WITHIN THE NATURAL FREQUENCIES OF COLOURAthena Schina, Art Critic and Art Historian
Within the natural frequencies of colour
Blinding colours, whose contrasts and the manners they have been spread on the canvas by painter Kostis Georgiou, initially cause tension in the viewer, drawing the viewer's attention ever more to the topics of the works, while gradually extending their notation. I utilise the musical term “notation”, because first and foremost what interests this particular painter is handling conflicting after-sensations caused by colours and, as a secondary concern, the topic and its references, its semantics and the stimuli whose associations these bring about.
One could wonder whether purple, emerald, peach, violent and fluorescent blue and green colours are placed on purpose and in suitable array within the composition, in order to make the gaze aware of their volcanic, explosive atmosphere. If the response isn't negative, at least it is partially true, because K. Georgiou does not aim to disarm the viewer, but to prompt a condition that may lead back, many centuries earlier, when in Ancient Greek times colour functioned simultaneously as a qualitative and a quantitative measure, also as a natural dimension and simultaneously as a metonymic indication of its position, texture and presence, transcending the obvious.
When Kostis Georgiou starts to prepare his surface, he deals with it in two ways. Before him opens up not a surface but a plane, which receives colour to shape volumes, as a motivating lever, stimulating memory-building veins of ore that nest in the subconscious. At the same time, this plane functions as a multi-focal source for imaginational processes that are activated within the viewer as they are gradually dragged out of the depths of his psyche. Structurally, the painter typesets and carves out the positions of the colours and their distances, the gradient of the axes and the sections of their form, their points of equilibrium, as well as the centres where their transfixing conventions are overbalanced. This double manner of dealing, on the one hand with the surfaces as planes and on the other hand of colours as quantitative and qualitative magnitudes, in their doubled up dimension, both natural and imaginational, defines the act of painting as surveying the visible aspects of the “performance” and simultaneously of the active factor which these aspects set out, as they transform image into action, which you believe is “suddenly” solidifying.
Colour functions to designate layers, bringing forth its dynamics from the depth to the surface and vice versa. Colour, the peculiarities of its creation, in the work of Kostis Georgiou, the bright light, dazzling glare and its reflection, its harmonious correlations and its conflicting components, essentially become the painter's "theme", as he never represents nature or his own surroundings. He is inspired by images of everyday life, which, however, he elaborates to the point of myth. The discovery is that the creator, in this specific instance, is not interested in mimicking whatever he sees, nor to compete therewith, where simulating an image is concerned. His attention is focused on the vibrations, the oscillations and the natural frequencies that events or situations of everyday life leave in their wake, colouring their conflicting contradictions and subcutaneous yet unexpressed enunciations. In his works, reality is converted into an enigma and a query, into an inquiry and a bridge linking the conscious with the unconscious, the potential with the latent, the definable with the indefinable, the elusive with the commemoration of the paradoxical nature of the evanescent.
In his works, space appears as time embodied. A space that merges and at the same instant centrifuges the forms, which, volume-creating, float between an evocative atmosphere of bright light and mystery, of action yet simultaneous immobility. Colours shine on the surface like minerals, almost crystalline in their structure, which structure, in any case, is what makes them fluoresce. This sensation supplies the mien and stance of each form, as well as those who are in each instance represented by the image. Those represented who have been drawn in with fluid, elusive brushstrokes and sometimes with a palette knife, underlining their material existence which is being transubstantiated. At the same time, K. Georgiou’s forms contain obvious elements of a hieratic as well as a vividly ritual nature, as if they concentrate and attract the energy charges that exist in the evolution of a process; that constantly multiply their dynamic valences, through a joint effort of their “chemistry” and “alchemy”; the double-value identifiability and the fascination they transmit.
To the degree that Kostis Georgiou does not deal with his idols or motifs in terms of imitation, but instead seeks out their serendipitous correlations, their associations and transcendences, that same record of the dynamic condition is what interests him, between the "original" and the "likeness", in accordance with Aristotelian precepts, as well as with the comments of Plotinus in his “Enneads”. This is why his figures, monumentally present, constantly transforming and prepared to escape, are not people but “personae” on a reactionary theatrical stage, directed and set designed, acting out roles and contributory situations of their myths, together with their allegorical reality. One might believe that these “personae” are “creatures" of a cosmogenesis, as they move between the rhythms and the contradictory backgrounds of our time, transporting its indications (such as violence, escape, exoticism, speed, consumption, prosperity, existential loneliness, ideological leasing), while at the same time dramatically incorporating in their forms, the light years of distances in space, or the geological times of mineral deposits on earth and how these unfold deep underground. In this sense, the “ego” expressed through Kostis Georgiou’s expressionist gesture, is crossed with the “otherness” of the events of drawing/painting borne by the familiar and gigantic; his familiar and distant figures, that refer to the enigmas of life, the plotting of its "subjects", the volcanic stony dens in the earth or those that lie above it, in the heavens.
The "still lives”, the “prelate women”, the “male figures” and “animals” in this artist’s painting, function through their very inverted commas. What is at issue is the manner in which they are present and discourse in chains, flipping backward and forward in time, with the results of a continuous action, which, however, is supplied towards the structure of the composition, as well as the contrapuntal involvement of tons of colour, at the places as well as the times that events themselves dictate, in their present condition. A condition, which includes pluperfects as well as the future tenses of history, which, when it comes down to it, narrates the self-reliant adventure of the narrative plot, as this is inferred by the "image".
Art Critic and Art Historian