MARINA MAKRIS INTERVIEWS ARTIST ANDREAS M. GEORGIOU
Andreas M. Georgiou lives and studies in London, UK as a postgraduate student of Fine Arts in Central Saint Martins. He had his first solo exhibition two years ago in Morfi Gallery, Cyprus, where he exhibited an extraordinary series of works. theαρτnote* interviews the artist in order to explore his latest work.
Marina Makri// Andreas you want to tell us about your latest series of work entitled Single Action?
Andreas M. Georgiou// In an attempt to describe my work as simply as possible I would say that it is about a kind
of painting which its completion is determined by my own body. In the same manner as my previous work entitled Somatographies, the final outcome of the Single Action works are determined by the energy and power of my body. The medium I employ is oil pigments which are used in large quantities of paste and applied on a big custom made spatula. Consider the big spatula as an extension of my hand which I eject violently onto the mirror thus dissolving and deforming the shape of the paste completely due to the violent action that preceded.
M.M//I am familiar with your previous work entitled Somatographies. How did your Somatographies evolved into works like Single Action.
A.M.G//The main idea that underlies my work, is physical energy. At the same time I am concerned with issues like materiality-immateriality and the possible relationships between icon -surface- and substance. The Somatographies were the byproduct of a research through which I was trying to discover ways to capture and imprint the energy of my body. Initially it started from gestural painting on canvas and it gradually evolved into a three dimensional ‘drawing’ in space, as i call my Somatographies. Now, ‘energy’ still remains the axon of my latest work, this time in relationship to Time and Space and how these parametres find their way into my work. Single Action is a real action, that originates/arises from my body. This action carries inextricable painterly characteristics since i use the color as the main medium with the addition of a new medium the mirror.
A.M.G//My personal opinion is that, in art from the minute one ‘abandons’ painting and the canvas in order to insert new elements and materials-’ready mades’- they automatically bring on their own meaning on the work. In this case the mirror, aside from its functional attributes, carries with it a rich notional background. Νow that you ask- without wanting to be dull- I will refer to Jacques Lacan and the central idea of his theory in psychoanalysis known as ‘the mirror stage’. Lacan refers to The Mirror Stage arguing that the first time an infant (6-18 months) encounters and acknowledges his/hers reflection on the mirror recognizing him/herself as an entity. This encounter puts an end to what Lacan names ‘the Illusion of the castrated body’. Simply put, the infant acknowledges firstly the image of the adult who indicates both physically and verbally “Look, this is You!” followed by the acknowledgment of his/her own image realizing that: “Yes that is Me”. And here, we reach to what interests me…Τhe point were Lacan describes as the moment of pleasure and triumph for the infant that is, the point were the formation of the ‘Ego’ arises. For Lacan, the mirror stage describes a fictitious image of the Ego where basically the feeling of entirety and completeness is nothing but an illusion.
M.M//The way you display your work is interesting. What does this tell us about the nature of your Single Action paintings
A.M.G//When an artwork is completed in the studio we say that its finished, its complete. The first time that it is exhibited its as if it is completed over again. The nature of the Single Action series is one that demands a specific display. With these works i feel that something rather odd happens: it is as if they are constantly incomplete, and they will remain incomplete unless they are displayed. Its the nature of the mirror, you see, that makes them behave this way. As a medium the mirror is an active surface on which realities shift as the medium is relocated. It seems like the work is engaged in a repartee with any given space at all times and the only fixed and solid component is what I call single action, whereas all other elements that constitute the work are temporary, euphemeral.
M.M//The titles of your recent work as well those of your previous works, more or less have to do with an action verb. For example: Somatographies (γραφω or write), gestural painting (gesturing), compressions (compressing) and finally action painting.
A.M.G.//Indeed the titles include verbs, since as i mentioned above, what is paramount in my work is the exploration of physical energy, so yes an action verb is the most suitable means by which i can give a written form to the action per se. I feel that the participation of my body has become a necessary ingredient not only throughout the process but also for the execution of the pieces and it is also evident as part of the final outcome. I must confess that up to this stage, I find the use of paint and a paintbrush inadequate for me to communicate as I wish. In addition, as i look at it from ‘the outside’, the use of the mirror, could possibly relate with a need to see the viewer participating,or correctly put, to see the viewer acquiring a role.
M.M//What do you want people ‘get’ out of your work?
A.M.G//I would say that my work deals with issues such as the substance of things and at the same time the absence of substance. What is real, what exists and occupies space, in contrast to what is just an illusion, an image, an impression, always in relationship to the Man- the active human being. These are all issues that concern me and give me motive to create. Certainly the need to use my body as a medium plays an inextricable role in my work. From then on, all the aforementioned are nothing but triggers to ‘get things going’, as I am a strong believer that what we know and call a “concept” in art might initiate something on the one hand, but what matters most is the artwork on its own, which communicates and exists autonomously, provokes impressions and narrates stories, different from viewer to viewer, audience to audience.
A.M.G//Two years have passed since my solo exhibition in Morfi Gallery in Cyprus, followed by 2 years of ongoing work, incessant experimentation and research that caused plenty ofvicissitudes and transition in my work. Currently i can say that i am going through a period of serious decision making, that will eventually lead me to the completion of a consistency of pieces that have been developing for two years. This series of works is planned to be exhibited in a solo exhibition, hopefully by 2013!
M.M//What motivates you as an artist?
A.M.G//My daily routine influences me very much. The fact that I live in a city like London a place with so many incentives, not only in the arts but in so many other aspects, I believe affects me to a great extent. As a person I am very observant and I try to use this as much as possible in my work (anyway this is something that comes naturally most of the times). So for me this kind of lifestyle- being aware, up to date on what is going on – is like fuel. Beyond that, the fact that I constantly need to keep my hands busy, either crafting, creating, rebuilding and many times destroying things, I think that what motivates me to work is the work itself, which many times leads the way. I feel that there are times in the studio that things just happen in front of me, they just occur while I observe and at the right time I am called to take decisions that will mold and determine the final result, or what we call the ‘artwork’.