Economy of Representation

Vassilis Vassilakakis is exhibiting his new work with the title “Day of Cessation” at Batagianni Gallery. It is a set of still lives in a small dimension like sacred images where imitation looks bizarre and mysterious through the isolation of an object on a black background. The black color endows the image with something mystical. The dark background has the strength of an accessory which is presented in the form of an ellipticity through which the forms will emerge. The images radiate the virtue of humility. A relationship between the background and the image is highlighted. The artist constantly simplifies his painting means giving a rich meaning, in terms of their content. The drama is absent through the glamor of the iconography. Images float between background and foreground in an ambiguous relationship. The painter in each of his works creates a framework of multiple possibilities in terms of their content by standing away from the legibility of their history.

It would be good to create a relationship more distant than the imitation of an object. We see simple images and colors that we do not expect, giving the object a dreaminess, a dream beyond the specific visual correctness. There is always a simple object which, through its ellipticity, seems not to focus on a specific subject. The painter gives us an inaccessible meaning by placing an approach beyond the image. We pass through the outward recognizable image in such a way as to see its essential meaning, which is none other than its multiple, spiritual and sacred character. Despite the familiarity of the figures, Vasilakakis invests them with something mysterious, strange and ultimately unclear through a simplicity of means. These are spiritual images conceived to present the mysterious beyond the representation, the form. The artist presents us with an image that demonstrates its realism, while at the same time showing us what is not a realistic image. In other words, we are dealing with the elusive trace of a longed-for meaning in the form of debris. We are talking about an inner beauty where man only understands through images like these that strike the spirit.

Vassilis Vassilakakis knows very well how to establish a setting with images that work mnemonically. The colors he chooses are far from being correspondent to the descriptiveness of an object. These small paintings experiment with the proximity of inequality through a media economy based on simplicity and humility. With this contemplation, the space and form of the images lose their coherence, leading us to a deepening and mystical relationship union. The artist places us in front of queries such as the enigmatic but familiar images by introducing us to a heterogeneity of forms which find themselves in a continuous displacement. Finally, the spiritual character of the works stems from the representational play, creating an ambiguous space where details are generalized in order for the metaphor to be detected. The replica carries a sensibility while at the same time its character is progressing with a mystical meaning without limitations. The invisible sets the visible in motion where the purity of forms is a sweet delight for the eyes to engage abysmally in a metaphysical space laconically.

Christina Petrinou
Art Historian, curator