Above: Detail of 15 / 96 Astraea, oil on canvas, 30 x 40"
Erika Meriaux has a long history as an oil painter of representational and symbolic storylines. Her recent and most extensive work revolves around the theme of Greek Mythology. There is more than a small aspect of humor to her witty and contemporary interpretations of the classic stories. With the following words Meriaux describes the development of her explorations:
"For a few years, I’ve been working on a series that is completely dedicated to the illustrative interpretation of Greek myths. Why did I choose to interpret Greek Mythology? The reasons are multiple, and some are subconscious. My interest was aroused by visiting museums in France where interpretations of classic myths appear throughout the artwork of many old masters. Another obvious reason is that mythology encompasses so many subjects that it gratifies my curiosity and eclecticism. It’s a medium that evokes a panoply of topics, including love, sex, violence, greed, jealousy, beauty, ugliness, nature – in other words, everything! All the details of human nature and the human condition are enclosed in its stories, it gives artists the opportunity to explore a large field of subjects while at the same time enabling them to keep their focus on a unique body of work. This inspiration led me to read extensively about Greek mythology and antiquity, and I have the wonderful feeling that I will continue learning about it for a very long time."