CM: Eleni Pavlopoulou's To the Glory of Birds is a work with poetical ramifications. The artist borrowed the title from George Sarandaris' (1908-1941) namesake poetic collection (Ikaros Editions, 1997). The poem Birds, which is of relevance to the painting, came to the artist's mind upon the painting's completion. Obviously, aiming to elevate her personal experiences to art, Pavlopoulou creates works that subconsciously relate to masterful artworks that have indelibly influenced her, such as Sarandaris' Birds. From this poem it is worth quoting the following selection of lines: "The birds that wear the history / Of the world / And climb high for the space to appear [...] Further / For the people to see / One another / For the hearts to love again [...] These birds teach us / the cream of feelings [...] And once the moment of spring arrives / Not surprisingly / they shall crown eternity". These lines give the literary stigma of the experience Pavlopoulou herewith represents. Fluid as things are, The Glory of Birds presents a psychological landscape with a yellow sky. Let it be noted that the yellow background usually symbolizes the quality of infinity and timelessness. Dominant in the work is a male face off center whose body does not matter and is only insinuated. The gaze of the face expresses a perplexity and an uncertainty with regard to life. With its harsh wrinkles, its rigid features and the shadow that is cast upon it, the face resembles a tombstone, commemorating the unjustified and futile harshness of human nature. As a matter of fact, this face is like a mask that hides a real face, which never took the opportunity to express itself. That which man needs to express and which is born of his obsessive thought is the surrounding picture, inhabited by birds. Nature's perfect creatures, the birds are symbols of love, fantasy, and especially freedom. The birds express man's desire for that ideal of which he is in absolute want - the unconditional and unhesitating freedom. Pavlopoulou is herewith concerned with the main issue of life, the belief that "love yields the motive for man to climb a bit higher". In the knowledge of the discouraging aspect of reality, Pavlopoulou suggests an optimistic way out. Having illustrated life's paradox - man's ignorance and inertness towards the affluence of motives for fertile creativity - The Glory of Birds suggests a utopia, where man is given every reason to open his wings so that he may win by his own right the eternity that will crown him.
[Megakles Rogakos 10/2007]
ROGAKOS, MEGAKLES Silent Dialogues: Multimedia Portraits Throughout Time 2008 The American College of Greece - ACG Art, Athens