Born in Athens in 1970, he studied Painting at the Academy of Fine Arts of Venice (1991-1995) and Sculpture at the Athens School of Fine Arts (1997-2001). He lives and works in Athens.
On Art and His Art: Michalis Kallimopoulos
The sculptor Michalis Kallimopoulos talks about art as a means of communication. He highlights the institutional role of the artist to show society, to an imaginary viewer, everything he discovers each time, through each of his works. He describes the immediacy he seeks in his work though the element of humour, which comes into contrast with the harsh subject matter of his sculpture. He refers to Sotiris Felios as the guardian of the works he collects. Using two of his works that are included in the collection to remark upon the issue of female loneliness in public space, as well as the role of the viewer as god, he touches upon the relationship between inspiration and life.
One, No One and Eleven Hundred •
The Picture Looking Inwards •
I, According to Me •
Nees Morfes Gallery•
Michalis Kallimopoulos (painter, sculptor, photographer) borrows his points of departure from reality in order to transcend them, focusing through his works on the role of art and the functions which it performs in society. In his sculptures, he concentrates on human types and on situations which concern, on the one hand, moments from everyday routine, and, on the other, forms of power of every kind which define structures, mores, deals, mentalities, and established institutions of life. The humour and the self-sarcasm, together with the power which is concealed by what is negligible, but nevertheless definitive, are reduced or blown up in size as the artist mutates and at the same time undermines the concept of authority and tyranny, together with assumed seriousness and loquacity, characteristics which in every other respect have ranked values and relegations, giving shape to tug-of-wars between relations, and, in the end, consensuses, of certain unholy and far from transparent ‘alliances’.
The critical dimension which springs up in the works of Michalis Kallimopoulos contains both drama and trauma. These are characteristics which charge the qualities of his own bitter humour, as he castigates the self-sufficiency of ‘appearances’ and of ‘reality’. The items which his figures allude to have as their target, on the one hand, the individual condition and the responsibility which falls to its lot (for the ways in which it chooses to negotiate its presence), and, on the other, the collective response which takes into its guardianship and sometimes defines the ‘currency’ of life, with its ‘meanings’ distorted and constantly unsafeguarded. The question which arises as to who and what is being imposed behind the surface and the style, as his figures (full-length, as busts, and as caricatures) reveal, shadow-boxes with truth and deceit, as it does with simulations and disqualifications, leaving the enigma hovering in their place.
His sculptures of greater or lesser magnitude monumentalise vignettes and anecdotal material, as well as versions of and established outlooks on reputations and the disreputable, as he excoriates narcissism and complacency, together with the greed and pretexts of every false dilemma which would lead to the ‘discovery’ of causes and effects. His figures are self-defining as to what they think they are on the ‘stock exchange’ of life and art, and through their blend of tears and laughter, they activate the reflections of the beholder.
Also the character and the formulation of his sculptures present, according to my opinion, an eclectic relation with the sculptures of one of his ancestors in the artistic ‘stage’. This was the Austrian Franz Xaver Messerschmidt (1736-1783) who had made, among others, the metal portraits of the Imperial Bavarian court of his time, giving in his sculptures, (through a combination of realism and expressionism) the typology of the social role of its personalities together with the instant outburst of their sentiments, emotions and bizarre but fascinating conditions of their everyday life.
Athena Schina Art Critic and Historian