Angelos Makrides and Phanos Kyriakou
IT WAS a cold dark night and nobody turned up the heating at the Cyprus Archaeological Museum
until half past seven.
However, all those ancient pots and figurines are survivalists, and the newcomers too.
Angelos Makrides and Phanos Kyriakou, proved just as tenacious.
The excellent mezes provided for guests did look after itself, retaining its own heat by the
door and was a big crowd puller.
Maybe the curating intention was to “hide” the modernists a little on purpose so
we could play “catch the contemporaries” and a family crowd spent some time staring at a cabinet choc full of
jewelry from a long, long time ago by mistake.
Quite expertly, Makrides and Kyriakou moved in on the ancients without any offence.
Makrides’ little figures appeared to be enjoying themselves immensely, as if to say “we’ll
go on forever,” yet living fully for the moment.
Terribly ‘now,’ actually. Yet, belonging to our past as well.
The ancient figurines were accepting the modernists with a simper, as if they had made room for
them on their own, yet were puzzled by the newcomers’ psychological depth.
Perhaps we are getting more advanced these days. More complex intellectually, too; as Kyriakou’s
conceptual simplicities implied. All in all, an inspiring event.
The rather rare information tucked away on the side of a door explained everything clearly: Must
be by Yiannis Toumazis.
“Two of the most prominent Cypriot artists, one from the older and one from the younger
generation, generate an art intervention at the Cyprus Museum. The two artists are Angelos Makrides and Phanos Kyriakou.
“This creative coexistence and synergy aims to depict the dynamic image of contemporary
Cypriot art as well as to highlight the strong relationship of Cypriot artists with the Cypriot history and tradition.
“t should be noted that this is the first time since 1960 when Cyprus gained its independence,
that the Cyprus museum has hosted a Cypriot artists’ exhibition whose work is compatible with antiquity.”
As curator Toumazis argues: ”Angelos Makrides is one of the most important Cypriot artists
and a pioneer of conceptual art on the island. Cypriot history and the richness of Cypriot culture have always been part of
his main interests.
“In his long artistic journey, he has created sculptures and installations with clear references
to ancient Cypriot art. His idols of picrolite are most characteristic, constituting contemporary interpretations of the well-known
idols of the chalcolithic period, bearing a definite reference to Cyprus’s modern history.
“One may easily portray Makrides as a genuine artistic continuator of an ancient tradition,
as a contemporary artist who conveys Cypriot identity and combines historic facts with contemporary artistic accomplishments
while at the same time he manifests a rich individual idiom of universal impact.
“Phanos Kyriakou is a younger generation artist with particular skills in construction
and sculpture. In his artistic career up to now he has managed to develop a personal voyage, not merely ideological but also
corporeal, bearing strong elements of mythmaking in creating impressive installations.
“His research in hybrid-fossils of present day civilization brings him very close to the
creation of a contemporary and insularly personal mythology, which draws elements, of course, from the history of civilization
and from ancient myths and traditions.
“For the Cyprus Museum exhibition, Kyriakou is inspired from and makes use of reproductions
by famous ancient sculptors, on which he mediates artistically, thus both metamorphosing them and creating an avant-garde
synthesis. In so doing, he comments on the relationship between past and present, on the evolution of humanity, as well as,
on the present day human being’s relationship to space, time and history.”
Nicou Papalouka at Gloria Gallery
SIMPLICITY, calmness but here and there something stirring.
There is, now and again, a disturbance under the pigment.
The image could be of a bird, a figure and often a beautifully-inspired landscape.
This is Cyprus in its beauty. And – now and again – in its disturbances.Until the
end of the month.
Dynamic Birds take flight
THE Cyprus College of Art, in Mehmet Ali Street ,Larnaca, is hosting paintings and mixed media
work by Phil Bird and Peter Bird.
It opens tonight at 7pm and continues until February 20.
There will be an open performance evening with musicians and poets at 8.30 pm following the private
The Cyprus College of Art opens its 2009 programme of exhibitions with a dynamic joint show of
paintings and mixed media works by artists (and brothers) Phil Bird and Peter Bird
Fascinated by the mysterious, animistic qualities of prehistoric, archaic and tribal cultures
worldwide, Peter’s assemblages include discarded, manufactured and found natural objects.
He combines and overlays these with a highly skilful and intricate painting technique to create
complex works which evoke a powerful obsessive visionary world. Geometric
Forms interplay with shifting and subtle organic patterns, these are intriguing, hypnotic and
Phil has had an interest in folk tales , myths and legends from all around the world and his
current work portrays this in the vivid characters that inhabit his paintings.
These are characters that seem to have been lured out from other worlds onto the canvas with
oil paint; angels with red patchwork wings, creatures of myth and magic, people of life and love, sometimes with a twist.
Every painting is laced with a story and a narrative that unfolds with every brushstroke.
The figures burst with life and untold histories, but these are imaginary folk tales that are
open to interpretation, no story depicted is conclusive.
They are beautiful, beguiling works that should be allowed to tell their hidden stories in the
arena of your own heart and mind.
Peter has been visiting Artist in Residence at Cyprus College on Art on several occasions. He
relocated from Britain to Larnaca in 2008 and has his studio at the college. He is a self-taught artist and works in the tradition
of ‘Outsider Art’, beyond the confines of the contemporary mainstream.
Born in Britain, Phil has an M.A. in fine Art from Goldsmith University, and now lives in Larnaca
running the Foundation Art programme at Cyprus College of Art.
Over the years, Phil’s art has been shown and reviewed both nationally and internationally.
Phil is an active member of the
Cyprus arts scene not only as a painter, but also as a songwriter and performer.
Following the private view, he
will be performing songs from his albums at the college from 8.30pm .
This concert is part of the college’s
regular open performance programme, which is rapidly becoming a significant venue for musicians, poets, writers, and other
performers on the local scene and beyond .
D/P Gallery in Limassol is hosting works by a number of Russsian and Armenian artists.
It will be opened on Wednesday, at 7.30pm by House Speaker Marios Karoyian.
Among the artists taking part is Olivera Smljkovic, some of whose work is featured on this page.
SILKS Gallery has its one-year anniversary tonight with a group exhibition.
Nicos Kouroushis, Doros Heracleous, Christos Antonopoulos are all on show.
It opens at 10pm until late and there will be a reception and cocktails, plus a live band, belly
dancer & DJ at Brio Cafe.
A NEW exhibition of mixed-media paintings by Emin Cizenel opens on Wednesday at Argo Gallery,
Provokasyon “... in the soot of the candle’s flicker” questions through digital
video and painting media, the practise and theory of painting, exhibition, galleries and curation, and the very logic of art
Cizenel’s work foregrounds soot as the very mark and trace of history , in a series of
works that restore the aura to painting, as painting.
Emin Cizenel was born in Mallia, Cyprus, and completed his undergraduate and graduate studies
at Istanbul Fine Arts Academy.
He has participated as artist-in-residence in programmes in Turkey and Vienna and as a Fulbright
Fellow in New York; and since the 1970s he has been working as an independent professional artist, presenting his wok in some
28 solo and 29 group exhibitions. His works have appeared in international and local exhibition/biennials in countries including
Cyprus, England, Turkey, Sweden, Austria, France, Greece, Luxembourg, Germany and the United States.