Opening Day: Friday, 16 November 2018, 19.30 (2 Vass. Alexandrou Av., behind the National Gallery)
Curator: Vasiliki Sianti
Duration: 16 November 2018 – 8 December 2018.
Ikastikos Kiklos Sianti has the honor of announcing the crown jewel of this season’s events, an exclusive exhibition of Dimosthenis Kokkinidis’ latest works. The paintings, produced in 2017-2018, are centered on a dear theme: Cyclades. All paintings are acrylics on canvas of large dimensions. The opening of the exhibition will be held on Friday, 16 November 2018 at 19.30. The exhibition will remain open to the public until the 8 th of December 2018. In this series of works, Dimosthenis Kokkinidis is sharing with the viewer the image of his nostalgia, while shaping it in color. It is no coincidence that he has been acclaimed the ‘painter of colors’.
As described by the artist himself: “Cyclades! My longing for the soil of Milos and my home there has been filling my heart with sorrow for the past three years. My only consolation is that I may return there once again next summer – providing that my age allows it. These are the Cyclades which will be presented at Ikastikos Kiklos Sianti, the gallery of Fanis Siantis, my old friend and collaborator of 40 years.”
The inspiration Dimosthenis Kokkinidis set his eyes upon the Cyclades for the first time in 1958. The islands architecture always reminded him of his childhood home in Drapetsona. He reminisces: “I first visited Sifnos, the island of the potters, in 1958. Being a lover of pottery myself, I never thought I would spend the next 5-6 years helping the local people with the aid of capable, foreign craftsmen for the EOMEX project. On top of that, I could never have imagined that I would be returning to the town of Vathi with its wonderful folk art, accompanied by my wife, Pepi Svoronou, each and every summer until 1966.”
Kokkinidis has a carrier of 60 years in the visual arts. Back then, when he was making his first steps as a painter, he was influenced by two powerful impressions: the houses of Cyclades and the refugee residencies of Drapetsona, Nikea and Kokkinia – being a refugee descendant himself.
As the artist discloses: “The island houses were built in stone, the refugee houses were built in crushed mud. Their common colors: blue, ochre, reddish red and lime. The way of life: farmers on one hand, laborers on the other. Coming from this background, I rose up and started painting this world in all its affinities and differences until, four years later, the “Refugee houses and Cyclades” sprang out. They were exhibited at the Merlin Gallery in the summer of 1965.”