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Insights of an Eco Artist

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In conversation: Mikaya Petros

Insights of an Eco Artist Team

Mikaya Petros is an abstract artist born in Milan whose works breathe a dream dimension that absorbs all the contradictions and peculiarities of our era. Symbolism and Time are investigated, broken down and recomposed in a metamorphic vision, a reflection of a mirrored and parallel world.

14 October 2022

Mikaya Petros was born in Milan, class of 1964, daughter of the surrealist painter Petros. She trained in her father's atelier where he made four-handed photographic collages, pictorial and material works. The encounters from the 70s with Andy Warhol, Michele Cascella, Alecos Fassianos, Mimmo Rotella and many characters who have marked our time have been incisive  for her training. “My DNA is surrealist in an abstract figurative soul,” she says. The subjects of her works breathe a dream dimension that absorbs all the contradictions and peculiarities of our era. Symbolism and Time are investigated, broken down and recomposed in a metamorphic vision, a reflection of a mirrored and parallel world. 

Her recent works at Expo Fiera di Milano 2020, at the Museo Archivio di Mantova 2021, at the Biennale Donna in Trieste, at the Arsenale in Venice. Laguna World, at the Michelangelo Expo Rome 2021 International Award at the Dante Alighieri Award at Palazzo Borghese in Florence and at the Dante Society in London. Five of her works has been included in the Permanent Collection of the Mantova Museum, Landscape Como's Museum,Ca 'Pesaro Museum in Venice, and Cica Museu in Corea.

Instagram @mikayapetros #mikayart

As stated in your biography, you trained in your father’s atelier, the surrealist painter Petros, surrounded by figures of that time. How did you think these experiences shaped your artistic practice today?

 Growing up immersed in an artistic atmosphere is a great privilege. When I meet children of Art like me the attunement is immediate and we find ourselves on a magical common ground that sometimes seems reductive to describe in words. My father Petros used to say that he was attracted to the light of Art like a moth and I was thunderstruck by this glow right away. With him, I met de Chirico, Andy Warhol, Cascella, Fontana, Fassianos, Rotella, Vedova, Adami and other great artists. From these encounters, I have treasured a trait, a thought, an insight and many images, which have impressed my being like photographic film. But there are geniuses of the past such as Leonardo or Caravaggio who were instrumental in my formation.


In your statement you mention that “Art is not only a primary need, it has always been my way of living, breathing and looking at things.” Can you elaborate?

I remember as a child my father Petros lifting me to the sky with his long arms pictorially describing the landscape before our eyes. "There where those lights are you put white, in the shadows you put the mix of all the colors and form black." Growing up this remained our language expressed in hours spent together painting or creating material works. One day we dismembered an old piano and he amusedly said to me as prodigious sounds came out of it "Listen, it sounds like a wounded beast. "From this came beautiful works dedicated to great musicians Liszt, Shubert, Beethoven, and Mozart. Perhaps that is why today I collaborate with exceptional sopranos such as Silvia Colombini who recently sang for the Pope or talented composers and pianists such as Korean Younee, Alessandra Rapisardi or even Alessio Miraglia who know how to masterfully set my works to music. 

Cloneable Identity by Mikaya Petros. Image courtesy of Mikaya Petros.


Your work mixes " a dream dimension that absorbs all the contradictions and peculiarities of our era." and investigates symbolism and time. How do you become interested in these subjects?

 I have a surrealist DNA, I investigate my time through a sometimes metaphysical key. In the digital age, human cloning or the metaverse are inexhaustible sources of inspiration. Through these contemporary lenses of observation, I plumb the contradictions of our time 


What can you tell us about the work entitled “Nitrile Erosion”? How did you reach the end result?

Nitrile Erosion is a work I made in my mountain atelier in Rhuilles, Italy. It is an alpine landscape where a rope of mountaineers proceeds among glaciers that are crumbling in a process of erosion that seems to accompany every single one of their steps in the snow. It is the theme of the erosion of our planet as a result of global warming, and human-caused pollution, but it is also a reminder to reflect on the very long time it takes for synthetic, plastic materials such as nitrile to erode, which is symbolically recalled by the painting's title, and the implications of human choices regarding the well-being of our planet. 

Nitrile Erosion by Mikaya Petros. Image courtesy of Mikaya Petros.


What are you working on right now? Do you have any new projects or series you are developing at the moment? 

Right now I am making, in my studio on Lake Como, large-scale works such as the multimedia one entitled" The Other Ocean " 4x2mt that recently entered the Permanent Collection of the Maritime Museum of Bordeaux in France. I collaborate with several international museums and foundations such as Moca or Cica Museum, the Art Center in Dover and the splendid Ca Pesaro in Venice that was among the first museum entities to believe in me. I will soon participate in the Hamburg Biennale in Germany and I am working on international exhibitions with a pictorial_digital breath.

You have exhibited in multiple galleries and art fairs. What is your relationship with curators and galleries?

I'm collaborating with Galleries in every corner of the planet, from Europe to India, from the United States to Asian countries, and it's extremely inspiring. I've been a curator myself in years past, so I'd say it's a reality I know intimately. I would like there to be more women artists in museums, in auctions, and I would like to see the embarrassing numbers of women followed soon as an ancient memory. So I work to make sure that we never forget this priority that the Art world in my opinion needs to solve by closing this gap. 


Zoom on a virtual drop by Mikaya Petros. Image courtesy of Mikaya Petros.

As we are at the end of 2022, did you accomplish what you hoped for this year, both in terms of career goals and personal life? 

The balance for this 2022, despite the pandemic and the delicate international political situation, is very positive. In two years nine works have become part of the Permanent Collections of prestigious Museums, I have three children Alberica, LorenzoFiliberto and CarloEdoardo who surprise me daily with the magnificent polychromy of their souls and a grandson GiorgioManfredi who recently came into the world. I have a supportive husband Francesco, I can happily say that I am an accomplished woman. 





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