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Contemporarty™ visited yesterday the exhibition of paintings by Apostolos Georgiou at the National Museum of Contemporary Art here in Athens. If you have the time, it’s really worth a visit.

Exhibition - Photo from http://www.emst.gr

As Daphni Vitali, the curator of the show, puts it: […] His paintings display a pronounced theatrical strain, which also contains a satiric element. A sense of theatricality and satire, similar to the one exhibited by the father of satire, the great British artist William Hogarth, who made a travesty of the eighteenth century British bourgeois society.[…]

Exhibition - Photo from http://www.emst.gr

[…]In Georgiou’s case, the driving force seems to be the artist’s need to make fun of the bourgeois and decadent, for him, society of 1950s Thessaloniki, in an attempt to liberate himself from the “heavy and conservative climate” he had experienced. Aside, however, from the tendency to make fun of his personal experiences, the painter detects a funny and farcical element in all ordinary human activities and behaviours, in a way that seems to highlight the well-known Shakespearian phrase that “all the world’s a stage”.[…]

Exhibition - Photo from http://www.emst.gr

[…]Nevertheless, Georgiou’s theatre appears to be closer to the shadow theatre of Karagiozis, or Commedia dell’ Arte, or even Marx Brothers comedies and Woody Allen’s contemporary existential cinema. His sarcasm also brings to mind the, post-ironic and humorous, cynicism that was a prevailing trend in the art of the 1990s.[…]

Exhibition - Photo from http://www.emst.gr

[…]In Georgiou’s work, this caricature of man,the anti-hero, is anonymous and almost identical in every work. This man is, on the one hand, the painter’s alter ego, as the artist is painting his inability to exist in this world, and, on the other, the everyman, who engages in self-examination by observing the painter’s characters.[…]

Exhibition - Photo from http://www.emst.gr

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