Stefanos Daskalakis in conversation with youngsters at the National Gallery Nafplion Annex
On Thursday 17th October, the National Gallery – Alexander Soutsos Museum, Nafplion Annex welcomed painter Stefanos Daskalakis, whose paintings are presented in the exhibition Somatographies: Contemporary Greek Painting from the Sotiris Felios Collection.
In the framework of the National Curriculum for the Arts for secondary education, Stephanos Daskalakis talked with the pupils of the New School, who were accompanied by their professors Vassiliki Sagkioti and Yannis Risva. The pupils of the New School were engaged with Daskalakis’s paintings and Daskalakis himself in order to find out more about his work and the art of painting. The conversation is a proof that art provides a vast variety of stimuli that can trigger critical and creative thinking.
The body is the main theme in Daskalakis’s paintings that are presented at the National Gallery Nafplion Annex ; portraits of female bodies, realistic portraits of large women sitting. The exuberance of his painting and the sensibility of his works capture the viewer immediately. He remarked: “I paint from life, because life is so powerful that it can disrupt and challenge me. The work that derives from this challenge is an exercise, in a way, of humiliating myself towards reality. Once this challenge occurs and if I can accept the reality that the model represents, only then the painting process begins.”
When pupils asked Daskalakis to define the art of painting, he replied “a way of being”. Although he is a representative of figurative painting, he does not separate abstract from figurative painting. To support his statement, he therefore pointed at a particular part of the background of the painting “Natalia” that could be a separate, abstract work of art.
From his point of view, the value of a work of art lays on a variety of factors: the gesture of painting, the colours, the way that shapes and forms are unified, the shades of light and colour on the canvas.
Similar discussions will follow with other artists that are presented in the current exhibition at the National Gallery Nafplion Annex. Our principle is that art should be taught as applied knowledge and skill, widening the intellectual horizons of the youth, and that meeting the artists themselves enhances the educational role of the museum.