VASSILIKI KOSKINIOTOU The Moon Runs Through Me... of Nikos Karouzos 2007 = - x +

CN: KosV2007moon

MT: oil and oil pastels on canvas (80x70)

TX: incised at left side vertically in Greek <Selini me diatrehi>, in French <la lune me parcourt>, in English <the moon runs through me>, signed by incision at lower right vertically in English <V. Koskiniotou>, inscribed with felt pen at left side vertically in Greek <"THE MOON RUNS THROUGH ME..." OF NIKOS KAROUZOS 2007>, at right <VASSILIKI KOSKINIOTOU>

IL: Megakles Rogakos 2008, #121; The Human Figure in Art, p.223

DN: Mr. Dimitris Loukidelis - 2007

LC: ACG - Deree College, Arts & Sciences Department, Office #532 of Dr. Haris Vlavianos

CM: A great part of Vassiliki Koskiniotou's painting responds to the intensity of emotion that poetry invokes in her. As a matter of fact, she claims she cannot imagine the world apart of language. With the present painting Koskiniotou pays tribute to Nikos Karouzos (1926-1990), the poet of the world whose poetry is deeply Hellenic. Having a special right over language - in her capacity as translator and journalist - Koskiniotou feels that Karouzos is not as known or recognized as he deserves. Being t he most difficult to translate perhaps of the Greek poets, exactly due to his outmost authentic use of the Greek language, he is the author of a big and unique poetry with a huge spirituality. He is the poet who said "I thank the Greek language"; an intellectual poet, who lived consciously for poetry and with poetry, which was so necessary and so inevitable to him, as if it was his breath. Besides poetry, the universe of art - especially this of painting and music - seemed to be his natural living space, while in his work the figures of great authors take their place in the most natural way. That is also why his peers and artists as well, who are acquainted with his work, love him very much.

Koskiniotou loves Karouzos as a communicant of his art. Being aware of Karouzos' special love for painting, Koskiniotou feels possessed by his 'luminous' poetic phrases, like the one which inspired her painting "The moon runs through me..." - the very first verse of the poem I Reveal my self Without Neccecity from Erythrographos poetic collection (Apopira Editions 1988). In this awesome sentence, especially owing to the absence of its article in the Greek version, the moon turns from a being to become a condition. In her desire to paint along with writing, Koskiniotou inscribed the sentence at the right side vertically and facing the portrait, first in Greek "Selini me diatrehi", then in French "la lune me parcourt", and finally in English "the moon runs through me". "Unsuccessful translation attempts of an untranslatable line" - as she herself declares - a line which reveals a transcedental poetic experience. Koskiniotou believes that this particular excerpt belongs to those lines which are "so brilliant like a lightning or a stroke of thunder". Such a line is characterized by universality, because - in its outstanding simplicity - it is at the same time basically humane and magnificent.

Karouzos was an "aristocrat of divine origin", whose life had "no other end but poetry" - as he himself had been saying. He had chosen to live with the bare essentials by decision, having rejected any material luxury whatsoever. For this reason, he lived hard for long periods of time, on the verge of destitution. The photo from which Koskiniotou draws her inspiration for the present portrait, depicts the poet towards the end of his life, with the typical big black glasses, bending over his papers, as if it was the moment in which he is conceiving the sentence "the moon runs through me" - an image which is particularly cherished and moving to the artist. Herself empathising with his last poems' anxiety of death, she shared an elective as well as human affinity with him. In his maturity, at approximately the age of sixty, the familiar profile of the poet does not cease to always recall "the Greek with the most beautiful Greek countenance" - according to the saying of his friend, the painter Alekos Fassianos. Koskiniotou succumbed to the temptation to illuminate his face from inside and within, by actually painting its negative, since the painter herself felt 'run through' by the poet's crucial lines, such as "the starry photogeny" or the well-known line "my hand is shimmering as I am writing". The moon seems really to be glowing from inside the poet, and the emergent painting, "the starry portrait" as the painter calls it, assumes an uncannily metaphysical character.

In this painting, night and sky colours prevail in the painter's palette, colours which the poet had loved so much. Often in Karouzos' vocabulary appeared the sky, the blue, the azure, and the moon. Findings of Azure Cobalt is the title of his last collection of poems. Behind the cobalt that Koskiniotou used, at the part of the painting where she inscribed the poem's lines, emerge d the painting's warm substratum and - as a miracle - the writing shined forth. Similarly bright became the arrows - a familiar symbol of elevation in Koskiniotou's art - which very appropriately 'glance' at the poet's face in a pair, owing to him their internal light.

[Megakles Rogakos 04/2007]

KAROUZOS, NIKOS Erythrographos 1988 Apopeira Editions, Athens [Greek]
KAROUZOS, NIKOS Complete Works 1994, 2001 Ikaros Editions, Athens [Greek]
ROGAKOS, MEGAKLES Silent Dialogues: Multimedia Portraits Throughout Time 2008 The American College of Greece, Athens
ALBUM Panhellenic Exhibition of EETE Members: The Human Figure in Art 2009 Chamber of Fine Arts of Greece, Athens