Column IN PRESENT TIME
Antonis Tsakiris: Suspects and Runaways.
We get exasperated freely, without inhibitions! Once more, Art stands before History just as History breaks its shell.
I paint people because I understand them. By using the material, the accidental turns into an eye which encloses the need for action and poetry. And then another ear, another person, a new world.
The crisis in economy, aesthetics and values which appeared long ago, moved from the squares and side roads of the centre of the city, to the faces. There is an ambient sense of cheapness, rather than an expectation of good sense with prospects. The political class, El Cid, in a lie we all agreed to believe in, as if it were true. The News Reports are filled with bleak descriptions of a difficult present and an even darker future. Even just as the acrobat's leg is already off balance, they meticulously hide the truth, with neckties and suits instead of armours, they insist on highlighting everything that contains "blood", displaying a "splatter" society, holding back the living cell of the social web which struggles in a prolific and persistant way, and juxtaposes solidarity, music, painting, literature. So, when honesty-how charming an honest "madness" can be-an essential ingredient of trust and collectivity, goes away: We get exasperated freely, without inhibitions! Once more, Art stands before History just as History breaks its shell.
That is how the "suspects" appeared, as I like calling the figures I paint with their faces hidden. The "suspects""roots reside in the mosaic floor of the house in Thissio, black and white square tiles that resembled a chessboard. It was my early teenage years and that absolute, almost dogmatic alternation imprinted on me. Since then,it would come to the surface of consciousness on various occasions. Works of Vermeer, Modrian, noons in Hydra during the summer. More recently, it returned through the TV News Reports, with the so-called TV "mosaic", an effect used in reportages to cover the faces of the "alleged suspects". It is, in reality, a form of underlining. They are often found among cinematic or photographic films that hang like empty snake skins, having rescued fragments of life, the "glove"of moments in time. But, they ultimately, are in the mercy of the momentary psychological mood, which combined with the aesthetic development of the painting, decide almost in my absence, which face will become a "suspect".
But, in the end, what is left is the exceptional luck of the expressive ability. In that way, many are saved from certain drowning, as the long sound of the turning page,t he big page, rings in the ears.
And since the "suspects" are always here, I call the "runaways".