The artistic roaming of Christos Dimitriou has always been human-centered, but not in the strict sense of portraits.

Christos Dimitriou

Taming the light, sculpting the human identity

Text: George Papadimitriou

Christos Dimitriou is the co-owner of Studiovd, alongside Nikos Vavdinoudis, his working companion for over than twenty years. His professional engagement with photography focuses mainly on architecture, gastronomy and personal portraits, while more than often he is assigned by a printed or online magazine to capture the urban landscape through his lens. If we wish, though, to get to the gist of it, photography is far more than a professional activity for Christos. It is an instinctive reflex, an extension of the mind and of the heart.

Christos Dimitriou was born in Limnos, but had his crush on photography in Thessaloniki, as a high school student, thanks to the “Youth Crossroad” program held under the auspices of the Municipality of Thessaloniki. “Even though the program was addressed to adults exclusively, Nikos Delhanidis – a friend for life who went on to become my best man – and I decided that an innocent little lie was maybe due for the occasion. We pretended to be high school graduates and got ourselves enrolled in the program. That’s where I discovered the entrancement of the dark chamber and experienced for the first time the indescribable feeling of reshaping reality with a camera in hand – or a camera as an extension of the eye if you would prefer to put it that way”, as he says.

“My apprenticeship by the side of Dimitris Athyridis was not reduced to absorbing bits of knowledge and improving my technical skills. It was a full-blown life coaching, that expanded my horizons in areas way beyond the boundaries of photography. A photographer’s most precious tool is no other than light. The attempt to perceive its ground rules, to tame it and capitalize on it so as to highlight your topic of interest, is a never-ending struggle bound to remain unconcluded. A process that has not ceased to infatuate me thirty years after the first spark,” mentions Christos Dimitriou, as he looks back on his long journey in the field of photography.

Dimitriou’s artistic roaming has always been human-centered, but not in the strict sense of portraits. His lens tracks us down us as we move and drift away amidst the urban landscape, recording our imprint on nature. On one hand, the city with its hefty urban canvas, the density of images and people, an inexorable source of stimuli. On the other hand, his birthplace, a feeling of subcutaneous repatriation. In Limnos, into the heart of the mystical Greek summer, Dimitriou delved into the unadorned and austere landscape. The fruit of this – far and foremost inner – quest was the series “Greetings from Limnos”, available on his personal website. As to the unsparing question “a professional or an artist?” the answer was channeled into the series “Osmosis”, which contemplates on the relation between opposing forces: harmonious co-existence and brutal battle for prevalence are changing turns.

Christos has developed a multi-layered and deeply emotional bond with Thessaloniki. “I have come to known every aspect and ankle of Thessaloniki, as I have seen the inside of hundreds of houses, shops and workplaces. Having photographed the city upon request of various magazines, I gradually became aware that it’s really hard to fully adopt a visitor’s point of view on the city where you live. It comes easier for me to express my personal realm than to reproduce a tourist glance. I’m taking pictures of a glimmering light, a tree’s shadow, a “shrouded” building waiting to be restored, the twinkle lights on a friend’s rooftop. Ι am frequently going for a stroll along the seafront, the sea is at once an escape and a boundary. Occasionally, it offers me guidance and inspiration, at times it discretely asks me not to disturb its peace.”

Christos Dimitriou unveils his future plans: “I really want to dive into the notion of the neighborhood, the very foundation of the urban web, which is constantly undergoing mutations and reformations. I would like to elaborate on my linkage with the human geography,” he concluded.