The small and grand world of Apostolos Chantzaras

Dimitris Pavlopoulos:  

In his fifth personal exhibition, the painter Apostolos Chantzaras (born in 1977), continues to develop his own visual world with consistency and absorption. After first having studied Painting at the Athens School of Fine Arts under Chronis Botsoglou, then having studied Photography and Fresco, as well as Painting at University Paris VIII,  he seems to have focused even from before, on a specific style where the flowing sketch and the pure colours prevail, with no fear for bold readjustments.

The fact that since his childhood, Apostolos Chantzaras worked closely by the side of his father Eleftherios, a byzantine painter, has obviously moulded his painting. His extraordinary means of expression, reveal influences from the shadow puppet show, as well as the authentic folk tradition of our country; he combines them by also holding on to his original realistic basis. In addition, he has become acquainted with the contemporary artistic tendencies. However, neither did he end up mimicking his models, nor was he overrun by the tyranny of the modern. He managed to adjust his very own, self-contained style to his personal language in a selective way, and at the same time he made the best out of the rich legacy of symbols related to our country. The sun, the cross, the fish, the church, the saints, the religious festivities at the villages, the simple islanders, all come together in a unique, perceptible artistic amalgam. Therefore, the outcome is not verbose- what could have happened if we were talking about another artist. Chantzaras succeeds in transforming it, in making it something of his own, and he offers us something new, as a counterweight to our daily visual adversity.


Dimitris Pavlopoulos,

Assistant Professor of History of Art

at the University of Athens