#Throw Back Mondays (originally posted 8/2/10)
Anna Karakalou is 34. Her short dark violet hair hangs short. She expresses herself with her home that is furnished with dark-shaded furniture and a small, rusted black piano sitting in the living room. On the side, she sings in the band, “We Govern We” and describes their music as “dark and hopeful.”
Karakalou just returned from a sunny Palm Springs vacation for the Veterans Day weekend. And on this gloomy, overcast Saturday, she wishes that same heat could warm Ventura.
"If we could, like, pick up the whole wav and put it ... someplace really, really hot. That'll be perfect," says Karakalou, giggling.
But there is somewhere else that remains a special place is Karakalou' heart, Greece. She hails from northern Athens, spending her summers on the Island of Porous.
Her art penchant spans back to these younger days. With a stain glass artist as a father, and an interior decorator as a mother, she was raised in an artistic household, where artistry was a lifestyle. "It was always since I was little, like, the thing to be doing all the time," Karakalou says.
"Birds and women, I think, is the overriding kind of theme."
Karakalou has spent her life as a nomad, moving from one place to another. And being unable to break away from a constant nostalgia she carries with her, she has expressed it as a theme in her paintings. She has approached her paintings, adding elements from her hometown in Greece into her current surrounding.
"It's kind of a lonely thing, or a ... thing that's very based in solitude," Karakalou says.
"I think a lot of it is coming through difficult emotions, or dealing with dark things or dark emotions, but finding something beautiful."
But Karakalou believes people's character is measured by how they cope with these type of issues. "Either you can let it make you bitter and destroy you, or you can learn something from it," says Karakalou, who lives with this with mentality. "I think, as a person, that that's ... what steers me."
Karakalou not only works her musical muscle when she’s away from the canvas, exploring an array of arts. Also producing art for comics and decorating guitars, she has been described as "eclectic." But she believes that the same theme in her work is universal, transcending from one medium to another.
Karakalou’ band “We Govern We” has performed at various Ventura bars and clubs. They’ve been dubbed by local media as the “Hardest Working Band in Ventura.”
All photographs were shot inside Anna's beautiful home by photographer Jaclyn Szabo