Kostas Lales

Lales Kostas

Born in Athens in 1990, he took acting classes at the National Theatre Workshops for Adolescents (1997-2002, 2009-2010). He studied Painting at the Athens School of Fine Arts (2010-2015) under Zacharias Arvanitis, Angelos Antonopoulos, Dimitris Sakellion and Michalis Manoussakis, and Multimedia under Manthos Santorineos. Currently, he is studying towards an MFA at the School of Visual Arts, in New York.


On Art and His Art: Kostas Lales

The visual artist Kostas Lales refers to the necessity of art in his life; to art as revelation. He explains how the basic purpose of his work is to evoke, each time, internal memories and experiences with the help of matter, concept, narrative and the fusion of different materials and sketches. Speaking of the leading role played by vision, the gaze, in his work, he also refers to the gaze of a collector as the exploration of his own personal history through the works he selects and, in closing, discusses his work “The Story of the Eye”, which is part of the Sotiris Felios Collection.


Painter of the Month


The images that Lales creates, with materials such as clay, wood and plaster, as well as objects that he has found, lead us, via the memory of art, to its present. The forms he makes have a purity that is directly associated with the truth that he seeks. The drawings are sketched with a hand that is vital, impulsive and gestural, and they mutate, just like in Jean Dubuffet’s art brut, into figures from the animal world and primeval masks that capture universal human emotions. Photographs of artworks by well-known and acclaimed artists throughout the history of art are transformed, with also the help of New Media processes, into scenes that reveal the dominant, artificial rules of the respective urban ethics on the “other gender”. Rubens’s models of voluptuous female beauty, for example, bear suddenly on their flesh the marks of time’s relentless corrosion. Rembrandt’s “Woman Bathing”, carefully lifting her blouse, exposes, with a glimpse of her garters, the puritanical, Protestant ethics of the Netherlands in the 17th century. And the early 20th century “The Kiss”, by Gustav Klimt, the representative of Austrian “Secession” from academic painting, reveals through the slits, which were reinstated post hoc by Lales, in the ornate, shiny fabrics, the carefully hidden lust of the era.

The rhythmic column, made from bird cages of different sizes, that the artist covers in plaster, looks like a monument dedicated to the expressers of analytical painting of the 1960s, and the poetic influence of white. It gives off a sense of the suffocation of being trapped, whose finality is overturned at its base, in the last, unprocessed cage, the last hope of escape. The images created by Kostas Lales project art as a means of seeking the freedom of expression.


Leda Kazantzaki
* “Avgi” Newspaper, 7 June 2015.