Theo Chronis

   New Originals

Solo  Exhibition

From 20th of January till 20th of February, 2020

                    Press Release                       

  Theo Chronis belongs to a new generation of Greek artists who are steadily shaping a new force in the contemporary visual arts scene.

Theo Chronis about his art:

“New originals’’ are a series of mixed media paintings exploring the boundaries of representation and abstraction. They aspire to engage in dialogue with modernist artistic thought and their creative process could be considered as a rewinding of the abstraction of the image (and especially the image of the human form) that took place in western modernism, following a path of eclectic affinity starting with Cezanne and ending with the abstract expressionists. Seeing the process of the development of one of my works is usually like a walk back in time starting from the abstract and going towards the figurative.

I consider myself primarily a figurative painter but a figurative painter who has a deep understanding of the limitations and loopholes of figuration and of painting in general. All my paintings start in a completely abstract, random and loose way of just making the painting surface dirty, and losing as much of control as possible, using splashes, dripping, violent line drawing with charcoal, drawing with my eyes closed or with my off hand, generally everything is acceptable.

From that point on a long process of trying to “see” or “discover” an image suggested by these plastic elements begins. Through numerous metamorphoses a work evolves into a picture, usually of a body or of many bodies. This picture is never pre conceived (and thus surprising to me also) and is always the product of a slow and deep reflective process of discovery of dominating forms through simply looking at the paint. Hence the title of this series: New Originals.

The Aristotelian concept of mimesis, in a more contemporary form is central to this approach. I see mimesis as the ability of the human mind to conceive of images of known objects out of signs that lie.

These signs are the artist’s job to create. And I want to try and focus my work on this zone where emancipated plastic elements become image-constituting signs in a large enough quantity to conjure up a world, or a body. A body-world.

The body image is a central leitmotif of these works, associated with libidinal unconscious thought. The process I follow of course works as a kind of automatic writing, the immediate expressive imprints on the painting surface serving as imprints of my own unconscious mind, and what I “see” in them is usually a projection of my own making albeit not a conscious one. The “discovered” images of body parts, body or bodies are evoking the experience of birth, of sexuality, of spirit trapped in flesh, the notion of death and things that are impossible to put to words but are shared as experiences by all mankind.

The viewer is invited to make his own projection on the painted surface and discover his or her own meaning in turn. The titles of my works are mere suggestions.

My influences range from sumi-e painting of ancient Chinese masters to the great western academic tradition where my own art training belongs, to modernism, to abstract expressionism. These influences appear in my work as three themes usually blended together so as to seem inseparable: the figurative, the gestural and the abstract compositional. I try to work in a way that none of these completely dominates a painting but instead they add to the whole and complement each other.

The technique used in this series is also a very integral part of my approach. Most of these works are drawings as much as they are paintings meaning that the process of defining new found forms through the use of lines with charcoal or graphite on an already painted surface -as something that would be traditionally done in preparatory drawings- is incorporated in the painting process itself.

The contrasting use of liquid paint like oil, acrylic and gouache using brushes, pallet knives etc and of drawing materials like charcoal or graphite finds its perfect resolution in the use of pastel, which can be used in numerous ways e.g. as a colored line to draw with or as a vibrant colored (or grayer toned) glaze to paint over a whole portion of the canvas. The use of this material is so central to my work that since 2013 I have been making my own soft pastels in order to achieve the results I am aiming for.”

Theo Chronis Born in Athens, Greece, in 1981 Theo Chronis received his diploma in painting from The Supreme School of Fine Arts in October 2006. The artist’s mixed media paintings using drawing and painting materials that he makes himself are a contemporary answer to what can figurative painting be today.

Organically fusing contrasting references of western academic, contemporary figurative and traditional far-eastern painting practices, Chronis’ work is sculpturally libidinal, intensely personal and painfully self- analytical. The bodies in his works are expressions of the concept of body as world and of the world as body. Known as a chameleon of style, Chronis’ interest in image creation does not stop in traditional painting practice.

His series Monologues is an example of the vast array of techniques, both digital and traditional that the artist will determinately employ in order to make a powerful manifestation of his vision and his Chinese ink black & white works are another series where with just a handful of painterly elements, the artist can say so much.

 Solo Exhibition  2014‘New Originals’ Alexandros Gallery, Athens, Greece

 2011  “The Space Between”  Pragma Art Space Athens,   Greece

                          Selected Group Exhibitions

 2016  Μεταμορφώσις: Beyond Shapes ArtMoorHouse, London UK

2015  Dialog Between the Artist and the Viewer, MaLou Art Consulting & Gallery, Athens, Greece

 2011  Totally unknown’  Zappeion Hall, Athens, Greece

2010  The human form in art’  Technopolis multispace, Athens, Greece

2009  Small is Smart’   Agora gallery, Athens, Greece 2008‘ASFA Graduates of 2006’ Athens School of Fine Art exhibition hall  ‘Nikos Kessanlis’ Athens, Greece

2007‘Conversing with Rembrandt’  De Haagse Kunstkring gallery, The Hague, The Netherlands