Starting with new artworks by artists, that are on exhibition or are ready to exhibit or that are work in progress … we are visiting their studios, interacting with them and we present them. The reason for our meeting with Panayiotis Loukas, is a series of new works, where his painting has changed from the one we knew until now. Fairytale and scary, unconventional and charming, neo-psychedelic and personal, that operates simultaneously as a mirror of all us.
By Efi Michalarou
Photo: Panayiotis Loukas Archive
Mr. Loukas, watching your progress, we see that you insist on large canvases, what is the reason and what they serve?
I do not insist in large canvases, the simple truth is, that I have great difficulty with the medium sizes. Μy difficulty, leads me to large or very small dimensions. In both cases, I works the same way, so I guess the whole issue relates probably to some psychogenic dysfunction.
Although you are painting, your artworks create a strange feeling, since your iconography moves between painting, fairy tale and comics.
I would like my Iconography to move between painting and painting. Surely, all of us are influenced by various images, hooked at times in our minds but comics and fairy tales, are mainly a narrative form. Painting on the other hand cannot contain any narrative form. The only substantive that a painting can tell, is that it happened, that someone painted it.
The stories you narrate seem to acrobat between fairy tale, horror and deep fiction, from what need arise?
I do not really know, perhaps my fears. Within each work, there are many smaller subsets. What seems like a narrative is their interaction, how one leads to another. If there is a need, then probably this is, all to start and finish in the same artwork. Everything must justify its existence, no shape, no color, trace, or form not just happened to go by. Everything exist there for a reason, is the same reason why I started to make the artwork from in the beginning.
What are your references, you starting point and your source of inspiration?
The starting point is my head probably. The references are unavoidably everything that has been painted with interest. Fragonard, Ensor, Dostoyevsky, the Étant Donnés, Céline, Grosz before he goes to U.S.A. , Skaribas, Boecklin, Grandville, Alberto Caeiro, Jean des Esseintes and probably Peyo. As for the source of inspiration, I am not realy sure but I sleep a lot, so I guess that I see many of them in my sleep.
Could these artworks cover the walls of the town, of the cities and if so, with the same images?
The truth is that I prefer the blank walls. I believe that blank walls maintain higher aesthetic criteria rather than any “artistic intervention”. In the house I grew up existed the 80s a huge alpha in a circle painted with a brush, I do not know when and who did it, but I cannot say I have seen something more interesting since then, in the wall.
You are using big surfaces and intense colors, your writing is expressionistic, futuristic and all elements contribute to the creation of a psychedelic, full of tense and extravagance, parallel universe. Do you experience this world this way, how close is it to you, this image?
We could say that the whole painting is real, everything is colors and traces on a surface. There is nothing more realistic than this; Malevich made it clear since 1923. Therefore, for me yes, everything is real. Beyond this, clearly all the works reflect the environment in which they have been made, so what is imaginary or not does not arise for me as a subject, as respectively does not arise the recording theme of any reality. Besides all the illustrations are fantastic (and beyond art…), or as said Villiers de l’Isle Adam “Realists are the peasants of the human spirit.”
*Panayiotis Loukas born 1975. Lives and works in Athens. Studied Painting at the A.S.F.A., (2007) AICA Hellas award for best new artist. He has participated in a series of important group exhibitions in Greece and abroad, among them: 2nd Athens Biennale (2009), group exhibition “Evil” (2012) and “Hellas Pavillion” (2013) at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris, he has also 5 solo exhibitions.