Artist Statement


Artist Statement
The starting point of my painting is landscape. To start working, I set myself up within the landscape (on the spot) because I believe that it is of utmost importance that, during the project's production, one feels the immediacy of experience. In this way, I can sense the weather parameters within which the landscape is immersed, while by direct observation, I can ensure multiple points of perspective compared to what the use of a photo would offer me. I usually elect to paint deserted, empty or semi-abandoned by human presence places because of the eerie, melancholic dimension they exude. It is important to note that my approach in painting is by no means limited to the literary "illustration" of the subject matter. Instead, my perception process is an abstract study of geological morphologic incidents, simulating a cartography process.  
Moreover, this obsession with cartography inspired me to create a body of purely abstract paintings based on the grid. Just as in landscape paintings, where every tiny brushstroke is modulated in colour as they are juxtaposed, the same applies to abstract works where every colour value changes as each square of the canvas is painted. But what is radically different in the latter is that the continuous stimulus does not derive from observing the natural world. Still, on the contrary, it is the result of an invention based on mathematical algorithms and the theory of musical counterpoint. Applying an extremely dense grid design, I aimed to produce images in which all kinds of dominant shapes entirely disappear. Instead, the work is broken down into a series of divisionism sequences of light and shadow that constantly neutralise each other, either "build-up" an eerie light. Finally, this body of paintings evolved into my first solo exhibition.
In artworks including human figures, I create a kind of theatrical setting in my studio, where the model fits into it semantically, taking on a role. I tend to paint my setups in life-size as my goal is to produce an image that is too "vivid", not only through the realistic painting effect on the actual scale but also at the level of narration. Through this project, I try to address existential issues of identity, gender, and the relationship between the two genders.
Finally, I must note that I feel the need to move to different realms of visual style from time to time, as this prevents a "drying up" of creativity, while on the contrary, introduces fresh perspectives and ideas.


Artist Bio


Artist Bio
My name is Michalis Karaiskos, and I was born in 1979 in Paphos, Cyprus. I was around five years old when a family friend, a painter from Switzerland, visited us. While sitting on the balcony, he made a quick sketch with a three-colour marker depicting the surrounding landscape. In a state of astonishment, I asked him not to stop when he said that I have to learn where to finish the drawing.

I attended tutorials at a private art school in Nicosia from early childhood until my teenage years. Therefore, I had my essential early influences and experience from the art world and practised my first attempts.

However, as my high school grades were excellent, it became ambiguous which path I had to follow. Thus, I first began my studies in Pure Sciences, graduating from the Higher Technical Institute as a Mechanical engineer with a Merit.
When I was doing my military service, I had the time to discover through reading that fine arts (similarly to music) are the material incarnation of mathematics; this is how I decided to shift to arts.

I then moved to Athens (Greece). After a year of private tutoring in drawing, I was admitted to the Athens School of Fine Arts, where I studied painting. In addition, I participated in three elective courses throughout the five-year course: sculpture, printmaking, fresco and portable icon techniques. At the same time, I took a three-year course study in the Theory of Music at the Athens Conservatory.

Since my graduation from the ASFA and for several years, I was self-employed as an icon-painter to earn my living. However, soon after, I returned to my painting and recently, I had my first solo show in Athens.

I have participated in group exhibitions and art residencies in Greece and abroad. In addition, my artworks are exhibited at the state gallery of contemporary art of Cyprus, among other institutions.


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