Athens art scene | A visit to Aristeidis Lappas studio and the Breeder gallery
The Munchies Art Club went to Athens for a weekend trip, and on this short visit went to see the Breeder Gallery and to visit the artist Aristeidis Lappas studio, represented by the gallery and one of the artists from our artist featured section.
The Breeder gallery is one of the most important and cutting-edge galleries in Athens. A gallery that survived the economic crisis, participating in important art fairs such as the Frieze in London and New York, arising to a leading cultural voice in the Greek art scene.
Since the Documenta14 took place in Athens 2017, the international art market has put Athens on their grid.
The Greek art scene is flourishing. Museums, artist run project spaces, national and international galleries, art in public spaces, and since 2005 the Athens Biennale are creating a foundation of longevity for the Greek art scene.
As art capitals have become more uniform, the adventure Athens has to offer cannot be overlooked. Everything is possible in an atmosphere drenched in sun inducing creativity, surrounded by exquisite history, a place to replenish on new energy.
There are many reasons to go to the Metaxourgeio area of Athens, I had four.
One: Visit the artist Aristeidis Lappas studio
Two: To see Aristeidis Lappas exhibition at the Breeder gallery
Three: To visit the Rebecca Camhi Contemporary Art Gallery (which unfortunately I had to skip on this way to short trip)
Four: To eat, always make time to eat!
I managed 3 out of four, not too bad!
Making our way to downtown Athens
We decided to go to the center of Athens by foot. It was a beautiful sunny day, as we slowly made our way down from the Lycabettus hill where we were staying.
On our descent crossing the lively Kolonaki square, where we passed streets filled with trendy bustling cafes, filled with people drinking coffee outside, wearing expensive sunglasses, and the newest fashion trends. Followed by cake shops, boutiques and famous designer stores.
So alive and bustling at almost every time of day.
The deeper we descended towards the center, the more we were encountering an Athens whose face was changing.
The streets started looking more rugged, mattresses on pavements, people sleeping and living there, their belongings packed in little monochromatic plastic bags, yellow, blue, red, little knots protecting the last of what they own.
The streets got fuller, louder. The change overwhelming.
ARISTEIDIS LAPPAS | ARTIST STUDIO VISIT
When we found Aristeidis Lappas studio, around the corner from a street filled with drug dealers whispering hashish as we passed, we were relieved to reach his studio.
A metal gate opened when we rang the buzzer, and up one floor we went. There we entered a space smelling of oil paints and dissolvents and we quickly forgot the world outside.
We spoke of quarantines and how he had spent that time alone in his studio. A bed, his drums, his paints, his works, and totally secluded.
He walked me through the pieces hanging from the walls, or laying spread out on the floor. The beauty of his works when standing before them without a screen mesmerized me.
Lappas showed and explained to me the new projects he is working on, very interesting and some really exciting stuff, work in progress.
I promised to say no more, but there is much to come from this young talent, that I can promise.
It was hard to tear myself away, but the clock was ticking, my Athens stay too short to stay anywhere too long.
Follow the artist on Instagram
THE BREEDER GALLERY ATHENS | METAXOURGIO
The Breeder gallery was founded in 2002 by Stathis Panagoulis and George Vamvakidis and has played an important role in the developing Athenian contemporary art scene ever since.
In 2008 the gallery moved their space to Metaxourgeio, into a former Ice cream factory from the 70s. There it resides in a small alley, home to brothels and at the end winding out into a large busy street.
There is no sign. An old man sitting across the streets nods, his hands waving us to go in, presuming rightly that we are there for the gallery.
We enter, closing the large door leaving the oblique street behind us, entering a clean white space.
A young lady from on top of cement stairs welcomed us. She gave us a friendly overview and then disappeared to somewhere on the floor above, leaving us to enjoy the exhibition.
The work on view we saw by the entrance was mirrored and golden. Works by the Cypriot contemporary artist Maria Hassabi from her show called HERE. For more information head to the Breeder website.
After we view the works from the artist Hassabi spread out on two floors, we reconnect with the Galerist upstairs and she shows us the exhibition of Aristeidis Lappas we so wanted to see.
The show called BODY THOUGHTS is no longer on view, we were fortunate to see it before it closed.
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The Breeder Gallery
Address: 45 Iasonos st, 10436, Athens, Greece
Opening Hours: Tuesday – Friday 11-7pm, Saturday 11-5pm
Email: The Breeder Gallery
tel: +30 210 3317527
EATING GREEK FOOD | METAXOURGEIO
The night before, we had been in the area to dine with my dear friend artist and curator Dimitrios Antonitsis. He invited us to dine exceptional Greek food at the exotic named Seychelles, a small corner Greek taverna on a small square. Delicious aromas filled the space.
It was loud in a good way, filled with life, a typical taverna setting. Outside, the streets filled with people, enjoying the mild temperatures, smoking, talking, with wine in hand.
Every area has its own character, even within the same neighborhood. Here I felt safe, and very stuffed with delicious Greek food.
Most likely the Metaxourgeio neighborhood will develop in the next years, with the young art scene moving there, changing its face.
There is much potential and very exciting to watch.
Follow the Seychelles on Instagram for more mouthwatering pictures of their delicious food
About Metaxourgio neighborhood
Metaxourgeio, which means silk mill is a neighborhood in the very center of Athens. Today home to several galleries, including the Municipal Gallery of Athens.
It was a working class area in the early days, inhabited by those who worked for the silk mill, built in the 19th century.
When the silk mill closed down, the area was pretty much abandoned. Later, because of the low rents and centrality, it became home to immigrants, and later followed by aspiring artists, visionaries, and others who saw potential in this affordable and gradually growing artist’s hood.
A big thank you to the wonderful photographer Nick Youngone, for sharing his images of Athens with us.
Follow the photographer on Instagram for more real deal images of Athens