A poem is a city filled with streets and sewers
filled with saints,heroes,beggars,madmen,
filled with banality and booze...
Charles Bukowski - A poem is a city
I first saw the paintings of Antonis Tsakiris in the "Face to Face" exhibition of Frissiras Museum in 2012. They are two exceptional paintings, the first one being a self-portrait of the painter and the second one a portrait of the collector, which reflects the passion of the founder of the museum that bears his name, for painting and culture. The common point of contact of the two figures remains their anxiety for anthropocentric painting. It is no coincidence, of course, that the painter places the two portraits among the crowd of a city as if he aims for their contact and coexistence both in space and in time.
Tsakiris, restless and tireless, has created 26 paintings(oil on canvas) and 8 drawings (indian ink on paper) in the last 2 years, using the indicative title "Runaways" and supporting that "We need to escape within and out of ourselves...". It is his second solo exhibition, where imaginary figures haunt his personal myth. Mnemosyne, daughter of Uranus and Gaia, is according to mythology, the personification of memory and the source of his creative action. So, he always works secluded in the hermetic silence of the studio recording his own truth about life and dreams. In an expressionistic mood, with surrealistic innuendos and symbolic hints, he traces the other side of reality. His unexpected figures sometimes coexist with the torso of an ancient statue for example, and sometimes in an aquarium. The enigmatic character of his works reveals his ongoing desire to surpass reality and meet with everything that is dreamlike and surreal. In his painting "TV News Report Seizure" one of the floating TV screens depicts the portrait of Edward Sakaillan who, as the painter himself states, is a source of his creative inspiration. While in an another screen, in the same painting, his self-portrait emerges, reinforcing an endless discussion with a multitude of figures whose nationality is not determined. Tsakiris was initiated into painting in the German School of Applied Graphic Arts and Design-Athens branch under Professor Fritz Ludtke. Anthropocentric painting defines his action field. The history of man, be it short or long, is the pretext of his imagery. What intrigues him is creating, each time, an enigmatic atmosphere which either sneers at reality or surpasses it. Thereby, he becomes the permanent runaway of everyday life himself, seeking out his truth in the world of dreams and fantasy.
Antonis Tsakiris, being addicted to life in modern cities, still perceives them as a refuge of artistic inspiration, where one can either be saved or perish. He keeps coming back to them himself...
Athens, November 9th 2012