Those “erotic” cities reveal their “poetic” nature as they surrender to the dream, to love or an enigma.
On Friday, November 4, 2022 at 19:00, the Sianti Gallery will be presenting a solo exhibition of Giorgos Stathopoulos under the title “Utopia Island”, a title depicting the artist’s own workshop. Paintings full of vibrant colors and classical-traditional symbols, young female faces, female cyclists almost naked on the saddle, vigorous young men and couples in love under lingering buildings compose the ultimate scenery of an explosive chimaera.
Those “erotic” cities reveal their “poetic” nature as they surrender to the dream, to love or an enigma. The underlying idea of an artistic presentation of reality is curated by art historian Giorgos Milonas. As he characteristically notes: “The urban scenery has always been among the artist’s favorite elements, traceable even at the earlier stages of his artistic path. Since the mid-70s, he has been using houses as forms, dredging up from the city’s bowels a human dimension, thus rendering a face to the faceless urban environment. It is as if he is searching in the city for the thread of History, the thread revealing its continuity. A threatening military aircraft denotes the turning point of an era, along with all its lurking dangers. Yet, even there, love prevails – not in a voyeuristic, but in a bonding way. The couple starring at the center of the scene takes on a new dimension as the city’s ‘theme’, it becomes the adhesive substance holding the buildings together. Love is the timeless thread which transcends reality, raising the city beyond the world of the senses, into the realms of utopia”.
Stathopoulos paints the impressions of everyday visual experience based on his own, inner experiences as they were shaped during his personal course of time. With chilling tranquility, dedication and mastery, he creates a choreography of everyday scenes achieving a balance between serious anxieties and humor, truth and illusion.
This is precisely why Milonas defends with such fervor Stathopoulos’ obsession with his erotic cities: “…the erotic love which gave them birth is inexhaustible. In the sediments of History, it remains unaltered, fully heroic, even in times when heroism is almost extinct. The painter’s relationship with his art remains deeply erotic since it fulfils the etymology of the ancient Greek verb ἐράω – ἐρῶ, which means to ‘deeply yearn’ for something. Τhe great Hatzidakis, seeing our painter at his workshop in Gouva, compared him with an ‘alchemist’ (as he describes him in one of his notes). In that same workshop, I see Stathopoulos as a modern ‘hymnographer’ of love, endlessly conversing with all the great poets who never ceased to guide him”. At the end of the day, the works of Giorgos Stathopoulos remind us that love represents our inclination towards conquer, not conquer itself. And there’s nothing utopic about that. In other words, if a person comes to meet his/her better half, the thrill becomes utterly overwhelming due to feelings of tenderness, common root and affection. The two of them cannot endure to be separated, even for a moment. All because of the fact that this has always been our primal nature, a reminiscence of the time when we were truly whole. And it is this yearning and this urge to become whole again, that we call Eros…
As part of the solo exhibition “Utopia Island”, by the painter George Stathopoulos, on Saturday November 19 at 12:30 a guided tour was given by the curator of the exhibition and art historian George Mylonas. At the same time, there was a presentation of the book of the Nikas editions of the art series.