ART SUMMER 2012 IN VILLA RODOPI,
Following a successful figurative period during which Costas Evangelatos presented significant expositions of his work and figurative happenings in, Athens and Paris, followed by a series of international participations in the cities of Europe, publications of art and lectures on aesthetic issues, he will expose his work in his native island Kefalonia, Gr.
This year, due to the anniversary of the twelve year summer running of the Contemporary art space of Villa “RODOPI” in Argostoli, Kefalonia, the following expositions will take place: “12 years of contemporary Gallery”with a choice of figurative works of the past years which will be open to the friends of art from 2th August until 15th September 2012, while the inauguration of the exposition entitled“ Full Moon Art works” will take place on 31th August during the full moon night.
The customary figurative reception with art performances and actions will follow at the villa’s garden.
INTRODUCING: COSTAS EVANGELATOS
by Carolina de Bie
Who am I to contradict a painter that started his life as an artist under the influence of the "strong and clear light" of his native island – Kefaloniá. This light inspired him to make his first drawings and paintings of the nature of Kefalonia and of the ruined houses that were left behind after the big earthquake of 1953 that destroyed the whole island. Evangelatos was born in 1957 and his childhood amongst the ruins had a great impact on him. Seeing the early but impressive works of the 1970s, you can already see his tendency towards the romantic - a bond that would never leave him. Being trained as an art historian myself, I immediately think of this great example of the romantic 'Sturm und Drang' - the painter Caspar David Friedrich - when I see the cathedral-like pine-trees behind a ruin or a firm cross out of thistle between the bushes on the slopes of the mountain Aenos.
But Evangelatos moved on. He moved to Athens and later to New York where he took classes in art history and painting. His style travelled towards the pure geometrical and conceptual; he organised performances, which had to do with "images being filtered through my mind". Also his Body-graphics appeared, anatomical studies that remained – alongside his many outstanding portraits – an important subject in of his work. Evangelatos himself travelled the US and Europe, having exhibitions in many countries, amongst which Italy and France (seven solo expos in Paris).
In 2000, after his parents had died Evangelatos decided to "join again with his island, to organise culture events in summertime". Sensing his Kefalonia again, Evangelatos' inspiration was directed once more towards the romanticism and studies of nature. But the sun, sea and horizon function merely as basic materials for the artist to catch the specific light i.e. the atmosphere of Kefalonia. In these paintings, named Nefelographics/ Nebulagraphics (cloud-descriptions), where many see a clear reminiscence of the English 19th century impressionist Turner, the bright colours of the island appear in sfumato. The 4 elements (water, air, earth and fire) are combined with memories of the past. These memories seem to appear to Evangelatos as women's faces, real ones and from his imagination, with some of their shapes reflecting architectural forms.
Kefalonia has a lot of hidden beaches and lonely places unknown by the common tourist, although sometimes very close to tourist resorts. Those 'spaces' are to Evangelatos a great source of energy, to concentrate and meditate and to cultivate his ideas. They make his mind "travel into the world of art and history". Walking around the island, the artist collects stones and driftwood from the beaches and also uses them as a basic material. With the stones he creates 'mythical necklaces' that will surround the bearer with the great myths of the ancient Ionians. Those of the Mycenean king Odysseus or from the 4 kingdoms that divided Kefalonia in ancient times. On the pieces of driftwood Evangelatos writes and paints with ink, shapes and forms that come from his (subconscious) memories combined with the intrinsic history of the wood. With the wood leading his hand, the painting becomes 'automatic', freeing his imagination. "In a surrealistic way, I try to represent their history, to make it reappear. First I am attracted to the wood by my eye, then the wood will lead my hand because of its lines, they lead me to make its very own image." Here he sounds like Michelangelo, who believed every piece of marble kept its own and only very specific sculpture inside and Michelangelo only had to free it. In more senses Evangelatos feels close to the Renaissance – the earlier mentioned Body-graphics touch the idea of Humanism where each human / body is it's own little universe within the whole.
For 3 months every year Evangelatos resides in his childhood-house in Argostoli, the Villa Rodopi. This strangely rural house in the midst of all the city buildings, holding a big but secret garden with the only grapevine of Argostoli, has become a popular meeting-place for culture-minded tourists and visiting friends.
Anyone who wants to visit Kefalonia, please feel welcome to visit Villa Rodopi in Argostoli. You will meet Costas Evangelatos as your host, to his art and to his island, and he will let you in into the secrets of its power, its 'spaces' of energy.
Address: Villa Rodopi, 7 Mesolora and Byron avenue, Argostoli, Kefalonia,GR
tel. 0030 26710-28501
Open: Wednesday – Saturday, 8 pm – 10 pm.
(Courtesy of Costas Evangelatos)