My first contact with painting took place during my childhood, when I sat in contemplation of my Greek grandfather Demetrio Antoniadis, a landscape painter.
When I decided to become an artist, I started copying my home environment. My mother was a very fanciful person, and her decorations were everywhere: walls, furniture, screens with romantic designs, gondolas and bucolic scenes. Without my noticing, I started to gain possession of those worlds in a more conscious fashion, albeit with disappointment and skepticism on account of their being utopian.
Since then, my questions hover around beauty, emptiness and loss.
This apparent focus on ornaments, evident, prolific and excessive, hides a skin which is much more fragile, melancholy and longing for permanence …
Vision of art
1. Choose a work that represents you, describe it in relation to its format and materiality, its relation with time and space, its style and theme; detail its production process.
Yes, I choose ¨ Imperfective Preterit ¨, an acrylic painting on a 260 cm. x 200 cm. canvas (I am fond of the challenges presented by large canvasses.) I believe this work is an effective synthesis of my personal history and also of my history with painting: it is a summary of sorts, as it depicts all the characters of the family I come from, and that space-time junction is well captured in terms of style and theme.
As regards the production process, the theme of concentric circles hints at the cross-sections of stones or trees, in which the sequence of time is imprinted.
The faceless characters float around, weaving a random story, projected on every onlooker.
It is a balance between the search for the ornamental aspects of painting and the transcendence of images understood in a deeper way.
2. In general terms, how would you suggest to approach your work?
The world of appearances is complex and deceitful. I try to go through it in every possible way, working with thematic layers, almost shaping an anarchic and chaotic dictionary of ornamentations.
Food, and its classist facets, indoor architecture, apparel, decoration in itself, the mixture of style, iconographic eclecticism, old irony-laden advertisements, and repetition as a way of being part of the world of design: associations that cannot be reconciled, which, rising out of that dialogue, decompose their significance and become empty, trying to articulate meanings to no avail.
With time, this aphrodisiac delight of representing a catalog of ornaments began to lose ground to the intimate nature of my childhood memories and images, silhouettes without their clothes on, permeable against a mesh background which seems to dissolve them. In another painting, clothes without their bodies in are drawn as autonomous beings. There is always something missing: that absence, when expressed, shows the desire of filling that deep fear of emptiness.