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Building Songs

Hard Surface

I draw bizzare landscapes that might be hiding a certain story. I borrow from pictures of machines and pieces of buildings, which in reality had foundations, balance and articulated structure. The heavy constructions become transparent and weightless, concrete turns to paper, the structure dissolves and gets reassembled through explosive collations, confusing the inside with the outsideand distroying perspective in a game of contradiction with unexpected results.
The work  of  Karavas  brings  to  mind  images  of  the art  of  the  first decades  of the  20th century.  It  reflects  intensions  and achievements  related  to  the fragment  as  dominant element. He uses the technique of collage in the truest sense, sticking extracts of texts and photographs  torn  from  newspapers,  handwritten notes,  draft plans,  written  by  hand, sometimes with diabetes and the ruler, which he colors in tones of white, gray, black and blue and he stresses, especially with the intense, aggressive hues of red. The connection between architecture  and  painting is one  of  the influential objectives of  its  creation.  The urban landscapes however doesn’ t look like molded in the "ideal", "Symmetrical" and "functional"  model-towns which were  established  during  the  Renaissance,  but  like cities which are decaying  into  the  dismantling  of their  social  fabric,  from  the interwar  period onwards, which  coincides  the  current  dismantling  of the  social fabric  of  modern cities, reflected  by  the divergent and convergent  buildings  that remind  us  the expressionist scenery of the German director Fritz Lang. Among them forward unexpectedly members of ancient statues, machine parts and figures bearing the tragic masks, cut and rewelded to their  body; reminding us  the  way  of the Dadaist Hannah  Höch  and  the exponent  of  the New Objectivity, George  Grosz. Ready  in the  stereotype  of  their  immobilized grimace or attitude,  to  eat  or  squash  the viewer.  To express  their  versatile fears  to  act  in  an environment  that  is increasingly  strange,  and  at the same  time  to  help  him  through the illustration of its confusing operation mechanisms, to escape from it.
He uses the technique of collage like the German Kurt Switters, in the first decades of the 20th century. He moves between constructivism, dadaism and surrealism making his works with discarded materials, newspaper clippings, photographs , paperboard , drawings, pieces of canvas as well as pictures of objects we see everyday like pipes, gears, levers. He draws them with dynamic lines , angular and curved contours and scratches. He paints with wild and rash touches creating an embossed and tangible texture, highlighting the diversity of materials and their origin. The emerging forms might evoke the "Abstract Portrait of Marcel Duchamp' 'made by the konstrouktivist artist Katherine Dreier in 1918. "A square , a circle , a color is specific things such as a cow or a tree . It is the visual embodiment of an object" said Theo van Doesburg, theorist of «De Stijl», one of the forms of constructivism, thus indicating the separation of the emotion from the spirit. Karavas succeeds, in contrast to the pronouncements of Doesburg, the "animation" of this formalistic language creating abstract compositions that bear their faces as embryos in the middle of their torso , their breasts like two expressive eyes, the eye like a cone or a button that stares at us, the body like a meandering rectangle, a closed sensual curve witch moves rhythmically. Familiar, functional tools, geometric shapes and features of animals , birds and people are combined, thus creating unfamiliar and yet so alive and so familiar creatures and showing us a world that although is shaped by materials "without merit" it is pulsating in nature and in the human psyche.
Leda Kazantzaki, art historian
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