Critique
1988 - Irrational realism

 

Metaphysical realism, Nikitas Flessas's style of painting, expresses that abstract intangible which invests realism with an atmosphere of unreality - a realism that enters the realm of infinity and of deceptive rationality.

A slightly distorted perspective and an imaginative staging of figures and objects intensify the illusionary atmos­phere of Flessas's work. Silver candles­ticks, a porcelain carafe, dishes, and glasses of milk are so symmetrically arranged that they exude the solemnity of a ritual arrangement, their eerie still­ness transforming these ordinary arti­cles into holy objects. There is a feeling of expectation in the formality of the settings, and of loneliness, since the only guest seems to be a butterfly in the center of the table.

Flessas loves music and a piano is frequently included in his work. By merging disconnected images - an air­plane flying over a white piano drifting in space - he defines them as symbols of cultural communication.

His nudes are striking portraits of young people in repose. Depicted sing­ly, sensual arms and heads resting on a square base, a feature repeated in all the paintings, they evoke a range of sensa­tions, from the mystical to the erotic. They seem to be floating in a private dreamworld yet well-aware of their sur­roundings. The sublime is evoked in the beauty of their flawless skin, expressive dark eyes and brows, and sensual lips: innocence as well as seductiveness. Again an overwhelming silence and an almost trance-like immobility permeate these paintings.

Fiessas’ technique of rendering color and texture is remarkable as he vividly depicts milky liquid seen through a clear crystal glass, and skin tones sparkling with brilliant vitality. The blue-gray tonalities of the paintings’ backgrounds, as well as the red borders ‘framing’ all the compositions, enhance the unity of the exhibitionma.

Mary  Machas

“THE ATHENIAN”

November 1988