Talking to Giannis…
What was the first personal work you created? What was its theme and what was the occasion?
It must have been my first painting. A watercolor, a pair of shoes, that although I worked on it alone at home, my teacher sent it (without me knowing to a pan-Hellenic contest where is got awarded). Without any guidance without rules and “Have tos”, within an hour, I saw new perspectives ahead of me. At that moment I think I decided I do not need rules and that I work better alone without guidance or restrictions.
Do you feel that your work have an identity or are you still looking for?
From the time you stop working on a project, it has a life of its own. I’m not saying you’re done, because you’ll always have to add or remove something. But I believe each piece finds its own identity in a way If your asking if they have common themes with each other or with me I will say yes. In everything I do I try to find my voice and my thoughts. That’s what interests me and that’s what I’m looking for.
What is your view of social media as a supportive tool for your artistic activity?
With social media, you can communicate and publicise your work a lot faster. But we are all in a situation where we only look but we do not see. You need to have a very big want and need or a strong presence to be heard. This need can add to your work and makes it more known and recognizable. Social media on their own are only tools.
Is there a specific piece in this exhibition that stands out for you?
There are two. One is a portrait of my mother entitled “Oh Mother”. I had tried many times to make a project using her form but always something was missing. I found a series of photos that I had taken on a trip. I ended up using the one in which her deepest features were very clear to me. Her sweetness, strength and incredible shyness. The second is “Dont Be A Dick”. It’s something I think about often in regards to human behavior. It is a suggestion and an urge towards everyone. There is no reason to be a dickhead. Just thinking about how similar we are, how similar our lives are, and how common our intentions are, you would conclude that there is no reason to behave in a way you would not want to treated in. Maybe this sounds old-fashioned and Christian, but that’s not how I see it.
Ideally, what would you like someone seeing your work to understand or better yet to feel ?
I would like them to be intrigued. Whether on a just theoretical or a real level. If someone sees or reads something, whether he likes it or not, or agrees or not, that’s what i considered a “win”. If a project succeeds in freezing time for someone standing in front of it, that would be a great achievement. The first time I saw in Prado Rothko’s paintings, Goya’s Dog, and one of Picasso’s first works I really was stunned. I can not describe it as a condition but as a feeling. I remember something flailing, leaving in me a sweet turmoil. I say all of this because I think “only art can brake your heart” and as Maurizio Cattelan said: “Everything seems absurd until we die and then it is reasonable.”
We learned that you are also a collector. Tell us abit about it.
I don’t know if I’m a collector. I look for short print magazines with peculiarities in their prints like Werk, the first ones or some anniversary issues from others like The Face, Arena, i-D or Tank. I have found four issues of Visionaire, the magazine that changed the term periodic edition in typography. I’m also like looking for first editions of some books (I have the first edition of Ascesis: The Saviors of God printed in 1964 ). I hunt numbered or limited cd editions, such as the Collected of Massive Attack (which is printed on thermographic paper and changes color depending on the temperature of the room or the hands that hold it), or the Lullabies To Violaine of the Cocteau Twins that not only contains 4 cds, (while the normal version only 2) its also printed on a paper that resembles wet cotton. I hunt the promos that are distributed before the regular release of the albums that are intended as promotional material and not to be sold and even more promos of cd singles that due to their short duration of circulation are even more rare … In the last few years I have begun collecting works of art from friends with very personal criteria. I gather things that I like and not necessarily things that may have some value. I usually keep things that others think are worthless… In this way I have saved pieces from destruction that when the creator has seen them after a long time (usually) they want them back. I usually return them …
Giannis Kardasis is a graphic designer, DJ and radio producer. He has great love for cartoons, freshly printed books, magazines and Morrissey. He would like to live in a music festival. He would like to live in Barcelona or Paris but he currently lives in Athens. He would like to adopt a dog but Sotiris (his cat) does not agree. He has seen Fugees, Garbage and George Michael live (all in the same night). He believes that Mark Rothko paintings, Pet Shop Boys, New Order True Faith cover, Tutto Su Mia Madre poster and Fight Club are all very important. When he grows up he wants to become a carpenter (or a plumber) and watch Almodóvar’s films without the need for subtitles.
P.S. He’s in love with Tracey Thorn. He sent her a message on-line inviting her to listen to a live broadcast that was dedicated to her. She never answered him.
Giannis Kardasis is featured in the 1st issue of KROMA Magazine.