Thursday, April 28, 2011
(Not Your Usual Saint)..All artwork in this post is by Stelios Faitakis.
Stelios Faitakis’ works show influences of Byzantine iconography, Japanese Ukiyo-e woodblock prints, Gustav Klimt’s swirling golden designs, and the Mexican muralists of Diego Rivera’s time: The working class, muscular and giant in their presence, take on the ominous power of grey factories, military planes, masked policemen, and many-headed (human-headed!) hydras against a shimmering golden backdrop. They are often haloed. The world is stacked, layer upon layer, and there are wood-block waves and flames and ghostly heads. Everything swirls together to create a painting or a mural that is completely “Faitakis.”
Above, on the ground we have destruction: a tsunami (notice the bodies and planks in the water), a monster led by human minds with a forking, satellite-tail, and a dark, polluting factory. There is no dry land; there is no safe footing. But there is a ladder; with some struggle, one can pull oneself out and up and into the soft gold “heavens.” The ugly disaster of physical life is contrasted with the golden eternity of a higher spiritual work.
Faitakis feels that art is part of human growth, and is a method of communication that is best when understood by all viewers. He longs to cover the “ugly” walls of Athens with public works, narratives of the average man overcoming his own monstrosity--and he has begun this daunting task already.
Trees as martyrs?