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Culture

Caroline Rovithi’s Exhibition Opened in New York on January 20

NEW YORK – The promotion of the Greek spirit and the positive side of Hellenism through diverse creations, ranging from original images to the modification of slogans and logos known worldwide is an integral part of the current exhibition of the work of artist Carolina Rovithi in the special hall the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine at the World Trade Center.

The title of the exhibition, ‘All You Need is Greece in New York’, is based on a special book with related works by Rovithi, which she created from a period that began the Greek economic crisis and continued through the pandemic. The endeavor can be described by the slogan “we can do it.”

In an interview with The National Herald Rovithi initially focused on a work depicting a shoe, with the aforementioned slogan as its main title. Inspiration came from the speech of a fellow compatriot and former collaborator of Steve Jobs, renowned brand strategist Peter Economides, who had criticized the fact that Greeks often use the negative phrase ‘Δε Γίνεται’  (it can’t be don’t), to which he responds: “Γίνεται “ – we can do it.  “I was inspired by Mr. Economides’ speech, who said that this mentality needs to change. This is the story behind the shoe that says “we can do it.” The Greeks must move away from the mentality of ‘it can’t be done’ and embrace ‘it can be done’. This inspired me to do something for Greece with images, that can inspire, showing the beautiful and positive side of the country,” emphasized Rovithi, who then referred to some designs that are internationally recognizable.

Caroline Rovithi with Fr. Andreas Vythoulkas, past of the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine. Photo: TNH/Ch. Athanasatos

“For example,” she said, “take the NIKE logo. It’s very recognizable. We know that the designer was inspired by and designed it based on the Winged Victory of Samothrace. I transformed this symbol, added wings to it, and instead of ‘NIKE’, I write it in Greek ‘ΝΙΚΗ’. I do things like that in general, as with the Rolling Stones, where I add mustaches and present them as ‘Greek rock stars’, or I made [Andy Warhal’s] Campbell’s Soup can into ‘avgolemono’ soup. This helps a lot with people who are not Greeks. It piques their interest because it’s something they recognize and then they understand that it also has a Greek element.

Rovithi’s exhibition was the first hosted at the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine at the World Trade Center, giving the opening even more special dimensions.

“Carolina has done something incredible for us Greeks, not only in New York and the USA but also for Greece. Her rt stays in your heart, its colors stay in your mind. It brings people together, and it is an honor and pleasure to have her in my life and here,” emphasized Vice President of Entertainment & Celebrity Bookings at SIRIUSXM, Marigo Mihalos Sfaelos..

The event began at 6 PM in the nave of Saint Nicholas, where Rovithi began creating, in front of the attendees, a work that combined the symbolism and architectural features of Saint Nicholas with different Greek references. She mentioned that it was a gesture to honor that special evening.

Caroline Rovithi is putting the finishing touches on a work presented at the exhibition ‘All You Need is Greece in New York’ at the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine at the World Trade Center on Jan. 20. Photo courtesy of Marigo Mihalos

“I studied for quite some time what has happened in this space, how this church was designed, where its inspiration came from, and I tried to combine all these significant elements. Saint Nicholas is the patron saint of sailors – that’s why my painting has the sea and a ship. I added the Greek flag. My painting, which is not finished yet, reflects the dome of the church with the rays of light [architect Santiago Calatrava] has placed all around it – it is the halo symbolizing the protection of the ship seen in the painting. It also symbolizes, in a way, the journey of a person in life and the protection one can have when they believe,” explained Rovithi.

More information about Rovithi is available online: http://www.carolinerovithi.com.

The event is held under the auspices of the Greek National Tourism Organization and the Ministry of Culture and Sports with Supporting Partners Luv Michael and Greece in USA.

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