CM: Margarita Petrova's Untitled Portrait belong to a series of works in progress. This series' pretext was the industrialized canvas, a model of elegant embroidery, with its standard seal / subject, which also includes the instruction as to the 'proper' use of the presumptive, but novice embroiderer of the 1970s. Petrova transforms such a handiwork, by breaking the rules of decency and of exemplary elegance, in order to create her own subjective feel of what representation or likeness in portraiture means.
The present Untitled Portrait concerns a portrait of Ludwig Van Beethoven (1770-1827). Petrova's aim was to take a stereotypical version of an immediately recognizable personality - as Beethoven - and to relieve the portrait's physiognomy of its well-known characteristics, letting the only identifiable element to be its name in the lower part of the embroidery, but without referring to the name in the title. She uses a fragment of a frame as the the emblem par' excellence of an artwork's stereotypical presentation. On this fragment she supports excerpts of the industrialized canvas - already embroidered - which includes the head, the hands, the identity and model instructions as to the braiding. The artist ensures the excerpts are supported by threads in their most elemental capacity, so that the final effect is barely presentable.
Petrova's art is a comment on stereotypal imagery that floods contemporary life. She appropriates prefabricated industrialized materials and transforms them by subverting the institutionalized attributes of the artwork as meaning. In this way, Petrova salvages the artwork from standardization, breaking its codes and creating afresh a new feeling of it.
[Megakles Rogakos 10/2007]
ROGAKOS, MEGAKLES Silent Dialogues: Multimedia Portraits Throughout Time 2008 The American College of Greece - ACG Art, Athens