“Welcome to wee”
On Wednesday, October 4, 2017 at 20:00 AD Gallery opens the new solo show of Steve Gianakos entitled “Welcome to wee”.
Steve Gianakos entered the stage of American art almost ten years after the first appearance of Pop Art. He began to exhibit his early work when Pop Art was at its peak, when its stars were shining on the scene, while, at the same time, Minimal Art appeared with remarkable strength. The artist is particularly attracted by the ideas of Minimalism, especially by its shift with respect to the objects and materials used in the composition of the artwork, and the “absence” of the artist from the final work, in the sense of the absence of his recognizable “manual” skills.
The second pole of attraction for Gianakos is the strong image, which arrives at the limits of provocation. His work is nourished by popular culture, by the eroticism and the violence of comic books, by the pretentious innocence of children’s books of the 50s. Gianakos is part of a group of American artists that constituted an opposing force to the sensationalism and commercialism of the mainstream Pop Art of the 60’s… and presented themselves as artists’ artists rather than mediagenic darlings of the market and the art trade.
He takes aim at the politically correct values of puritan America—those of the puritan West—and finds great pleasure in watching them explode in our faces. But the absence of the artist from the final work is what places the provocation in the sphere of the social. Gianakos does not create provocative, sexist and violent images, but “assigns” this role to the peculiar way in which society functions. This is why, in the end, his work is more Punk than Pop.
“The Image is the Product!”
The central issue in this series of works is for the image itself to constitute the final product. In this sense, the spectator shouldn’t “look” beyond it, shouldn’t search the method of construction, the skill of the artist or the texture. This is reminiscent of the effort of minimalist art to produce works that are self-contained. Gianakos takes up the challenge to do so through the strength of the image. He doesn’t bypass the difficulties of figurative composition by simply giving it up. He also wants to revert the characteristic process of Pop Art, which upgrades common images from comics and pop heroes to the “noble” material of the canvas. Here painting loses its halo and acquires the form of a commonplace object, it transforms into a “poster”. Steve Gianakos chooses to make his final product look like a “poster”, a perfect industrially produced product. So, here the visitor of the exhibition will have to get over his uneasiness to decide to what extent what he sees is just a poster or not. If, in the end, the strength of the image makes the object-product a work of art.
The works in the exhibition are unique pieces. The artist does not follow the pathways of mec-art of the 60s, where the painter composed the form that, supposedly, would be produced massively by a machine. He chooses to create unique works, which could lead him to different versions of the image. His approach is closer to the approach of Picabia and the different versions of his own painting that the latter made. Versions for which Picabia was at first criticized, and later praised as the ancestor of contemporary painting.
The 1st flour of the gallery presents a selection of printed canvases, either as pre-thoughts or after-thoughts in the process of making the black-and-white works of the 2nd floor. The research that led him to the “pure image-product”, to his “posters”, has in a way infiltrated the canvas. By breaking the traditional rules and using some of the codes and methods that were used, during the previous century, to declare the “end of art”, Gianakos seeks, on the contrary, to push art a step further.
The position The Image is the Product wasn’t however always as strong. During previous historical periods, the image was only the pretext. The important thing was what was happening in “the inner space” of the work, and what was important was set by the particular means by which the artist composed the image. This position is here canceled. There is nothing happening inside the image we see. However, Gianakos’ position isn’t an analogous to the philosophical debate on the “end of art” or the “end of ideology”. The artist wants to expose the myths that accompany the work of art as much as the role of the artist in society. Myths that supported the dominating social beliefs concerning the relation among opposite sexes, sexuality, family or the role of the child. Gianakos wishes to subtract the “traditional” values of art, to destroy it’s “aura”, to be finally able to touch it’s essence.
