Alexis Akrithakis, the absolute Greek Bohème Artist...

It's been a long time since I wanted to write about Alexis Akrithakis, my favorite greek painter, but I was reluctant and afraid of not being able to express the power and the influence of his work for τhe history of contemporary art.

But after watching the wonderful documentary "Vive La Fuite" by Evi Karabatsou, I felt that the time has come for this post!! The only thing I'm sure of is that I don't want to make another art-historian-analysis about his techniques, I just want to express what his art meant for me, how I conceive it, why it fascinates me and why he is the biggest influence and inspiration for my art and my style of painting...

So here are the reasons why I consider him as an art-symbol:

- He was a self-taught artist, who always considered himself more as a poet rather than a painter. His art which is full of poetic metaphors and symbols is a living proof of this fact! Hundreds of notes with thoughts about life and art, accompanied with sketches are the legacy he leaves behind..

 

- He was a revolutionary and unconventional spirit, who could not fit to social norms and limits and never cared about his social image and prestige..

- He was not afraid to use vivid colors, even in his darkest periods, when he was struggling with addictions and depression. I know how comforting this is, because colors have been my own self-defense mechanism, which keeps me away from negativity and fear of death..

 

 

 

- He developed his own unique sketching style, known as the famous "tsiki-tsiki". This name was given by the author Kostas Tachtis, because of the constant and repeating sound of the pen when touching the paper! The first time I encountered these paintings I was fascinated by the complexity of stories hidden within these black & white repeated patterns, for most it is probably just lines, not for me!

 

His expression in this photo reminds me of the serenity of my grandmother's face when knitting her lace..What a psychotherapy this must have been!!!

 

- The ambiguity of his art.. Α closer look to his work reveals that in his colorful world, the optimism and joy of a child coexists with the meanness,the vanity of life and the fear of death.. 

 

 

 

 

A free spirit, an artist who lived his life to the edge, a poetic, philosophic, self-destructive personality..reminds me of the american novelist and poet Charles Bukowski...And honestly, I don't know if these two people would have been so creative if they had fought their addictions and depression and lived a quiet, conventional life...

 

 

 

 

Once I have read about Bukowkski that his language is the poetry of the streets viewed from the honesty of a hang-over. I don't think I have ever read or heard something that describes better these two personalities, their mentality, their work and their way of life...

Because as Akrithakis said "if you don't dive in your own cesspit and come out again, you are not a true artist"...

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