Kostas Plessas

Plessas Kostas
© Dionyssis Stravopodis

Born in Zakynthos in 1975, he studied at the Athens School of Arts (1994-1999) under professor Chronis Botsoglou. He graduated summa cum laude. He continued his studies on a Master’s level with a scholarship given by the Alexander S. Onassis Foundation, at Middlesex University in London (2001-2002). Plessas has taken part in many group exhibitions and works of his have been procured by museums and private collections both in Greece and abroad. He lives and works in Zakynthos.

Works

Solo Exhibitions

2008

Human Relations Krypti Cultural Centre Zakynthos

2006

Faces Art Space 24 Athens

2005

Faces Hellenic Centre London

Press

Painter of the Month

The painter for the month May is Kostas Plessas. Plessas was born in Zakynthos in 1975. He studied Painting in the Athens School of Arts (1994-1999) under professor Chronis Botsoglou. He completed his Master’s in London’s Middlesex University (2001-2002).

He has taken part in many group exhibitions both in Greece and the United Kingdom such as “4 Glances” at the Biglietto Publications Gallery in Paiania, in the “Seventh Meeting of Artists in Didymoteicho” (2000), “Disco” at the Quays Arts Center on the Isle of Wight (2003), “Urban Art” in Brixton London, “Fine Rooms” at the Royal Academy of Arts in London (2004), “60 Years Later” at the Athens Municipality Arts Centre (2005), the 5th Art Festival for Human Rights at Cheap Art Gallery in Athens (2006), and The Kypseli (beehive) of Artists at the Kypseli’s old market in Athens (2007).

He has shown his work in two solo exhibitions with the series “Prosopa” (faces) at the Hellenic Centre of London and the Art Gallery 24 in Athens respectively.

I would say that Plessas expresses and defends with his work a representational, figurative painting.  This doesn’t mean that he applies the principles and regulations of the exact representation by life. He moves between two major tendencies in art; pop art and critical realism, using frugal means such as black and coloured pencils or watercolour.

He focuses on faces, depicting their features with an implacable directness that merely touches crudeness, showing the peculiar schizoid nature of man, through the peculiar asymmetry of their two sides.

He attempts to conceive stereotypical, television reproduced scenes of human relations within the mass society of consumption, by interposing phrases and cliché symbols, such as the playboy bunny or the banal expression “be cool”. He directs an “Annunciation” with the singer Madonna in Virgin Mary’s role and a “Crucifixion” that takes place on an electric chair. He transforms familiar grims into unfamiliar grimaces, bringing back in memory the grotesque figures from Federico Fellini’s “Dolce Vita”.

In this way, he adds up an intense drama in his forms that has nothing to do with the dramatic way of their depiction, he uses iconographic elements without a trace of descriptiveness, he marks out the quality characteristics of his style and at the same time he strips his human figures from the stereotypes that compose the standardized image of themselves. Through these contradictions he projects man as a painful, tender and inexorably cruel presence, open to more than one interpretations.

 

Leda Kazantzaki
* Published on the Sunday issue of “Avgi” newspaper, 6th May 2007.