Kythera, the Distant and Desirable Ideal!

The sea of Kythera, according to Hesiod, is the birthplace of the goddess Aphrodite. The myth of her creation is well known, and contains intense violence. The goddess of Love, therefore, was born from blood and the sea’s spume in the island of Kythera and then travelled on a shell to Cyprus. Kythera as a place and landscape was par excellence associated with the utopian, the dreamlike, the beautiful but also the idyllic nevertheless the repulsive and tragically sublime, aesthetic qualities that are particularly expressed in Renaissance and newer landscape and mythological paintings, as well as in literary and poetic tradition. The myth of Aphrodite and the island of Kythera has inspired many artists over the centuries, such as the painter Jean Antoine Watteau, poets such as Charles Baudelaire and recently filmmaker Theodoros Angelopoulos with his “Journey to Kythera”. A journey symbol of deeper personal feelings, visions, values and existential quests. Each of the five artists, who reside permanently or periodically in the island of Kythera and are associated with "follow your art" gallery in Kapsali Kythira, participates with his/her own perspective and thoughts.

Angelos Antonopoulos plays with the boundaries between sculpture and painting and creates a personal narrative-installation, with diverse objects. But mainly he removes the objects he uses from their environment, removes their gender, neutralizes them, processes them, and integrates them into new conditions and relationships. Creating a surreal effect as our dreams and visions often are.

Stefanos Rokos’ works "In the garden" (2022) and "3.15 a.m." (2017) represent two distinct moments of the summer season, in which, under the light of the sun and the moon, and through conversations between members of a group, the attempt is to approach the ideal, or the realization of its futility.

John Stathatos is inspired by the magical gardens of the Scottish multi-talented artist Ian Hamilton Finlay (1925–2006), and specifically by "Little Sparta", the garden he created on the barren slopes of southern Scotland. This garden, which belongs to the great tradition of the allegorical gardens of the Renaissance, places poetic and sculptural elements in an eternal relationship with the natural and artificial landscape. Works made by a range of his collaborators and inspired by the pre-democrats, by the leaders of the French revolution, by the history of art.

Georgia Tseri’s archetypal patterns, allegories and symbols emerge as human beings, solitary figures searching for truth, myth, values and utopias.

Manolis Charos based on Baudelaire's poem "Journey to Kythera": Le navire roulait sous un ciel sans nuages, Comme un ange enivré d'un soleil radieux [Under the starry sky the ship rolled like an angel drunk with sun shining] in order to attempt his own painting journey to Kythera, a journey of search, mental and emotional and at the same time essential.

Kythera, the Distant and Desirable Ideal! -- poster or photo of exhibited artwork
01 Dec 2022 - 03 Feb 2023
Location, 20 Aristofanous str., 10554, Athens, Greece
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