Greek artist, Vassilis Karakatsanis presented his latest solo exhibition at Alma Contemporary Art Gallery, in Greece on 7th of October 2016. The exhibition is titled “3 sections 2011-2016” and is a visual retrospective of the artist's work from the last five years. The exhibition is organized in three sections presenting his series ‘Urban Details’, ‘Roma’s Urban Tools’, and ‘Carpets’.
Vassilis Karakatsanis at the opening reception.
Mixed media painting from series 'Carpets 2', with title,
'Mr. Cemal Abd Al Aziz's portrait, at his office in Dubrovnik Croatia,
with Danylko and the dog Roko' 140X140 cm.
‘Urban Details’ 2011/13
Karakatsanis in the section ‘Urban details’ puts emphasis on an artistic tradition that is winking at pop art and refers to the aesthetics of advertising, lifestyle and the superficial, frivolous survival of a specific social class: the powerful middle social class that has developed greatly during the historic period of Greek Metapolitefsis, the years of the financial blooming that has reached its peak when they undertook the Olympic Games of 2004 only to collapse like a house of cards five years later. The glow and the optimism that are emitted by a prosperous public life that looked like it has beaten the dragon of the fairy tale are emblematic, even when reminders of a not very glorious historic past intrude the canvas taking the shape of an ‘autistic’, repetitive photo album of beloved faces that are lost in the glamour of oblivion.
From Series 'Carpets 2' Year 2015
100 x 100 cm, Acrylic & Oil on canvas
Nevertheless the Karakatsanis’ social cartography saves a personal element: diary pages are hidden behind glasses and cocktails as silent reminders of an intensively experiential look that exhibits and at the same time penetrates the hypocrisy of the mentality of the modern ‘ego’ of the urban lifestyle. The artist- witness, historian, the artist-semiologist.
From Series 'Roma's Urban Tools'
Acrylic, Gouache & Oil on canvas
‘Roma’s Urban Tools’ 2014
His second art series presented at his current solo exhibition, is called 'Roma's Urban Tools' which was produced during the year of 2014. As Vassilis explains:
«Functional objects, such as furniture, cars etc, depending on the quality, the aesthetics and their value, are the “tools” that determine and trace the need that most of us have for an urban identity.
Despite of the differences we have, because of our various ideological perspectives, or even our way of living, I notice the subconscious need for an urban verification, through all these objects. The unconventional way of life of Roma, their sense of beauty, couldn’t surpass the need for “urban” identity. In the centre of Athens, specifically Vathis square, is located my studio.
For many years now, I observe hundreds of Roma, mainly from Romania and Moldova, that they live and trade in this neighbourhood, sometimes with distrust and other times with excessive admiration or envy, because unlike me they seem to live a life, free of stress. Here I paint our common “trap”. So maybe they do share the same stress as me, only with a different code or aesthetic. ».
From Series 'Carpets2', title 'Mr.Hussein Abd Al Aziz's portrait,
at his office in Rabat Morocco, with Javier and the cat Kanz',
Year 2016, 140X140 cm. Acrylic, Gouache & Oil on canvas
‘Carpets 2’ 2015/16
Vassilis Karakatsanis latest series, called 'Carpets 2' was inspired during 2015 and 2016 years. Through this series he presents the “odd” family Abdul Al Aziz which, having Beirut as its seat and being active in various cities (especially in the Mediterranean), trades ‘magic’ carpets to people who have the courage to travel on them, living out either the illusion or the reality. The members of the family are dispersed in various cities, thus maintaining the independence of their personal lives, each one influencing the buyers, with their dynamics or by employing other ways, those of seduction or magic. The profits are equally handled for all the members of the family by a firm based in Geneva.
After 25 years, Karakatsanis comes back with a topic he has been preoccupied with in the past, but with a different motive. In 1991 in Gallerie Titanium Vassilis Karakatsanis in co-operation with Maya Tsoclis presented ‘Carpets 1’. Works of art of great dimensions which, with carpets as their main theme, approached the application of his printed works of art on fabric and the creation of women’s clothes by Tsoclis in a discursive exhibition, at the gallery.
Vassilis Karakatsanis is a graduate of Athens Graduate School of Fine Arts, San Jorge-Universidad de Barcelona, and Centro Europeo di Venezia, with early recognition of his work, and with several international solo exhibitions and group participation. His paintings are part of numerous museums, private and corporate collections throughout the world.
For more information and artworks by Vassilis visit his profile here.
The exhibition will be open until the 9th of November, 2016.
Alma Contemporary Art Gallery, Trikala, Greece.
Visiting Hours: Tue to Sat 10 am-2 pm / Wed, Fri 6 pm - 9 pm