Nikos Kryonidis was born on 22 April 1963 in Xanthi, Greece. He studied painting at the School of Architecture of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (1980-1986) under Nikos Sachinis and George Lazongas. He taught painting at Applied Art Studies in Thessaloniki from 1991 to 1994. Critics on his work and interviews have been published in various newspapers and magazines of general subjects as well as fine art publications, books and catalogues. Since 1994 his painting decorates the bottles of 'Stafylos' wines.
No sooner had Kryonidis began painting than he was sure to want to do so throughout his life. When the time came to decide on his career, he chose architecture as the only school that - at that time - would allow him to cultivate his painting. In the process however, he established that "painting is more ethical than architecture", meaning that he grew to trust his professors in painting more than anyone else. The architects painted amateurishly as doing a by-work, but would not feel proud about it. Whereas the painters exerted a charm on him that derived from their manner and was expressed in their work. Kryonidis admitted being inspired from the work of Sachinis and Lazongas. As he said: "in the case of Sachinis and Lazongas painting is the power of their work, you see the work and you feel that there something is cooking." Subsequently, De Kooning was brought to Kryonidis' attention as an artist whose work has aesthetic correspondence to his. He said in particular: "I find the art of De Kooning to be akin to my own research, without however feeling that my painting follows him, as is the case with Twombly and Pollock. I recall when De Kooning was asked why he painted, he replied: when I don't paint I go dizzy."
Nikos Kryonidis said characteristically about his art: "My painting is prescribed by the realm of instinct. Though a planned procedure is involved, the structure is actually instinctual. Art requires a deep religious belief to materialize, such that - in its absence - nothing would be achieved. Sincerity and honesty are everything in painting. With painting one glorifies nature in a way that logic cannot. As a result, it appears that - in an effort to discover the world - one recreates it. Every new work gives me a better understanding of the miracle of creation. It is as if each work encloses a separate universe. With painting I am able to make the world the way I like. It is at the same time a microcosm and a macrocosm. According to the theory of fractals (simply put, that the contour of a continent has to do with the outline of a leaf / that the spire of a shell is echoed in the structure of the universe) my work is in keeping with a scientific perception of the world. However, the process of an artwork coming to being is indescribable and mysterious. The work is created during the making. At the same time, I have total control over it, as I too am the windfall of the world's rhythm. When one harmonizes with that rhythm then you acquire incredible energy. In the end, all that will matter is the result, not the process that produced it."
At first glance, the art of Kryonidis may seem to present an explosion of lines and color, but - looking deeper - it reveals an artist that has grasped the laws of composition that lead towards harmony and balance. Below Kryonidis exposes speleography as the ultimate source of inspirtation in his art: "Art is a progress from the body to the universe, in other words, of a universe that is perceived through forms. For the creation of the world lines had to traverse. My drawing has been inspired by the primitive painting in caves. I consider speleography to be a verys significant artform. It has been preserved, without conservation, because it had the power to survive. There can be no value-system to protect cave painting. Nature has preserved it as it preserves life itself. Cave painting has been self-preserved because it is nature itself. And as we would all like to be something we are not, I am striving to achieve the kind of directness that the caveman expressed."
Nikos Kryonidis presented the following personal exhibitions: Musical & Visual Art Events Erodos, Thessaloniki (1988 & 1992); Open Air Cinema Natalie, Thessaloniki (1991); Breakfast Bar Eros, Thassos Lake, Thassos Island (1991); Park of the Municipality of Ionia, Thessaloniki (1992); Yeni Çami - Old Archaeological Museum in Thessaloniki (1992); Alli Poli, Thessaloniki (1993 & 1997); Four Thousand Artefacts of a Bygone Civilization, Alli Poli, Thessaloniki (1994); Zita-Mi Gallery, Thessaloniki (1994); Metamorfosis Gallery, Thessaloniki (1997); Mammals and Tools, Pliades Gallery, Athens (1997); Epikentro Gallery, Athens (1999); Offerings to a Recently Lost Civilization, Statement Gallery, Athens (2001); Lola Nikolaou Gallery, Thessaloniki (2001); Municipal Gallery of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki (2002); Titanium Art Gallery, Athens (2005); Pickup, Manifactura, Athens (2008); and From the Body to the Universe, Bonicos Gallery, Athens (2009). He also took part in the following group exhibitions: Spring Collection, House of Cyprus, Athens (1996); De Valigia, Thessaloniki Railstation, Thessaloniki (1997); 2x2m, Zita-Mi Gallery, Thessaloniki (1997); EuropArTrain, Hoorn- Amsterdam, The Netherlands (1998); Horizons of Autism, Vafopoulio Cultural Center, Thessaloniki (1999); Art Athina #7, Epikentro Art Gallery, Athens (1999); Cahiers du Triangle, Institut Française, Thessaloniki (2000); First Miniature Exhibition, Ianos Art Gallery, Thessaloniki (2000); Assesorato AIIa Cultura, Bologna, Italy (2000); École des Beaux-Arts, Saint-Etienne, France (2000); Cahiers Du Triangle, Institut Français, Thessaloniki (2000); miArt, Epikentro Art Gallery, Milan (2000); Art Athina #8, Epikentro Art Gallery, Athens (2000); Two Thousand Tin Cans, Chamber of Lithography, Athens (2000); A' Panhellenic Consortium of Visual Art Creations, Samothraki Island (2000); Painting and Cinema, Technopolis, Athens (2000); Open Art, Chamber of Lithography, Athens (2002); Review-Preview, Statement Modern Art Space, Epidaurus (2002); Pseudo-event, Vafopoulio Cultural Center, Thessaloniki (2002); Pop Allokoto, Gazon Rouge, Athens (2003); Emff@sis, Art Space, Thessaloniki (2003); In-Situations: Artworks in Time and Space by Contemporary Greek Artists, Municipal Gallery of Kalamata - A. Tassos (2007); Silent Dialogues: Multimedia Portraits Throughout Time The American College of Greece, Athens (2008); and Remap2: Unexpected Expedition, 47 Iasonos, Athens (2009). Artworks by Nikos Kryonidis are kept at The American College of Greece, Athens; National Gallery - Alexandros Soutzos Museum, Athens; and Thessaloniki Center of Contemporary Art, Thessaloniki.
Nikos Kryonidis currently lives in Thessaloniki, and teaches painting at the Michalis Veloudakis School of Design in Athens.
[Megakles Rogakos 04/2009]
THEOCHAROUS, CHARA Nikos Kryonidis 2002 Municipal Gallery of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki [Greek]