I feel like doing charakiriArticle in the economic newspaper "EPENDYTIS", by Eudokia Paleologou, 07/12/1997.
Costis Georgiou belongs to the artist?s generation in their 40?s; A generation of bewilderment standing at the front of an endless list of great technological advances in our century and yet far behind the new electronic era of the new (electronic? ) art. He studied scenography in Florence and then painting and sculpture at the Athens University of Fine Arts with masters such as Mytaras and Cokkinides, and afterwards at the Royal College of Fine Arts in London. With sculptures from his late exhibition at the "Titanium" Gallery, under the title "Rhapsody of the Present" he took part in ARCO, the great Art Fair in Madrid and won the public?s heart. "The sculpted "Rhapsody of the Present" is the imprinting of pictures deriving from modern times and from the surroundings in which I live and operate", as the artist himself confessed to "E" and it is now being followed up by its painterly version.
Belonging to the same unit but more extended as far as dimensions and thematic are concerned is his present work, being elaborated these days and intending to enter the German art-market. "In fact this is the proof of how significant is the participation of Greet artists in international meetings. At the recent ARCO I was approached by an important art dealer from Germany who offered me cooperation. Now, at this point that we speak there are five exhibitions arranged in Germany, two of which in Berlin. Unfortunately though, there is absolutely no financial support by our state in order to introduce the Greek artistic potential abroad, not even moral support coming from our embassies, which for example could simply arrange happenings in honor of the artist exhibiting in the foreign country, in order to promote Greek art. Let?s take the case of the sculptor Fotis for example. He won the first prize in Osaka, Japan, five or six years ago and coming back to his birthplace not only did they not honor him, but furthermore they ignored him. If only an honor like this came to a Spanish artist he would have come out as a hero". With a profound skepticism over political and social issues which abruptly lead him to nihilism he declares "happy within his drama." Meaning? "My occupation with art is no joyful stroll in the sunshine", he replies. "On the contrary", he emphasizes, "it is the drama of a man holding a simple iron-plate in his hands, having glorious artistic ideas in his mind and at the same time pounding between zero and nothing. You see, quite often a unique vision when taking form might convey nothing. Then, given you are honest with yourself, you become desperate. On the other hand, if you succeed, the joy that you take from creating a work is unique: I am talking about an euphoria which doesn?t connect with anything materialistic but only with the intellect and the soul".
In favor of a hand-crafted art, meaning that an artist should live the process to his work step by step, he personally builds up into shape his sculptures "because a work hides secrets in the process which one can only comprehend by touching and feeling".
He also protests about all these so to be avant-guarde artists who just order a cage from a craftsman and then add five lamps on it, in order to fob off this silly kind of ephemeral and contingent art.
" I sometimes get so desperate, I feel like doing "charakiri", when I happen to visit an exhibition where the items exposed, presented as art works, are some dead fish in a bowl, or some food left overs on paper plates, followed by little notes beside them, all this rubbish which is passed on as avant-guarde art and aims at shocking the public. This is neither shocking nor intellectually alerting. This is pure boredom. The visitors of such exhibitions stand aside in bewilderment because they cannot possibly distinguish art in this avant-guarde rubbish which is imported from the U.S.A. to Europe and is the performance of people who should be locked into institutions."
Costis Georgiou is also preoccupied by issues regarding the operating conditions of the local art market. He agrees that a small number of certain artists monopolize mass media, a fact which brings about a wrong impression over Greek contemporary art. "These artists who create pictures conceived with great ease and no pain at all, have a great talent of pulling the right strings and prevail upon an audience which goes for "investing" in art without any former knowledge, nor ability to distinguish what really is fake. I can partly understand an artist?s insecurity at his first steps. You see, artists are basically insecure personalities and on their effort to eventually communicate with everybody else, they wander around in a blur scenery of codified knowledge and experiences, trying through a very personal process to resume what they would finally imprint inside them. There are others however, enjoying an enormous financial independence and also acceptance by the public - which means they are free to concentrate on their art - and despite of all they still sell out their talent. Why ? When the only right thing to do would be to just let time add those additional special meanings and connotations to their work and only create when they have something important to say", he wonders and expresses his wish to stay out of these "circles" while he continues his solitary course.