Compared to the more appealing canvases, the posters are more unappetizing in many ways – in terms of the picture, in terms of the violence of the subject matter, in terms of the paper. You have to be a slightly “vulgar” person to consider it art… “But the message has to be strong enough to make the picture appealing” says Gianakos. “Think for a moment, who makes posters? Political parties, for instance, make posters. Their purpose is to produce something direct and strong, which does not need any explanation, where the meaning is the image, where the image, and therefore the meaning, is the product. That’s the goal – to make nothing … it’s close to nothing, but it is something. It is really not easy, but it’s interesting to figure out how to make the ugliest thing in the world into a beautiful thing to look at”.
Exhibition duration: October 4 – December 2, 2017
Visiting hours: Tuesday-Friday 12:00-21:00 and Saturday 12:00-16:00
Currents and Currencies
Stefania Strouza’s first solo exhibition in Greece opens on Wednesday, 11 October 2017 at a.antonopoulou.art.
In her new solo exhibition, sculptor Stefania Strouza uncovers the analogies between currents and currencies, focusing on the connections that both establish between territories, populations, discourses, and economies.
From the first aquatic flow of the mythical river Potamos up to contemporary information circuits, currents act as mediators for the appearance of a series of topological formations. In parallel, the earliest currency is embodied in the form of seashells used in maritime trade. The artist explores these historical and metaphorical ties between flows and currencies, thus blurring the boundaries between nature, culture, and economy.
The exhibition transforms these ideas into a series of sculptural works that oscillate between connectivity and disjuncture, liquidity and “petrification”. Three materials—marble, aluminium and silicon—refer to the different flows of matter within historical time, from the slow-moving currents of the ancient world, to the faster-paced industrial epoch and finally to the accelerated era of the post-industrial. Finally, the motif of accumulation of flows, objects and concepts takes the form of a large-scale textile, a fluid diagram in dialogue with the hybrid objects of the installation.
Stefania Strouza has recently returned to Athens, Greece. She is a graduate of Architecture from the National Technical University of Athens and has completed two postgraduate programs, the first at the Institute “Art, Space and Nature” of Edinburgh College of Art (2010) and the second at the department of Textual Sculpture in the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna (2015). Her practice examines the relationship between cultural history and fictive events and their manifestation in contemporary aesthetic discourses.
She has presented her work in several institutions in Greece and abroad: Bauhaus Foundation Dessau, Germany; Wiener Art Foundation, Austria (solo); Neue Galerie, Innsbruck, Austria (solo); Athens & Epidaurus Festival, Athens, Greece (solo); BOZAR Brussels, Belgium; National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens, Greece; Kunsthalle Athena, Athens, Greece. Strouza is among the recipients of the 2017 Award of the National Bank of Greece for Emerging Artists, the 2015 Diploma Award of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, the 2014 Caritas Hotel Design Award and the 2012 BAT (British American Tobacco) Art Award.
In 2016, she was an artist-in-residence at the Bauhaus Foundation Dessau (DE) and at the Seeger Center for Hellenic Studies in Princeton University (US). In autumn 2017 her work will be presented in the Thessaloniki Biennale of Contemporary Art and in 2018 she will be an artist-in-residence in Mexico City with the support of the Austrian Ministry of Culture.
Opening: Wednesday, 11 October 2017, 7 – 10 p.m.
Exhibition duration: October 12 – November 25, 2017
Visiting Hours: Wed – Fri 2 – 8 p.m. and Saturday 12 – 4 p.m.
METAMORPHOSIS by Dimitris Dokos
Dimitris Dokos became famous through his art collection that portrayed a scarab as a main theme. In this collection, the artist combines the scarab motif with numerous ideograms that compose Dokos collective thoughts.
In Ancient Greece one can easily notice the use of the scarab motif/symbol in many of Aristophanes plays and in several of Aisopos urban tales. Another civilization that widely used the scarab motif was of course, Egypt where it symbolized the power of the sun and was a symbol of rebirth in the afterlife. The scarab seems to be of great importance in Egyptian mythology since it was used to frame ancient maps, stories and portraits. Also, its shape was widely as a basis of many symmetrical and particularly detailed artworks.
