Fassianos. Everyday Mythologies
Alekos Fassianos may be regarded as a successor of the Generation of the Thirties.
The dominant myth of “Greekness”, of faith in the timeless Greek values, the only ones which, according to the beliefs of this acclaimed generation, ensured authenticity and national validity to the works of a Greek artist, seems to have been the compass for Alekos Fassianos’s explorations. His childhood, spent in the middle-class neighbourhood of Plaka, in the shade of the Acropolis, his mother, a Greek language and literature high school teacher, and his apprenticeship at Yannis Moralis’s workshop at the Athens School of Fine Arts, must have been the three key influences on his direction. His beloved teacher, Moralis, the youngest exponent of the Generation of the Thirties, encouraged his pupil’s turn to Antiquity. Yet, his pupil did not adopt the melancholy contemplation that marked the teacher’s painting. His own, popular paganism was inspired by another teacher: Yannis Tsarouchis.
The artist believed that he represented “a kind of local art, which expresses the personal experience of everyday life and the surrounding landscape of Greece.” For Alekos Fassianos, only what is local is global. Fassianos’s world always preserves its identity. Solitary figures or groups, flat, or shaped with lights and shadows, his figures are always recognizable. Fassianos’s drawing is not realistic. Faces are usually depicted in profile or three quarters, with stylized ancient Greek features. His colour is pure and bright, limited to a few emblematic tones, in which red, blue and gold prevail.
Alekos Fassianos made a myth out of his own reality and alerted us to its hidden charm. As a true “popular artist”, he let his art spread out to flood our everyday reality and cheer it up through its animal euphoria. His works convey a contagious optimism. This explains in part why Fassianos’s paintings are so popular.
Exhibition Curator: Efi Agathonikou, Curator at the National Gallery of Greece
Sponsor: EUROBANK Private Banking