CM: Nikos Giavropoulos' Complete Portrait is a typical example of contemporary portraiture, wherein triumphs a superficial simplicity, rid of particular action and indifferent to emotional expressiveness.
With an aim to faithfully represent a friend's appearance Giavropoulos combined in a single image two views of his head - the front and profile - in parallel juxtaposition. The frontal view is projected on a cast of the Portrait of Alexander the Great (ca. 330 B.C.), which was discovered on the Athenian Acropolis and is attributed to Leochares. Such solution on the one hand is based on the model's similarity of the model to Alexander, and on the other serves the Complete Portrait's main issue - to unify an ancient, frozen and renowned head with a contemporary, living and humble face. Thus the self is split between a front that appropriates a historical portrait and a profile that is distanced from anything to the point of self-reference.
The two views - front and profile - do not match intentionally. Where the model is the same, the two shots were made at different times - a solution that creates the sensation of a dialectic relationship between the portraits. A grotesque feeling emerges, in the sense that the picture's legibility is confused. The model seems to be confronted by himself, as if through a mirror, but in reality he is not because this situation resulted after the shots were made. Thus the Complete Portrait is playing with the concept of 'being' and 'not being', as it also doubts the sense of 'completion' that is mentioned in its own title. The dramatic condition of confusion is accentuated by the dark background and the 'chiaroscuro' (intense light and shadow) of the portrait, with clear reference to the art of Caravaggio.
[Megakles Rogakos 04/2007]
ROGAKOS, MEGAKLES Silent Dialogues: Multimedia Portraits Throughout Time 2008 The American College of Greece, Athens