work. I am inside the idea and have become the medium. Celebrity is the face of the media. As a pseudo-celebrity I am a construction of media aspirations and dreams - A copy in the world of illusion.
 
Soul: Your earliest appearances must have been quite a shock to spectators. What were their initial reactions?

Pandemonia: I did turn a few heads. Just like now, they still love to photograph me. I met all sorts of people. It was fun meeting Boy George.

Soul:
How difficult a procedure has it been, establishing yourself within the art world?

Pandemonia: I just didn't bother with the art world. Have you heard that phrase “cut out the middle man?” well; I showed my work directly to the public and got press. To me it’s more relevant to be in the glossy magazines where a larger audience can see my work and ideas. That’s the right kind of audience. Anyway, I copied my ideas straight out of the magazines so it’s fitting to put them back in. It’s all give and take. That's how creativity works.
Recently, I was approached by the Aubin Gallery in London to do a show which we are currently working on. It is going to be a sculpture show; Fine Art collides with Fashion - Post Pop parody. Its only now, that I have some press that it makes sense to do a show in an Art gallery again. I will invite the press and all the celebrities I have met, to the opening. The show will be a PR event in itself. It will look good in the magazines!
 
Soul: Is Pandemonia a way of saying that modern culture is all surface and no substance?

Pandemonia: Of course I am all surface and no substance, I'm inflatable! Sure, modern culture has substance; it’s a manifestation of the market interests. I'm discovering all these products for desires I never knew I had. You can now find something new about yourself just form going to the supermarket. Is that what they call “shelf realization”?
 
Soul: How close do you feel with Andy Warhol’s philosophy about life and art?

Pandemonia: Warhol would probably describe his philosophy as about nothing! Although Warhol’s work was 40 years ago its still relevant today. He opened up a new door for many artists - Keith Haring, Jeff Koons, Ashley Bikerton, Cosey Fanni Tutti, Damien Hirst and Takashi Murakami etc just to name a few that were influenced by him. He took Art back down from its pedestal and made work about the world around us.
Warhol is inspirational, and prophetic of what was to come. The world has changed since his time.
The Internet, media and economics are impacting on our continuously changing world. I am interested in the philosophy of
Judith Butler and Jean Baudrillard - the age old questions of who we are, our relationship to ourselves and our environment.
 
Soul: You have said that,“products are the new superstars”. Would you care to expand on that matter?

Pandemonia:
Products underpin everything at the moment; they are now the movers and shakers. It’s no longer what’s No1 in the charts or who's your favorite film star. Now it’s iPhone verses Blackberry. Ducati vs. BMW. When I saw the film Tron Legacy the only legacy I remembered was Daft Punk and Ducati. “Tron, the story of a Ducati rider listening to Daft Punks latest album”. Its not what you’re into, it’s what you got. Its not often you can take you favorite film star home with you, but you can drive home on your new Ducati, snuggle up to you new ipad and listen to Daft Punk. Now we are defined by what we buy.
 
Soul: Do you believe that we the people have a say on fashion or culture anymore? Or is it dictated to us by the media and advertizing corporations?

Pandemonia: We are all under the illusion of the American Dream – “we make the choices and define our lives.”
When I go shopping I cant help thinking, all the “choices” have already been decided years ago. That's why everything looks the same.
I guess someone should know what he or she is doing. Imagine a world where everyone followed my fashion tips. There would be a lot more big wigs about, and that never helps decision-making and mass production. They would have to start making all the doors wider and the taxis bigger. Every one would look nice and glossy like they stepped out from a magazine.
Industry is so big now and its elements so fragmented, around the world all the decisions have to be made in advance. Culture is new a way of selling more. It’s the way they produce things nowadays.
I do my hair down stairs and make my legs up stairs and my dresses in another room. Sometimes the left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing; it’s a topsy-turvy world. It’s amazing anything gets done.
 
Soul: Getting into the technicalities of being Pandemonia, how much preparation does tailoring, wearing and eventually becoming an outfit requires?

