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Greek artist offers 'exit' from pandemic

China Daily | Updated: 2022-03-01 08:51
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ATHENS-A recently opened exhibition of 18 paintings by Greek artist Vassilis Perros takes visitors to a gallery in central Athens on a journey from darkness and depression to hope and light.

Inspired by his observation of his students' homes during the online courses he delivered over the past two years, his works express loneliness, fear and optimism, and the quest for an exit from the crisis caused by the pandemic.

The exhibition, which runs through March 12 at Skoufa Gallery, is titled Domo after the Latin word for home, Perros says.

Perros, who is also a teacher at a primary school, started exploring the concept of home just before the outbreak of the pandemic. COVID-19 has radically changed people's lives and had a major impact on Perros' art style.

"I am one of those artists who are influenced by the social environment and by what is happening around us. E-learning acted as a catalyst, a stimulus for my work," he says.

Initially, Perros painted people perching on their sofas and glued to their screens, struggling with negative emotions inside dark rooms. As the number of COVID-19 infections dropped, smiling figures, children with books in their hands and rays of sunlight appeared in his paintings.

The central piece of the show is titled Exit, featuring a group of individuals inside apartments. In the apartments on lower floors, dark colors and images of isolation and confinement prevail. Lighter tones take over on higher floors and in the attic, there is an "exit "sign illuminated by sunlight.

"This work has a heavily depressive atmosphere, but it is deeply optimistic at its core. The message is, 'here we go, we are exiting'. The exhibition invites visitors to find the way out of whatever traps them in," Perros says.

He and fellow artists have had more time to create art in the past two years and are now presenting their works.

Perros says the power of art can transcend borders and move people beyond the limitations of language.

"Our art is addressed to a global audience. I believe that a Chinese person would be as excited by what he sees here as a Greek viewer would, even if this is an apartment building in Athens," he adds.

His students were by his side during the opening of the exhibition on Feb 17.

"We were all glued to electronic devices during lockdowns and perhaps that is why I noticed many electronic devices in the works," says Maria Vassiliki, one of Perros' students.


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