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Arts

Metaphysical Greece: Interview with Greek-American Artist Yannis Fotiadis

November 21, 2022

LAS VEGAS – The light of Greece has been an inspiration for Yannis Fotiadis in seeing a broader hyper-reality that the artist captures in his latest exhibit, ‘Metaphysical Greece’. The subject of his collection of hand-illustrated artwork is Greece, the artist said – the great legacy of antiquity, myth and mystery, of both ephemeral and timeless beauty. The Greece of today also – the utilitarian, the worn, the tested, the very old, and the revived.

The exhibition of several drawings will be open to the public until Saturday, December 7 at the North Las Vegas Campus Artspace Gallery. “The drawings document a search for revelation,” Fotiadis said. “Classical antiquity is omnipresent and inescapable in Greece, woven into the cultural legacy of the country physically, psychologically, intellectually, and emotionally. It is an immense epic – unavoidable – and at times, mysterious and overwhelming presence, mostly surviving today through architectural fragments.”

Taken from different illustration series, the drawings exhibited in Metaphysical Greece represent Fotiadis’ various explorations of these ideas and, to a degree, their culmination until now. “I see these drawings as attempts at documenting a broader hyper-reality, a reality beyond our visible spectrum, beyond the physical manifestation. A metaphysical essence and realm that one knows is there, but that may not be evident at a first rushed glance,” he said.

The New Jersey-based artist is also an architect, musician, designer, comedian, historian, philosopher, and educator who developed a love of visual art from an early age. Throughout the years, Fotiadis’ artwork has explored various themes and techniques, but has always been primarily inspired by the imagery of his early childhood summers spent in Greece. In recent years, Fotiadis’ trips to Greece have focused on an immersion in classical antiquity.

What has resulted is his open-ended drawing project started in 2019, called ‘The Solace of Antiquity’. The drawings in this project, done in graphite, colored pencil, and charcoal, document the ruins of ancient sites and explore the effects of the luminous Aegean light on the architectural remnants there.

Equally informed by philosophy and academic drawing techniques rooted in optical theory, Fotiadis’ drawings reveal the unique and visceral metaphysical character of these ancient places that transcends space and time.

The artist primarily works with colored pencil on greytone paper. “All of my ideas – be they architectural designs, storyboards for digital pieces, sketch concepts for larger drawings to come, or even notations for music, all begin with a pencil to paper,” Fotiadis said. “Every new blank page of my sketchbook represents an opportunity to create a new world of infinite possibilities.”

Fotiadis hopes his drawings illustrate the idea that the world we are aware of and inhabit, and often take for granted, can be incredibly profound and revealing, the artist said.

“I truly believe that the creation of art is the highest form of consciousness a human being can achieve. As a result, I also tend to believe that if more of society engaged in such creative behavior and work (like making art), our baser inclinations towards destruction would be vastly reduced,” he said.

CSN Artspace Gallery hours are from 8 AM to 10:30 PM Monday through Friday and 8 AM. to 5 PM Saturday. The Artspace Gallery is located upstairs above the main entrance lobby on the

North Las Vegas campus located at 3200 E. Cheyenne Avenue, one-mile East of I-15 North.

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