Vasilis Avramidis uses oil on canvas to work with the idea of false perceptions in painting language. Gestural brushwork, painted objects and people are translated as pieces of land, which then become an ideal terrain for smaller scale landscapes, scenes and narratives. Avramidis explores the ability of painting language to speak about itself, while at the same time it incorporates worlds, which refer to external situations. Avramidis draws inspiration from video game mechanics, where game play can dominate over narrative and vice versa, resulting in barely manageable challenges which maintain the pleasure factor.
Avramidis is interested in locations which defy easy interpretation, fiction as a channel to address real-life concerns, the physicality of paint, 17th Century Dutch Still Life painting, Hollywood films, expressionistic distortion, science fiction, parody, mythology, and the process of moss, vegetation and land taking over disused objects or structures.
Following a BA in Fine Art at Aristotle University, Thessaloniki in 2004, Vasilis Avramidis graduated from Central Saint Martins, London with an MA in Fine Art in 2011. Avramidis has exhibited widely, including two solo exhibitions in Thessaloniki in 2009 and 2007, and group exhibitions and art fairs in London, Shenyang, Athens, Nicosia, Bratislava, Piestany, Crete, Berlin and Belgrade. In 2011 Avramidis was shortlisted for the Salon Art Prize.
b. 1981, Greece
2011 MA Fine Art, Central Saint martins, London
2004 BA (Hons) Fine Art, Aristotle University, Thessaloniki
2011 Salon Art Prize (Shortlist), Matt Roberts Gallery, London
2006 Spyropoulos Foundation, Athens
2004 3rd Biennale of Schools of Fine Arts in Greece
Press release from the exhibition "Caretakers" at Jacob's Island gallery, 2012:
"...The exhibition comprises of a series of oil paintings depicting a set of self-invented locations and scenarios that shift the sense of scale within the traditions of landscape and still life.
Within the setting of his captured vistas Avramidis typically paints an arrangement of symbolic motifs, rendered in a way to be suggestive of neglect. These depicted scenes and objects are overgrown with moss and ivy, alluding to an overriding sense of decay that the paintings’ inhabitants desire to control and maintain. These characters are gardeners, keepers of sites, land and buildings. They are the caretakers.
The paintings express a repetition of varying hues of green, a reference to the duality between sickness and growth and how the land eventually reclaims everything that sits upon it. Objects being imbued with foliage confirm these concepts of the ongoing and endless conflict between the forces of destruction and the forces of philosophical cultivation. This force of nature against man-made structures and ideologies not only conveys a relentless struggle but also comments on the history of art and architecture being overwritten and unearthed with the passing of time.
Avramidis draws inspiration from gardens that are both real and imaginary, his references vary from the far away reality of Gilgamesh’s Garden of the Gods to the gothic Highgate Cemetery. The paintings’ subject matter, their very conception and the marks they bear of human care and cultivation refer to how gardens stand as restorative, nourishing and necessary havens. In many ways the paintings pictorial space conveys a wide-ranging examination of how gardens evoke the human condition.
The growth of the garden camouflages the structure of the objects and subject matter within the paintings and serve as a check against the destruction and loss of history. His paintings investigate the ways in which the concept and reality of the garden has informed human thinking about mortality, order, and power."
Text by J. Hopkins