Pandemonia:
It takes an age to make anything. The simpler it looks the harder it is. I do a lot of drawing. Everything is planed out to the minute detail. That's the way industry does it.
 
Soul: Why do you mostly use vinyl, latex and elastic fabric for your outfits? Do you find that those materials are associated with fetishism and thus have a more striking appeal?
 
Pandemonia: The collective subconscious is something I’m interested in. Fetishism is linked with sexuality. Latex has a direct link to the subconscious. Look how emotive it is. It is amorphous it can stretch and change shape.
 
We all fetishize over commodities. Have you ever noticed when you buy something new how exciting it is until you take it home and unwrap it. It’s not the thing itself; it’s the idea it represents. I'm what you call all inside out. I wear the inside on the outside. Everything is clearly displayed on the outside.
 
Soul: Has your real identity been a subject of controversy among fans and journalists? Do people try to find out who you are?

Pandemonia:Identity is something you wear, or at least something I wear. I am an idea. What is on the reverse of the canvas is irrelevant.
The media loves stories, this mystery got legs!
There was some speculation in the press that I must be someone famous who didn't want to be recognized, possibly a supermodel or maybe a top fashion designer.

Pandemonia
Soul: Is Pandemonia a 24-hour occupation? How’s your life outside your artistic persona? Do you have a job, for instance?
Pandemonia: Keeping up my appearance is a 24-hour occupation. They say its the first impression is the one that counts. To live the idolized life is a great responsibility.
Being me is a job itself. It’s a full time production.
 
Soul: Which artists and fashion designers do you admire?

Pandemonia: I admire ancient Greek Art. Greece is the birthplace of Western culture and philosophy. It’s incredible that after two and a half thousand years we are still doing the same things and concerned with the same ideas.
We are driven to improve on reality. The West has always been interested going beyond reality. The ancients were doing it then and we are still doing it now. In sculpture, Polycleitus was exaggerating the body to make it more beautiful, even removing some bones. We just do the same now though surgery and digital imaging. Look at any fashion magazine or advert.
Phidias was using the golden section to create pure forms; today with computers we have continued these ideas with Mandelbrot's fractals and parametric design. I wonder what Phidias would of though to Zahra Hadid.
Our culture and aesthetics may be different now, but we still have the same motivations. The cult of the “body beautiful” is stronger than ever now. Its no wonder the Olympics came from Greece.
The cave wall may have changed but the shadows remain the same.
 
Soul: Do you see yourself as a mirror of the 21st century? If so, what does that mirror reflect?
 
Pandemonia: The Internet puts everything in flux. All the boundaries are eroding. The difference between high and low culture is disappearing, it’s all commodity now.
 
I am made from the environment around me. When I look in the mirror I am always reminded of the things I ought to be, it’s like seeing yourself on film. I simply go for the Max Factor. Cosmetic conceptualism.


The exhibition ARRRGH! Monsters in Fashion is held at the Benaki Museum (Peiraios str. building), and is participating in the Athens Festival 2011. The exhibition presents works by:

Walter Van Beirendonck, Hideki Seo, Alexis Themistocleous, Dr NOKI’s NHS, Issey Miyake, Cassette Playa and Gary Card, Marcus Tomlinson, Bronwen Marshall, Charlie Le Mindu, Jean-Charles De Castelbajac, Bas Kosters, Maison Martin Margiela, Andrea Ayala Closa, Bernhard Willhelm, Mareunrol’s and Pyuupiru amongst others.
During the exhibition ATOPOS CVC will present the fully illustrated publication NOT A TOY. Fashioning Radical Chatacters, about the growing influence of Character design in fashion and art, edited by Vassilis Zidianakis, ATOPOS CVC, published by Pictoplasma Publishing, Berlin, 2011. While specially for the exhibition at the Benaki Museum, ATOPOS CVC has prepared, in Greek and in English, the publication ARRRGH! Monsters in Fashion.