The image will prevail

Giorgos Taxidis

Pared-down images, like poems

Text: Chryssa Nanou  || Photographs: Giorgos Taxidis Archive

“The image will prevail”, is the firm belief of Giorgos Taxidis and his artwork is based on this declaration of faith. His glance seeks the everyday man that goes by unseen most of the times. Taxidis observes this man thoroughly and systematically through frames shaped in New York, Moscow, Madrid, and Thessaloniki. “Many times, I get hooked on the features, the skin colors and texture, a certain imperfection, the posture. I cannot discern what I am drawn to, but I get overcome by a dire need to paint it. Maybe, the desire to record yet another face in the history logs, as vain as this may sound,” he explains.

The 33-year-old visual artist’s contact with the world of art was initiated at an early age. “I grasped the power encompassed in the images,” he says. “My sources of inspiration can be traced in the simple construction games that nurtured my imagination, pushing me to constantly explore and experiment, the books I was given as a gift, as well as my father’s encouragement to draw and paint.”

His studies abroad, in New York, Moscow and Madrid, left a mark in his work, as he mentions: “apart from the gamut of stimuli offered by faculties and teachers, I engaged in a way of life at once familiar and distanced from my own upbringing. This experience sharpened my modus of thinking and my observation skills.” In Moscow, it was his first acquaintance with major and prestigious museums, that’s where he went through “the initial shock wave of adolescence,” he goes on to say.

Moreover, he qualifies the exhibitions he was granted the opportunity to visit in Madrid and New York as a fundamental chapter of this personality as an artist. “As a tourist, it is impossible to devote the amount of time needed to museums and galleries. Imagine that New York’s Chelsea district alone hosts 120 galleries. In Madrid, every Saturday and Sunday, for about a year, I was visiting Prado and Reina Sofia, to take a glimpse at my favorite exhibits. I dedicated an entire hour to Velázquez, Goya and Picasso. All these experiences enhanced and strengthened my commitment and determination.”

Literature serves as a steady point of reference and inspiration. “Prose and poetry exercise a greater influence on me than painting. They function as tools I use not only to illustrate a text with images, but also to blend these two elements in the same image, as if one completes the other. I love poetry because it sums up its essence so densely, in just a few verses, making even the slightest surplus of words seem a burden. To draw a parallel, the meticulous selection and placing of the words reminds of the painting masterpieces that only need a couple of brushes to carve an overwhelmingly vivid image. That’s what I’m striving to portray in my works. Sometimes, neither details nor complex compositions are needed to make an impression. Truth can’t be anything but spontaneous.”

His most recent art project led Giorgos Taxidis to Mount Athos, in collaboration with the Mount Athos Center. “I will embark on a series of journeys to Mount Athos, in order to visit all twenty monasteries. Obviously, it will take a lot of months for this project to fully unfold, hopefully leading to an exhibition and a catalog featuring the works performed to this end. I draw no limitations as to my topics and techniques. I consider it of great importance and interest for the audience to witness the way every artist has depicted a singular experience in a personalized manner, in the course of time. A similar project was held back in 2013, alongside Tim Vyner, a Royal College of Art alumnus.”

Who is Giorgos Taxidis
Giorgos Taxidis was born in Drama, in 1987. He studied at AUth’s Fine Arts Faculty. He was bestowed with the 1st prize at the Arts & The City 5 contest (Athens, 2014), while he is holder of a scholarship granted by AUth’s Georgios Varkas Foundation. During the academic season 2013-2014, he was the recipient of an Erasmus scholarship for studies at the Facultad De Bellas Artes, in Madrid. In 2012, he received an accolade at the mockup contest held by the Hellenic Post, for the Europa 2012 series of stamps, titled “Visit Greece”. He has showcased his work in two individual and many collective exhibitions. His works can be found in the Greek Embassy in Madrid, in Piraeus Bank’s permanent exhibition, in Moscow, as well as in private collections allover Greece.