Talking to Sotiris…
KROMA: Ideally, what would you like someone seeing your work to understand or better yet to feel ?
Sotiris Fokeas: What I want, is people to have fun with the things I do, like I did when making them. To get their attention, make them curious, even make them use my work as background for their next photo, these are small victories for me. Attending an event / exhibition and having fun with something you saw, is something I consider a success – probably even bigger success than drawing something “properly”.
How did you get into street art and why did you stop?
I think that doing graffiti and street art was more of a cultural thing than an actual decision I took when young. My decision to stop being active has to do with my belief that the internet is a “new street” / public space and I decided to focus more on that. Graffiti for my today, is more of a reunion with old friends. Instead of going for a coffee to catch up, we go painting (with coffee) and catch up.
You seem to be doing a lot of stuff and not sticking with one style or medium. Do you consider yourself in a research period?
I never liked the idea of choosing one medium or style to identify my work with (quoting my friend Thanos, “hybrids survive better than purebloods”). My way of working has always been to choose the right medium for each different concept. I like experimenting and do not think that I would be really good if I only focused on one thing – I have no patience since what excites me more is the concept rather than the execution.
You seem to sometimes downgrade or underestimate your work and sometimes art as well. Is that true and could you explain the reasons?
I do not underestimate or downgrade my work or art at all. I just think that what we (I) need more today, is something more relaxed, fun and enjoyable, in contrast with the serious or hard to read pieces of art. Thankfully, there are amazing artists to see if you want to reflect on the more serious side of art but this is something that I do not think suits me. I really believe that through “silly stuff”, “jokes” or just the joy of making something without the fear of proving anything, important thoughts and discussions emerge as well. Also, I am really interested in the fact that this type of work is addressed to a wider audience other than just “art people”. Lets not forget, that a big part of “museum art” we nowadays adore, started with the same ideas and beliefs.
Sotiris Fokeas (aka @Soteur) was born in 1989 in Athens, where he lives. His first contact with art was through graffiti and street art and at the age of 18, he got accepted into the Athens School of Fine Arts were he studied under Tasos Christakisand Marios Spiliopoulos. His work evolved around conceptual art, installations, video and he worked in teams and collectives, exhibiting in Greece and abroad. After a 5 year break were he worked for marketing, he decided to return and focus on becoming a full time artist. He claims he is an “internet kid”, that “art is better done while having fun with friends” and whenever he is asked to explain a piece of his he replies “I have no idea guys, I just had fun making it”.
PS: He is the one who wrote this description as well, so he decided to print it and exhibit it wherever possible.
Find out more about Sotiris:
“Europe 27” interview trailer and full clip:
KROMA One-Off : One Day Exhibitions