Dimitris Dokos, through his scarab collection tries to set aside the “bug” aspect of the scarab and creates a visual language that is similar to hieroglyphics. This is the artists way to emphasize the past and not the future. By using a great number of detailed ideograms, mr Dokos guides the audience to “read” his painting from the left upper corner to the right. Hieroglyphics were used by many great civilizations such as the Egyptian, the Minoan etc. In the first case, in particular, hieroglyphics create a synthesis that portrays an internal idea. Almost, all of the symbols represent a subject with soul or in other cases soulless, that in their more processed form were small artworks ideal for decorating monuments or other buildings and spaces. What is truly remarkable in Dokos works is the synthesis of colours and technique where every symbol is unique and not repeated in the paintng. The main materials that he uses are acrylic colours, oil colours, wood and aluminium whereas several progressive materials include doors from refrigerators, canvases from their backward side, old magazines, car parts, mirrors etc. These artworks try to tell a story that is perceived differently by the audience.
At first, the viewer is thrilled with the multidimensional and thematic aspect of the artworks and then is surrendered in the illusions that are created through the combination of geometrical shapes, patterns and colors. The surrealistic aesthetics hold a very important role in Dokos art and Metamorphosis is his philosophy behind every painting.
Through his artwork he transforms the world in his own way that we admire in every single piece of his art.
Curator: Marianna Mavroudi
Exhibition curation: 02.11.17- 08.12.17
Opening: 02.11.17, 19.00
Tuesday-Friday: 10.00- 19.00
Saturday: 12.00- 16.00
4 Zisimopoulou Str., Glyfada, 16674
MEDIA SPONSOR by KROMA Magazine
“Art in the streets of the World”
Ikastikos Kiklos Sianti has the great honor of presenting the first Street Art group exhibition in Greece, featuring four Athenian street artists of global recognition. Their names are: Manolis Anastasakos, Cacao Rocks, WD and Olga Alexopoulou.
The four street artists will transform the gallery into a street art corner, reflecting the culture of modern Athens and life in its streets.
From November 10th until December 2nd the people of Athens will have the opportunity to participate in the creation of ‘living works of art’, interacting with the artists themselves. They will also be encouraged to share pictures of the artists’ hidden art on social media.
Manolis Anastasakos with his vast experience on grand-scale murals, Cacao Rocks with his unique style of international recognition, WD (Wild Drawing) who is renowned for his impressive “Owl” on an old Athenian building and Olga Alexopoulou, whose love for the sea and her work in Piraeus have become famous all around the world, will come together in Ikastikos Kiklos Sianti, to present their work in a unique exhibition which ‘brakes’ space limitations.
On exhibition’s opening, there will be a presentation of the book ‘Art for the streets of the world’ published by ‘Metaichmion’ Publishing House, a history of graffiti and street art, from its beginnings in the avenues of New York, until now. The book, created especially for this exhibition, includes texts by art historian Manos Stefanides, Associate Professor in the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens and architect and art historian Thanassis Moutsopoulos, Associate Professor in the School of Architecture of the Technical University of Crete. It also includes interviews the artists themselves have given to curator Vassiliki Sianti. On the opening day, our visitors will also have the opportunity to enjoy surprising live performances.
At the same time, visitors will have the opportunity to take a piece of street art with them, as each artist has graciously created two silk screen printings of their most characteristic works, transferring street art into interior spaces.
The Athenian street culture constantly gains in popularity, following in the steps of street art’s growing appeal all over the world. Artists comment upon social issues through their work, or simply light up gray walls with color, provoking an instant reaction. By inviting four street artists, who work both in Athens and abroad (each of which plays a significant role in this particular artistic scene) to occupy the gallery’s premises, Ikastikos Kiklos Sianti aspires to invoke a similar kind of involvement and commitment.
As Manos Stefanides points out: “The forbidden wall, with its almost metaphysical connotations in the minds of young people, who constantly feel imprisoned within walls, has the seductive power of a biblical, forbidden fruit, reconciling sin with paradise. That’s what graffiti is all about!”
