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Alexandros Vasmoulakis

Greek, b. 1980
Alexandros Vasmoulakis. Courtesy of the artist
Alexandros Vasmoulakis. Courtesy of the artist

Vasmoulakis’ canvases are kaleidoscopic explorations of Mediterranean color that contain various influences ranging from spiritual art to mandala and the imagery of psychedelic and rave subcultures.

The artist’s vision and work are grounded in his Greek background, and specifically the visual tensions between the ancient and the contemporary present in his hometown of Athens. Considering the aesthetics of ruins as well as graffiti, the artist explores the beauty that can result from destruction, a central tenant in his practice. Inspired by influences ranging from Abstract Expressionism to botanical art, Vasmoulakis draws on these different movements and genres to produce dizzying canvases that, while entirely abstract, sometimes offer hints of organic forms. Within the kaleidoscope of color and pattern, the viewer may find the suggestion of a flower, the sun, the sea, or perhaps of a microscopic organism.

The artist’s vision and work are grounded in his Greek background, and specifically the visual tensions between the ancient and the contemporary present in his hometown of Athens. Considering the aesthetics of ruins as well as graffiti, the artist explores the beauty that can result from destruction, a central tenant in his practice. Inspired by influences ranging from Abstract Expressionism to botanical art, Vasmoulakis draws on these different movements and genres to produce dizzying canvases that, while entirely abstract, sometimes offer hints of organic forms. Within the kaleidoscope of color and pattern, the viewer may find the suggestion of a flower, the sun, the sea, or perhaps of a microscopic organism.

 

The splashes of color and hints of form in Vasmoulakis’ compositions are enhanced by the depth created by his signature layering technique. Using a high-pressure water cleaner – the same kind used to clean graffiti from buildings – the artist carves into his paintings, resulting in complex surfaces that create enigmatic depths. Vasmoulakis’ approach is spontaneous: he does not use a sketch or a plan and allows himself to be carried by the rhythm of his motions and the layers that are revealed as he excavates his canvases. In the words of anthropologist Rafael Schachter, who wrote the catalogue essay for the exhibition, Vasmoulakis is interested in “an artistic process in which creation and destruction go hand in hand and in which conscious control is surrendered.”

 

Vasmoulakis’ work was shown in three group exhibitions at Hollis Taggart: Reunion (Southport, 2021), Perceived Realities (NYC, 2020) and Remix (Southport, 2020). Recent solo exhibitions include the Afterparty at Eins Gallery in Limassol, Cyprus (2020), Mind Mischief (2017) and The Eaters and The Eaten (2016) at The Breeder Gallery in Athens, My eyes are seeing you at Art Expertise in Athens (2014), and Figures at Le Basse Projects in Los Angeles (2013). His work has also been included in a wide range of group exhibitions, including at Fondation Cartier (Paris), Antikenmuseum (Basel), Benaki Museum (Athens), and Bozar (Brussels), among others. Vasmoulakis was born in 1980 and lives and works in Athens, Greece.

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