Chronis Botsoglou conversed with the audience at the National Gallery – Alexander Soutsos Museum Nafplion Annex regarding his work Personal Nekyia (1993-2000), a group of 26 paintings, 5 of which were presented in the exhibition Somatographies: Contemporary Greek Painting from the Sotiris Felios Collection.
Chronis Botsoglou is one of the most significant painters of Greek post-war art. In this work he encounters the decay of human nature, the cycle of life and death, and the relations between the work of art, the past and art history.
“Personal Nekyia” is an autobiographical work, based on Odyssey’s 30th rapsody. Botsoglou, as the Necromancer, recalls significant people in his life and depicts them in a dark space.
The painter, after forty years of deep spiritual quest, elaborated on how this work came to life and how it lead him to unravel his true self, a route to self-awareness. In 1993 he submerged himself in his memories and retrieved images of personal experiences, in search of the essence of memory. He noted: “Every time you recall memories the images change; there is no prime memory. My intention was not to recreate the life I have lived, but to discover the way I remember”.
Professor Yorghos Veltsos, who took part in the discussion, remarked that Chronis Botsoglou while painting lowers himself. He also commented on the painter’s agony to ‘trouble’ his morphoplastic expression, the various techniques of his materials, in his attempt to express his emotional world.
This interesting conversation with the creator of “Nekyia” was an opportunity to understand the complex technique that the artist used to depict his beloved ones, as shadows, from memory. Furthermore, Chronis Botsoglou confirmed that art requires inner discipline and research. It is evident that his artistic quest creatively becomes his “life’s work”, the legacy of our cultural heritage.
Mrs Lambrini Karakourti-Orphanopoulou
Curator of the National Gallery Nafplion Annex