The Cultural Society and the 4th Art Thessaloniki invited ten emerging artists to get onboard the MATAROA “ship”.


Ten emerging artists about to “set sail”

Text: Dimitra Kehagia | Photographs: Artist's archives

What does it take for an emerging artist to exhibit his creation to a wider audience, to let it be seen, felt and loved? It takes someone to make the introductions, both within and beyond their homestead. Art knows of no language barriers, it speaks a common tongue, that of the psyche, and can travel without bounds to places ready and eager for art.

Apropos with this journey in mind, the Cultural Society of Entrepreneurs of Northern Greece (PEEBE) and Art Thessaloniki – International Contemporary Art Fair, invited ten emerging artists to get onboard the MATAROA “ship” in order to bring them to the 4th edition of Art Thessaloniki, held in the city on November 21-24 2019. Once there, they can set sail into their own winds towards new lands and destinations.

The invite to this journey whose final destination is the MATAROA Awards, was given by PEEBE to emerging artists in the Spring of 2019, when the selection committee painstakingly sorted through the work of 110 candidates before arriving at ten finalists who were given the opportunity to showcase their work individually at the Art Fair in a specifically designated space and compete for the Emerging Artist Award, established by the International Contemporary Art Fair in 2019.

The five-member selection committee awarded Ioannis Gagrinas with the first prize accompanied by a 1,500 euro reward, while two honorable distinctions with a 700 euro reward each were given to Vasilis Alexandrou and jointly to Christina Kyriakou and Nikolaos Kazoglou.

In addition, the ten selected artists are being featured on Art Thessaloniki’s website (www.art-thessaloniki.gr) and in the “New Creators” section of the Cultural Society’s website (www.culturalsociety.gr).

10X40: The candidates in 40 words

Ioannis Gagrinas
His work contemplates on the bond between human and nature, in a two-faceted way: exploring both our idealized view on nature and our dependence on it, in order to survive. Ioannis Gagrinas drew inspiration from his childhood village memories, the ways folk tradition and agro-economy are intertwined, as well as the fathomless ties connecting nature to religion.

Vasilis Alexandrou
Searches for the common in the individual, the public in the private. Seeks to reconstitute something that could ultimately approach the collective experience. He was born in Thessaloniki where he lives and works and is a graduate of the Faculty of Fine Arts of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.

Ilias Vasilos
A palimpsest mosaic structured in vertical and horizontal venues of frames that redefine human existence. Ilias Vasilos molds a unique “scripture of time” that unfolds like a tuned beat onto a chessboard, where every single move resembles to a checkmate.

Triantafillos Danios
In 1929, Belgian Surrealist Réné Magritte offered humanity an iconic piece of art. Triantafillos Danios renders an ingenious and sleek homage to the renowned painting “The Treachery of Images”, playfully trailing down the road of the images’ signified, mirroring a fluid and maze-like era.

Nikolaos Kazogloy
Through his work, he strives to permeate into the uncharted territories of the mind; in search of this foreign land that stays intact and unaltered from he attacks launched by the external world. An inner sanctuary that offers solace against fears, anxieties and demons.

Christina Kyriakou
Influenced by modern architecture, she reflects her main concern, the integration of form with the outside world, how they coexist and create a complete configuration. She hopes her work will be a source of inspiration and awareness for the public and other emerging artists.

Giorgos Michalopoulos
He’s participating with a series of four recent works, exhibited for the first time. He creates paintings through constructions, incorporating materials and objects such as labels and road signs, clothing and pillows, insulation materials and washing instruction labels, presenting the coexistence of the objects.

Christina Papaioanoy
A collage of colors, motifs, irregular explosions and calculated drawbacks. A work that oozes a subcutaneous sense of threat, while gestating a hue of childlike innocence. A collage where multiple references co-exist, from the Middle and Far East splendid craftsmanship to comic books and Salvador Dalí.

Ismini Teligioridou
She showcases the series of works entitled “Bestiarium”, a study on the monsters of Greek mythology, aiming to demystify their evil character, revealing possible alternative identities, attributing to them human characteristics and presenting a different view of these creatures.

Georgia Toka
A fanciful portrait, dominated by a slit that rips not only a face in two, but also our sense of identity and self-delineation. Two pieces of the same figure, almost unified, seemingly unmarred, yet irrevocably separated and semi-autonomous. A crowned princess who casts her glance way further than our reach.

Selection Committee
Xenis Sachinis, Professor of printmaking and Dean of the Fine Arts Faculty of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
Dimitris Xonoglou, visual artist
Thouli Misiroglou, Deputy Director of MOMus – Experimental Center for the Arts
Sania Papa, art historian, lecturer School of Visual and Applied Arts, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
Themis Veleni, Art historian


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