Distorted Figures Navigate the Aftermath of Environmental Destruction in Portraits by Stamatis Laskos




Art

#oil painting
#painting
#portraits
#self-portrait

June 11, 2021

Grace Ebert

“Losing the last rights” (2021), oil on canvas, 200 x 120 centimeters. All images © Stamatis Laskos, shared with permission

Fantastically tall figures with elongated limbs and torsos inhabit the distorted, mysterious realities painted by artist Stamatis Laskos (previously). The highly stylized artworks, which extend upwards of six feet, imagine a universe marred by unknown destruction: an elderly man wades through waist-high water while fire burns in the background, a woman retrieves a human skeleton from a flood, and a self-portrait shows the artist shielding his eyes with detached hands. Working with Earth tones and an implied dim light, Laskos shrouds each scene with shadow, which obscures the figures’ faces and casts an eerie tension over the degraded environments.

At once distant and deeply personal, each painting draws on ideas of collective unconscious and Jungian archetypes, whether portrayed through wise figures, an apocalypse, or the unification of opposing forces. “Giving them the necessary deformation, my archaic protagonists carve out incompatible and irreconcilable trajectories,” Laskos says. “The unconscious and the hidden memories are framed by colors, shapes, and situations that complement my compositions in such a way that each work is a page from my diary, always reminding me how and why it was created.”

Laskos is currently based in his hometown of Volos, Greece, and some of his works on canvas are on view through June 25 at Lola Nikolaou Art Gallery in Thessaloniki. Later this summer, he’ll be painting a larger mural in Athens focused around a theme of environmental ruin, and you can follow his progress on that piece on Behance and Instagram.

 

“Self-portrait” (2021), oil on canvas,110 x 80 centimeters

“Golden hour” (2021), oil on canvas, 180 x 120 centimeters

“Cretan” (2020), oil on canvas, 1,880 x 1,120 centimeters

Detail of “”Cretan” (2020), oil on canvas, 1,880 x 1,120 centimeters

“Soldier”

“Under the table” (2021), oil on canvas, 150 x 150 centimeters

Detail of “Under the table” (2021), oil on canvas, 150 x 150 centimeters

Laskos working on “Losing the last rights”

#oil painting
#painting
#portraits
#self-portrait

 

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