CM: Kornelios Grammenos' Self-Portrait is based on his Fields series of the period 2006-2007. Grammenos claims that a field become self-portraiture as it is ploughed, watered and changes form, nevertheless retaining its character through time. It is greatly significant for Grammenos that the artist - like the field - retain his character despite the changes caused by the passing time. When one sees the entire field from a distance there is homogeneity hardly with any differentiation. The artist says: "From the very land derives that which we want to derive".
In this particular work Grammenos place the field over his face and - in so doing - achieved to make all his non-referential works legible as representational. The artist created the present work as a response to the challenge of creating self-portraiture. He appropriated a photograph of his face and he painted over it. In this photograph appears the artist along with his Knight of 1994. It is a photograph he took himself, in order to illustrate his book entitled Sarmata (2007). Here stands out the artist’s eye, while the rest of the space is occupied by the field. Grammenos’ Self-Portrait seems to appear complex. Though lacking direct reference to nature, the horizontal lines give the impression of perspective and endow the paper on the wall with volume.
The history of conceptual intervention on photography began with Marcel Duchamp in his LHOOQ of 1919. Beginning to paint on photographs of his face late in the 1960s, Arnulf Rainer based the externalization of his emotions with the violence he represented on the paper.
The paper became the favorite material of Grammenos already in the mid-1980s, because it evokes its material more eloquently than canvas, because of its textural variety. The artist intentionally chose the relief and the wrinkly quality of the paper. The saturation of paper with ink is up to a certain point controllable and then it becomes unforeseeable. All of Grammenos work appears to begin with the natural landscape in mind, which is represented consciously and turn out to be perceived subconsciously.
The palette that Grammenos chooses is characteristic for its luminosity. He is clear to use a limited gamut of colors - citron yellow, cadmium yellow, cadmium red, cobalt blue, Prussian blue and cadmium green. The solution of the yellow color is as much a matter of composition as of necessity - much like the field calls for the sun, which is yellow.
[Megakles Rogakos 05/2007]
ROGAKOS, MEGAKLES Silent Dialogues: Multimedia Portraits Throughout Time 2008 The American College of Greece - ACG Art, Athens