Christos Athanassiadis’ solo exhibition «Paradise lost» opens at a.antonopoulou.art on Tuesday October 29th 2019, 19:00-22:00.
John Milton (1608-1674) in his epic creation «The Lost Paradise» refers to the human course through religious causes. Man as an autonomous creature rebels against his Creator, immerses in his personal hell and therefore exits the realm of parental hearth, that of paradise. He will be punished for this act, which here carries the meaning of the ancient Greek hubris, not by its Creator but by himself.
The lost paradise for Milton is the man's exit from a safe shelter in the adventure of his own will. His journey after leaving Paradise is self-contained, free, has his own seal and has as a result the creation of “civilization”. His removal from the essence of mythological paradise and his constant search for it are characteristics of the human consciousness over the centuries.
In his work Athanassiadis attempts to explore the concept of the lost paradise as opposed to the cynical harsh reality. He describes man’s personal hell and how he seeks out the full beauty of the ideal paradise.
With oil and charcoal on canvas paintings and through his detailed writing, ideal landscapes are described, as well as harsh human scenes, moments of sadness, despair, anger. Negative human emotions contrast with the beauty of nature.
In his current solo exhibition, paradise has been hurt either by people's conflicting relationships or by the hard lines of life that, like the train's iron lines, in his homonymous painting, lead nowhere. The question that drives through the whole exhibition is whether innocence has also been lost in paradise.
Athanassiadis is accustomed in his artworks to contrast concepts, such as the cruelty of nature with the ferocity of war (in the exhibition "Nevermore"), or in the fight of good with evil (in the exhibition "Cloven Knight").
The outcome of the opposing concepts is always tie. He believes in the balance of contrasts, because through them arise integration and evolution.
Christos Athanassiadis, Untitled, 2019, oil and charcoal on canvas, 150x285cm