LC: Office of Junior College & General Studies Program
CM: Spyros Verykios' Three Romans is one of the first works of a series that came into being on the pretext of representing the city. This series is concerned with a civic mythology, which is represented by figures in the city. Here are presented three male figures, which are organized in different formal rhythms. The two men on the painting's left side stare at the man who returns their gaze. The left man is black and his features are lost in the darkness. The central man is white and his anatomy is barely visible. Lastly, the man on whom the other focus has been formed by the brush's random strokes. The three figures have been organized in a way that makes one another clash and rise. The realistic manner in which they are staged is reminiscent of Roman relief.
Verykios claims that "every work is an excuse to compile a new visual dictionary". For Verykios the aesthetic matter - the way in which the artwork is articulated - has priority. The challenge of design makes the artist research the way in which to render the forms. Verykios draws inspiration from Oriental painting, where the visual act is a vehicle of philosophy, of a viewpoint and belief about the universe. That is why he wishes not to be original, but to enjoy what he does. He is concerned that every gesture and every form on the canvas bring out the feel of 'presence' in the sense of observation, without the mediation of the established dictionary. He claims characteristically "when we 'smell' things then they become richer in meaning than their idea". In other words he would like the viewer to experience the painted figures through his own body.
Verykios is interested not in attacking representation - as it seems - but in letting the random motion of the material itself on the canvas create the forms. Every stain develops a relation of union and contrast that binds the work together. The artist beleieves that "a random drip of paint may represent a head better than a trained painter". It is the dynamism in the work that produces the artwork. From such a viewpoint the artist reduces his palette and works with but a few colors. The color he chooses is 'duco', an industrial oil-based paint used in metal constructions. The pink creates the proper condition in which to bind through the gestures the other colors - the white and the black. In the composition prevails the expressionistic texture of colors and the realistic rendering of the forms, which are biographical and psychographical. Through intense play of light and darkness the Three Romans emerge in an atmosphere of civic mystery.
[Megakles Rogakos 06/2007]
ROGAKOS, MEGAKLES Silent Dialogues: Multimedia Portraits Throughout Time 2008 The American College of Greece - ACG Art, Athens