AD Gallery opens Anastassis Stratakis’ solo show entitled “For the Eye altering alters all / The Senses roll themselves in fear / And the flat Earth becomes a Ball” on Wednesday, January 27, 2016 at 20:00.
In his late series of works entitled "Broken Series" Anastassis Stratakis paints with acrylic on top of popular magazine covers of the international press, making it hard for the viewer to distinguish between the original printed parts and the ones that are painted. The painted parts follow the pattern of a broken glass giving the impression to the viewer that each magazine's cover is being viewed through a shattered mirror. The confusion is accentuated by the painter's gesture that juxtaposes the "realism" of the drawing's narration to the "realism" of the print. Stratakis is using his skill in drawing and painting in order to bring out a doubt about the credibility of the mass media narration. However, the quality of the final result exceeds the depicted face or fact and makes the artwork the event itself.
The artist continues the above series of works by transferring the morphological typology of classical works of art in modern times. Here he negotiates the “Oath of the Horatii” (1784) by Jacques-Louis David. This particular work of the French artist was commissioned by king Louis XVI with the intention to use it for propaganda, preaching loyalty to the state and self-sacrifice for the country’s sake at a time of economic/ social crisis, five years before the French Revolution in which David played a central role. In the show a drawing on paper is being presented based on the above work, but the scene has been transferred to a neutral, timeless environment with a different lighting. This precise change of mise en scene by Stratakis drives the viewer to the conclusion that the scene before him refers to a conspiracy rather than a heroic action as in the case of David’s work. The artist retrieves the interpretive fluidity of the artwork, which made the work of the French revolutionary painter famous. The quality of the drawing brings out the inner truth of the forms.
An installation is also presented at the show, where the viewer faces a space that bears the traces of the previous existence of a monument: the soil has subsided due to the weight of the absent monument, while a marble plate with the inscription “VENI VIDI VICI” has remained. The by-gone splendor has been replaced with an image that resembles more a grave. Stratakis comments on the assesment of the heroic archetypes by history and thus by historical memory.