‘urban materials’ - Vassilis Karakatsanis
Motifs, textures and qualities, develop on the canvas, like armchairs, clothes, umbrellas, carpets. Almost always clothing materials.
Materials of urban concept, undoubtedly controversial with specific reasoning in the past, however subconsciously desired by so many.
Clothing materials that define someone’s class, undoubtedly bring up scepticism concerning the power of our stage-designing and clothing conclusions with a deadline through the passage of time. At the same time, they raise doubts concerning the value of many controversies within the dream for a society more substantial and more just.
Our primitivism, our relation to matter and, all the more, to its particular expressions, will contribute in a way that, in addition to the awe, the smile will have to be often included, I’m afraid, in the conclusions of future scholars about man.
Experienced space, time and materials mingle in such a way that on the one hand we have the given visual product and on the other hand the critical, universal approach to human existence with discreet irony, I would say, through its passions and consumer necessities.
Karakatsanis speaks about something he knows very well, trying to keep the balance between the description and the conceptual disposition to put forward views about the urban landscape.
Once more, he reflects an experiential relationship with what he embarks on, code messages in a diary, views, queries, secret or unconcealed fetishes.
It is a humanistic approach, with the human figure missing, like in most of the series in the past, as it is the target itself (cities 1985), (bags 1986), (imprints 1987), (clothes 1989), (houses 1989), (carpets 1991), (flags 1992), (Vathis sq. 2001), (on wall 2003), (G8+? 2003), (netting 2004).
The human figure complementary appears on canvas and is illustrated more, I would say, in the series (party 1996) and (sarong 1998).
Karakatsanis implies and does so in a straightforward way. Thus he engages the viewer in a second and third evaluation of his work, taking risks, with the hasty conclusions entertained by the “syndrome” of the meaning or the fast and superficial choice of familiar, stereotyped, post-modern titles.
The painter here, and I hope in the future too, does not drift into brashness or loud statements that will possibly be quickly revised tomorrow. He avoids in a refined and responsible way, his affiliation to the “devoted” obsession with putting forward questions and conclusions that, I’m afraid, do not interest people, who will eventually appreciate the project and are the source of inspiration.
Identifiable and plain artistic monochrome expression that permeates the canvas, stage designing in the form of “installation of two dimensions” and clear elements of new realism and pop.
The visual product is optimistic, which I do not see often in art nowadays and his materials are simple, identifiable and mature. He knows very well his field and, most notably, how to handle it.
Although I tend to disregard the artist’s nationality, I’d hazard the guess that Karakatsanis originates, acts and expresses through purely original European aesthetic media, which is important, typical and defies time, in a universal artistic market, which desperately needs originality and the artist’s individual expression.
Visual arts are not the medium through which fashion can bulldoze aesthetic differences, personalities or honest expression. What is intriguing is that all of us, in our Levi’s jeans, promote the diversity in our being, our national, ideological and social differences, with authenticity and realisation of the rules of the tough aesthetic challenge.
Palma de Mallorca, 5 February 2005
Pedro A. Serra y Bauzá
Chairman of the "Es Baluard" Foundation of the Museum of Modern & Contemporary Art, Palma de Mallorca, Spain
For more information about the artist, please visit his website: www.v-karakatsanis.gr