Born in 1980, France
Lives and works in Athens, Greece
Le Corbusier once said “I would rather draw than speak. Drawing is faster and leaves less space to lie”. Mylène Jampanoï’s drawings, a French artist that works in Athens, are just like that : personal, sensible but objective. Her portraits, with a pure and precise line, remind us of Cocteau. Just like the polyvalent XXth century poet was greatly inspired by antic tales, Mylène Jampanoï’s faces evoke those of Olympian gods and goddesses.
“I always favored mythology to history, because history is a truth that gets distorted from mouth to mouth and becomes a lie, whereas myth, from mouth to mouth, takes strengths and becomes true.” told Cocteau in the Greek Prestige in 1960. In the emerging artist’s work, the drawn figures transcribe a Greek mythology both dreamy and personal. She manages to give a touching face to these mythical faces. Besides, these drawings are reminiscent of the pure line figures of ancient Hellenic ceramics. Greek mythology largely inspired artists, and Mylène Jampanoï’s faces, with antic divinities’ notes, recall those of Alekos Fassianos, greek contemporary artist with whom antic and mythological legends have had a major impact.
Greek culture, modern and antique, is a considerable source of inspiration for her. The link between her art and poetry is obvious, and some drawings are even laid along with poems. More than a plain addition to the piece, the poem and the portrait really form a coherent whole. The poetic text emphasizes the inspiration of the artwork and tells an even more sensible story. The delicate shades of blue, green, and even white that has an entire place in her work, summon both the Greek sweetness of life, as well as an emotion and a particular melancholy, that invite us to escape into a world as chimerical as concrete.
Mylène Jampanoï studied in the FEMIS (the National School of Image and Sound Professions) in the scenario department, between 2016 and 2018, where she discovered the power of writing. She considers drawing as a form of writing, but also like the best extension to her work and her life. Drawing is for Mylène Jampanoï a means of protecting herself from the outside world, without forgetting it but by putting on the paper her emotions, her feelings about contemporary events. As a child, drawing was
her mechanism to get into her own bubble and to go against her shyness. Upon reaching adulthood, drawing presented itself to her again, but as a vital need, a means of expression in its own right. Drawing has some nobility, a mystery, and represents for Mylène Jampanoï a very personal and complex manner of speaking about herself. Drawing allows her to exteriorize a certain anxiety, by portraying familiar faces that she recreates in accordance with her own imagination.
Mylène Jampanoï’s work is not just about portraits. She also makes abstract landscapes that allow her to get out of some sort of secondary state in which she finds herself after achieving her mythical faces. She is of a great gentleness while showing a strong and passionate temperament. She is a hardworking artist, and her art is just like her. Her portraits are as sensible as full of an intriguing exaltation, and her landscapes subtly reflect the tenderness and emotion that drive her.