It is unlikely that the debt crisis in Greece will be cured over night, much to the European Union’s rancor. Although the tourism in Greece is ever flourishing, the government’s finances are at an ultimate standstill until a solution can be reached. Greece will owe the European Central Bank 3.5 billion big ones by the end of July, if at that time Greece still has not issued an international bailout program, or any immediate resolution than the Greek banks will most likely be abandoned by neighboring European countries.
Not even the sale of Warhol’s latest multi-million dollar painting could save Greece, but isn’t selling art as a means to solve the debt crisis a fantastic idea? Here are a few talented Greek artists whose work is totally worth the money…so go ahead billionaires, put your money on the table and let’s help out Athens.
Maria Papadimitriou is an Athens born artist and the only Greek Pavillion representative at the Venice Art Biennale 2015. She managed to bring Greece along with her to Italy by showing the world what Greeks are really made of…almost literally.
Papadimitriou’s installation was a recreation of a Volos taxidermy shop (Volos is an old city in central Greece). Entitled ‘why look at animals? ‘AGRIMIKÁ‘, it showcases the relocated interior of the store, which sells animal hides, leather, and taxidermied animals. Between the products AGRIMIKÁ has to offer and the “customers” (exhibit goers are in very close quarters) Papadimitriou provided a uniquely kitchy glimpse into the everyday lives of inhabitants of Greece.
Of her work, papadimitriou states, “I hope that my art can communicate something important about the current crisis in Europe and how we all got there. Greece has become a paradigm for a situation that has an impact on all of us.”
This Athens based artist goes by b.– so that is how he shall be referred. He started out doing graffiti art, then later studied architecture. After graduating, b. combined his creative passions by frequently travelling to cities all over the world and painting dismal and deteriorating walls with colorfully uplifting scenarios. b. says he likes to, “create a colorful and imaginary ‘optimistic’ world.” However, his works discreetly convey the political and social hardships Greece has endured over the past decade.
b. has worked on murals from Wynwood Walls in Miami to the 2012 International Biennale of Architecture in Venice, Italy. He has had solo shows in galleries in London, New York, and Athens, and has even been commissioned for special projects in Dubai and in Greece.
“What I aim is to comment the dead-end lifestyle of humankind, such as overconsumption of earth’s limited resources, the social inequality and the economic system failure but at the same time…inspire the real values of life, like unity, peace and love.”- b.
Jannis Varelas has an abstract and colorful approach to painting (think the Greek version of Basquiat), who also uses sociopolitical changes as inspiration and metaphorical allusions. Varelas has made a name for himself in the contemporary art world, particularly in the art fair business. He had works exhibited at Frieze New York this past May, as well as Art Basel last month. He lives and works in Athens, Los Angeles, and Vienna, although majority of his work is Greek-inspired.
Represented by Breeder in Athens and primarily interested in architecture, the Greek-native Andreas Angelidakis designed Breeder Feeder, the project restaurant of The Breeder gallery’s second floor. The incredible idiosyncratic design of the venue differentiates Angelidakis from a typical interior designer and artist. He managed to combine his two creative interests to create a space inspired by traditional Greek culture and new modern influences (hope the food is as good as the restaurant looks).
Theodoros Stamos is a pretty well-known artist, in fact he was BFF’s with fellow Abstract Expressionist, Mark Rothko. Technically he is from New York but his parents came to America as immigrants from Greece. He is deceased, however his paintings from the 1940s-1970s are currently valued similarly with any work by Jackson Pollack or William de Kooning. So hello Greece, take note – if you have any Stamos paintings in storage, now is the time to pull those babies out!