GIANNIS STRATIS Manna 1997 - x +
StrG1997mann

CN: StrG1997mann

MT: oil and pastel on card (48x34 / FR:70x55x3)

TX: inscribed with pastel at center left vertically in Greek <My Mother.>, signed at upper left in English <Stratis>

LN: Mr. Megakles Rogakos - 2008

CM: The artworks of Giannis Stratis originate wholly in the subconscious of the human condition. The present work was destined to be inscribed "I Manna Mou" (My Mother), but - beyond its specificity - it undoubtedly refers to the mother as archetype. Manna was completed in a night of the winter of 1997 on the floor of the artist's family house. Stratis had entered an inner state to create and brought out with incredible speed - like every time he gets inspired - a special face. Upon finishing he discovered that this figure evokes so much affection that only a mother would feel for her children. That was the moment he christened it "Manna" - the Greek word that laconically sums up the essence of motherhood.

When Stratis took photographic material to the academician Chryssanthos Christou at the Philosophy Department of the Univeristy of Athens, he remembers Manna made a great impression to the professor, and this fact is proven by the point in his commentary that references the specific painting as follows: "it expresses all the mothers of the world, with its emphasis on the soft forms, the warm tones, the curvilinear configuration" [30/09/1998]. Her round eyes acquire the form of caring embrace, while her distinctive red lips are a clear reference to the female core of the mother. Nevertheless, there are elements in this work that make her motherly feeling appear inconsistent. The palette is sweet while the design is rough. Such a solution may rest on the psychological ground that a mother combines at the same time softness and hardness in her love for her children. As a matter of fact, in a moment of intense emotion, Stratis grabbed the painted card and began unconsciously to wrinkle it. Such an act endowed the work with an organic texture which evokes violence together with fragility. In any case, Manna remains a subversive work, which according to the artist is "to be disputed as much as much as believed in".

[Megakles Rogakos 05/2008]

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