In a visit to Vasilis Garyfallakis’ solo show we saw how a “Renaissance” can make a difference.
Vassilis Garyfallakis studied in Athens University of Economics and Business and worked in the financial industry for many years. His involvement with art started in 2010. He has attended sculpture and fresco painting classes, at Leonardo da Vinci Art School in Florence. I met him in Argo Gallery, Kolonaki, Athens, during his second exhibition, which was recently launched.
– How did you decide to get involved with art?
My first thought to take up art as hobby came to me in 2010, when one day I visited an outdoors competition of senior students and graduates of the Athens School of Fine Arts. After I watched the creators in action, I returned home, that same day, with an easel, two canvases, five colors and two brushes. This is how it all started. My job responsibilities at the time didn’t allow me to follow art classes. So I started painting on my own, just to relax after work.
The magic of this art and of the discovery of unknown visual paths turned my hobby into passion, something that became necessary for my daily existence. In March 2014, I launched my first solo show with Argo Gallery, in Kolonaki, Athens, under the title Thalassopédies. By the end of this year, I had already taken the decision to get myself involved with art, full time. The beginning of 2015 saw me in Florence, where I followed classes in sculpture and fresco painting while preparing my second exhibition.
– Your second solo exhibition goes under the title V Chants – Early music on canvas+. What does this title represent?
Its first part, V Chants, refers to five psalms, which is the number of the kinds of works. I have black and white paintings, colored – and mixed technique like metal, velvet, offerings – abstractions, sculptures and frescoes.
The second part, Early music on canvas+, refers to the source of my inspiration. This has been melodies of Early music as well as the works of artists of the Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque periods, which I paraphrase. Early music, which is mostly religious, made me use the word ‘chants’. I can see these different kinds of music in the dualities of b&w – colored, sad – happy, but also in their combinations. For me, their most magical moments are when the b&w seems happy and the colored sad. They float in solidarity and this truly excites me. What happened, therefore, was to express my feelings using imagery and matter while listening only to this kind of music.
– Which style excites you the most?
For me, a specific style is not like a turn off the main road of another main technique to a secondary, smaller road. The only road for me is art as a whole and without any discrimination.
–I was present at your exhibition with the Early music concert, at the garden of Argo Gallery and I must admit I found it enchanting. So many different artists in such a unique setting!
It was indeed a beautiful evening and many distinctive artists contributed, like Dimitris Kountouras (wind instruments), Theodora Baka, Fani Antonelou, Roxane Papadimitriou (vocals), Antigone Naka (acting), Constance Puyt (costumes/ accessories), Constantinos Economou (video art), Naya Koutroumani (writer). And all these people combined their talents under a directional idea I had.
– What follows now, after the conclusion of the exhibition?
The idea for a new theme is already ticking in my head with a few details still pending. I’m already walking the trail of the first painting.
– How easy or difficult is today’s Greece for an artist?
Greece has had a rich history and continues to have a lot of dynamic artists who, despite the difficulties of our times, create with more passion and ingenuity than ever. From a financial point of view, of course, the economic crisis has affected everybody. My personal choice is to remain optimistic and carry on creating.
I would like to thank theoretician – art critic Domna Chanoumidou (art review), Alexia Serezi of Argo Gallery (curation) and Specs ‘n’ arts (media sponsoring) for their contribution and magnificent result.