In conclusion, as Thanassis Moutsopoulos mentions: “Many street artists believe that they serve society by ‘beautifying’ their environment though their work, thus contradicting the theoretical aspirations of left-wing or anarchist thinkers, who emphasize the clandestine element. Where does the truth lie? You can decide that for yourselves…”
Duration: November 10th until December 2nd, 2017
Media Sponsor: KROMA Magazine
Familiar are the people we know and love; is our family; is the core that evolves and grows with the familiar objects, the useful ones and the superfluous ones, the ones that people use up or put away. The welded pieces of a familiar reality, which, through the narration of their appearance, give a taste that aspires to the poetry of life. Their expressive activity lies in the swift memory, in the need to hoard things and faces that are familiar and dear, and can turn a person’s joy to a family virtue.
The familiar ones are the ones that liven up an ordinary chat with us, like a narration of the simple in the sense of the basic, where, even if the space was emptied, they would still be here to draw a tender emotion with the familiar tones of the chatting art; the one that the familiar people bear like they bear their children.
The exhibition presents works by:
Alexis Akrithakis, Spyros Vasileiou, Yannis Gaitis, Agis Zita, Vlassis Kaniaris, Stella Kapezanou, Giorgos Lappas, Giorgos Mavroidis, Kyriakos Mortarakos, Giorgos Bouzianis, Dimitris Mitaras, Spiridoula Politi, Costas Tsoclis, Yannis Tsarouchis, Thanos Tsigkos, Alekos Fassianos, Dimitris Chiotopoulos
Opening: Tuesday, November 14, 2017
Exhibition duration: from November 14 to December 11, 2017
Monday to Friday 11:00-14:30 & 17:00-20:00
Address: 4 Kleomenous Street, Kolonaki
Tel/Fax: 210 7220231
Media Sponsor: KROMA Magazine
Estro – the travel of Oistros
by AFI Collective
Organised and curated by Orasi Art
Orasi Art inaugurates its first project in Athens on 16/11.
‘Estro – the travel of Oistros’ marks the transferal and continuation of the exhibition ‘Οίστρος – il viaggio dell’ Estro’, which took place in Bologna, Italy, in March 2016, marking a great success.
The exhibition explores how the word Oistros, with its multiple definitions(inspiration, gadfly, mammalian ovulation), reflects the linguistic exchange between Greece and Italy that has been taking place over centuries. On another level, Oistros can be seen as a passage across the Mediterranean or as a journey of artistic exploration. The artworks consist of installations made by the AFI Collective, a group of eight artists based in Greece who have been working together since 1979, with the aim of breaking down the boundaries between fine arts and crafts.
The exhibition venue is located at Kerameikos 28 in Metaxourgeio. It is an abandoned neoclassical, multi-storey building that has been entrusted to the management of Communitism, a group of young people who aim to develop the space into a cultural center of interaction of the local community with Greek and international artists.
Spaces, similarly to people, words and works of art tell stories. An exhibition space that unfolds various narratives, often complements the exhibition theme and therefore enhances the artistic and curatorial quality of the show, making at the same time the visitor’s experience more interesting.
Kerameikos 28 is such a space. The high ceilings, the labyrinthal layout, the worn walls and the air of Metaxourgeio coming in through the open ceilings and the cracked windows, offer the ideal setting for a journey of discovery through ‘Estro – the travel of Oistros’.
The atmosphere of the area is reminiscent of another era, when the famous silk factory was still operating; the building’s ‘Carnival Room’ revives the colourful Carnival of Metaxourgeio; the spacious room that used to house the printing workshop brings to mind scents of ink. The charm of this exhibition lies in that the memories embedded in the buildings history and location are now traveling through the raw materials and techniques that artists used in their work: fabric, metal and cyanophytes.
Orasi Art was founded in 2015 to promote fine arts as a means on intercultural dialogue through projects focusing on cultural exchange.
Artists participating: Judith Allen-Efstathiou, Inger Carlsson, Eva Cheiladaki, Theodora Chorafas, Corinna Coutouzi, Maria Grigoriou, Despina Pantazopoulou, Yiannis Papadopoulos
Media Sponsor: KROMA Magazine