October 26, 2021

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Greek ‘neo-muralist’ draws on mythology to depict pandemic, Arts News & Best Tales

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NICOSIA, CYPRUS (AFP) – An Athenian “neo-muralist” is blending Greek mythology and Byzantine iconography with graffiti and avenue art to depict how the coronavirus pandemic has compelled people today the earth about to place down roots.

From Bangkok to Rabat and Zurich, Fikos has painted the partitions of lots of metropolitan areas, but he is now including a splash of color to the sun-crushed facades of the Cypriot cash Nicosia.

“Here in Cyprus there are not lots of murals nevertheless,” he suggests. “It is the starting phase of the road artwork scene in Cyprus, so… they are impressed and variety of awed when they see this occurring.”

The 33-yr-previous spends time wandering the slim back again alleys of Nicosia’s Previous Town in look for of partitions to use as a canvas.

The 1 he selected for his latest project is the cracked veneer of a crumbling mud-brick household in an deserted, dusty ton near the United Nations-patrolled buffer zone that divides the city’s Greek and Turkish-speaking halves.

The Greek artist, who describes himself as a “neo-muralist”, suggests he has been residing on the Mediterranean island for the earlier yr amid the Covid-19 pandemic, a topic reflected in his most recent piece.

Standing on a wobbly platform, he will get to function with a brushstroke together the brow of Amaracus, the perfume-maker of the legendary goddess Aphrodite, whose destiny he suggests befits life in the time of the pandemic.

Little bit by little bit, a sketch evolves into a jade-eco-friendly male determine with leaves sprouting from his head, branches protruding from his chest and roots extending from his legs.

“He bought punished by the gods and acquired turned into a plant or flower,” claims Fikos, who describes that he employed the story from Cypriot mythology as an analogy for the pandemic, through which men and women “have grown roots” by staying in one position for so prolonged.


Fikos says Cypriots have taken to his artwork, contrary to other people who have a tendency to attach to it the stigma of graffiti.

His performs now adorn five facades on the Greek-Cypriot aspect of Nicosia, which has been divided on ethnic strains given that communal unrest erupted in 1963 to 1964.

Fikos claims he attracts from a varied palette of influences, from artwork in historical Greece to Egypt and Japan. Just one this kind of artwork is found near the Eco-friendly Line that divides Nicosia.

It displays King Onassagoras, who dominated the kingdom of Ledra all-around 672 BC, subsequent to three female figures – one of them Nicosia, depicted as a woman split in fifty percent.

“I researched Byzantine portray due to the fact I was 13 many years outdated in Athens, and I examined the art of the avenue in the streets,” says Fikos.

“Avenue art has advanced from graffiti and it has various guidelines. You ought to depart your stamp,” he claims.

“But my point of perspective is absolutely different. I am often trying to adapt my sketch to the ecosystem and get motivated from the colors of the neighbourhood. My technique is extra like great artwork, I might say.”

Mythology endures

Fikos suggests in the previous he was unable to influence Athenians to let him paint in excess of the garish graffiti that blankets the city, even for cost-free.

But now his attractiveness is developing equally at dwelling and abroad, and he will get paid for his do the job.

Fikos suggests he has been commissioned to paint murals in lots of nations, such as France, Eire, Mexico, Russia, Serbia and Ukraine.

They can include full facades of structures as significant as 17 storeys, like just one in Kiev, yet they are not overbearing and do not seem out of spot.

“Most of the time they have a thing in mind, they give me a topic,” Fikos suggests of his commissions.

“But… I do my study on heritage, mythology or whichever I uncover appropriate, then I sketch and I commence to paint.”

As soon as the exploration is accomplished, the course of action of portray the murals can just take just two or a few a lot more times, he suggests.

“I’m largely motivated by Greek mythology, due to the fact I have faith in that if these myths have survived, they should have one thing to say.”

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