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About the artist

Dimitris Anastasiou was born in Athens in 1979. He studied painting at the Athens School of Fine Arts (A.S.F.A.), under professor Chronis Botsoglou. He has presented his paintings in four solo shows (“Tangram” in CITRONNE-Athens gallery in 2022, “A=-A” in ena gallery in 2018, “Storied Pictures” in 2012 and “Paintings Representing Paintings“ in 2009 in kaplanon gallery) and he has participated in over 50 group exhibitions in Greece, Russia and Cyprus and in international art fairs in Greece, Spain, Switzerland and Germany. His graphic novel “A=-A” is published in English by Jonathan Cape and in Greek by Kaleidoscope Publications.

About the exhibition

Dimitris Anastasiou presents a series of 19 modular/polyptychs works whose main axis is the narrative element, which is consciously left open to multiple interpretations. The artist narrates and shares a personal version of reality. Viewers are prompted to participate, to create other personal versions, namely, to interpret the narrative or even modify it. As it happens by definition in Art, there is no single and precise reading of artworks, and artworks have as many meanings and readings as there are viewers. This is what the title of Anastasiou’s exhibition (Tangram) suggests from the very beginning. As in the Chinese puzzle (Tangram), these modular artworks are presented in a specific version and arrangement, which, however, can be altered partially or entirely and thus overturn the original narrative.

His works are representational and realistic - the outcome of powerful drawing and outstanding painterly dexterity. His realism depicts and refers to everyday images, to familiar moments-testimonials. However, their ensemble-polyptych structure creates a different -vague and destabilizing- reality: a blend of truths, illusions, utopias, controversial circumstances, questions left unanswered, and uncertainty. Thus, the “realistic” rendering of everyday life evolves into a reflection of existential demands with ambiguous answers and incomprehensible conclusions. The interpolated gaps introduce the arbitrary transition from one space to another and from one time to another. Thus, his artworks become painting frames in a staged, almost cinematic, presentation.
In this rendering, Dimitris Anastasiou becomes an active participant and presents himself “in person” - as Hitchcock used to do; he reminds us that he is as much a director-observer as an actor. Moreover, Anastasiou’s appearances-interventions reveal esoteric layers of memory hidden behind identifiable aspects of a practically anonymous “photographed” everyday life. Urban life, the “superficiality” of people’s interaction, and the ambiguity of human existence accumulate and create mnemonic constructions which impose themselves on the subconscious in an almost imperative fashion.

The artist tries to distance himself and, of course, to distance the viewer from this enclosed reality made of fragments and scraps of collective or individual life, but also of the material of dreams which defy rationality. They are single-layered fragmentary memories mixed with frustrated feelings of alienation and isolation. Anastasiou’s “Doll’s house,” just like Ibsen’s, “encases” the main character in a fragile reality-utopia. From the false safety of anonymity amidst the crowd, the artist escapes on an unsafe course, roaming towards the much-sought truth.
Anastasiou deals with the same questions in all his exhibitions. He portrays ambiguity, doubt, delusion, pseudonormality, and, ultimately, the concealed emptiness. He envelops reality with a seemingly easy narrative which, however, just like in tales or role-playing games, entails threat and fear. The artist sounds the eternal “Alarm Signal” of Antonis Samarakis in a world in danger.