Athens painter turns blockbusters into motion picture art

Greek artist Virginia Axioti’s work is seen by thousands of people every week, but none of it is digital.

As the designer of hand-painted billboards that hang over the entrance to Athens’ Athinaion cinema advertising the newest film, she can count on a regular audience without having to embrace the internet.


Her latest work set the scene for the Greek opening on Wednesday night of “Avengers: Endgame” from Disney’s Marvel Studios, the culmination of 22 Marvel films since 2007, which could break global box-office records.

Sticking with hand-painted billboards continues a tradition introduced in 1960 at the 970-seat cinema, when it was founded by Axioti’s grandfather and great-uncle. One of the city’s oldest cinemas, it is the only one that still crafts its billboard posters by hand.

“The most basic difference (with digital posters) … is the human touch. It stands out, the gaze will stay on it … it is not static, it is like something alive,” the 41 year old artist, now a co-owner of the cinema, told Reuters.

Still, creating an advert for Disney’s latest blockbuster sets a particular challenge, with seven superheroes in various poses to accommodate.

Mridha Shihab Mahmud

Mridha Shihab Mahmud is a writer, content editor and photojournalist. He works as a staff reporter at News Hour. He is also involved in humanitarian works through a trust called Safety Assistance For Emergencies (SAFE). Mridha also works as film director. His passion is photography. He is the chief respondent person in Mymensingh Film & Photography Society. Besides professional attachment, he loves graphics designing, painting, digital art and social networking.
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