Hello, I’m Aristeidis Lappas and I live and work in Athens, Greece.
The work that I do focuses around the symbols that construct our identities and how I can mingle and shift them around to make new stories.
Being in Greece I have an inclination towards the mythological narratives over here yet I would like to find a way to open them up to people.
Give them an other character and color them in a way that makes more sense for everyone today.
I was very very lucky and grew up in an art oriented family with a lot of aesthetic stimuli and heritage, so there was always something interesting to look at around the house.
As of that I started drawing from an early point and was always encouraged to do so. Not being very good at school, art seemed like the only direction I could go towards.
It was either that or music, which is something still very important to me.
It wasn’t long after that I realized that if I was to leave a mark on this world I would have to do so through art.
So, in the absence of other identities I started identifying as an artist from pretty early in the game, probably when I was still in my university years.
Yes, I studied in Bristol in the south west of England for a few years and also in Bologna for a little while.
Even though, I was a bit at odds with my educations, creatively these where some really intense and formative years for me.
In a way they laid the foundation for my practice and how it is evolving.
When it comes to Athens the main option for studying Art is ASFA, the Athens School of Fine Arts.
Personally I feel that their methods and structure are a bit outdated but they give a lot space to their students to cultivate themselves, yet as an institution I feel that they could look a bit further and open up to newer approaches.
Athens right now is very vibrant, it is gathering people from around Europe and the world. There’s many spaces opening up and theres new blood circulating.
There’s a lot of creative energy flowing in the city and talented people working within it.
Yet even though Athens might be turning into a hub it would be amazing to see young Greek artists getting more representation in the global art scene and to be more welcomed there.
Well you definitely have to come by The Breeder Gallery and check out what’s cooking, but there’s many places to see.
Lastly there are the museums which you should really go to, like the Archeological, EMST and the Mpenaki museums.
To be honest I don’t feel like I’m tending to it as much as I should. It’s very rarely that I use it as a personal platform and I try to keep it quite work based.
I try to post the things that I’m getting up to like where I’m showing and a few sneak peaks of what’s brewing in the studio.
Detail shots or a few sketches that i like. Usually I only post painting when they are finished and ready to be exhibited.
I kind of feel that its better to show a painting when its ready to be put up in a show as to intrigue people to go see it up close.
St.Air Residency was amazing and I really enjoyed being in Graz and meeting all the wonderful people of Schaumbad, the studio space I worked in.
I was there during the lockdown so a lot the spaces around the city where not open but this gave me the opportunity to really focus on my work which was incredibly valuable and a sort of turning point for my thinking.
I also had the opportunity to meet the people from Das Weisse Haus in Vienna which where incredibly generous. It was wonderful to have been in both Graz and Vienna and would really like to go back.
Usually we consider mythologies as fake stories or childish fairytales, but considering that for a large part of humanity information was recorded and exchanged verbally, these stories hold a great significance.
Through the evolution of these stories we have created religions, philosophies and ideologies. The way that we understand our roles in society but also as humans in this world is encapsulated in them.
By telling them again in a different way I am hoping to propose a narrative that is more colorful and open to different ways of being.
Taking part in the seventh Athens Biennale was amazing and such a great experience.
I am very grateful to have been part of the exhibition and to be given the chance to show amongst such artists.
I felt that the biennale brought to Athens many ideas that are not present in the current art scene and it was great to see the dialogs that where being opened.
I mean painting is a language right? Making marks on a surface is like uttering primal sounds and by carefully arranging them you make words and sentences, shapes and forms.
Just like literature and poetry, painting has a tremendous history that has examined the phrasing of the human condition through a million and one methods.
Just think of all the ways you could describe a flower. The smell, the texture of the pedals or the effect of it’s presence on your dining table.
There’s just as many ways to paint it. Being that people have been trying to describe flowers from pretty early on there’s a great deal of material to draw from.
To rearrange it and combine it in different ways, and in the meantime maybe come up with a new meaning for what a flower could be.
It did yes but not due to the lockdowns and isolation. It was generally a hard year for me and I feel like I’ve been trying to deal with a bunch of stuff that I’m trying to channel through my work.
I think its good that I have found a way to house, deconstruct and analyze these emotions but right now I feel that it’s time to just finish these paintings and move on.
Yes. I took part in a few of the Frieze online viewing rooms which was amazing.
It is incredible to be a part of these events to be able to show my work on that scale.
Im really looking forward to the upcoming events and I am hoping to send down a few paintings and be there with the Breeder Gallery.
Aristeidis Lappas (b. Athens, 1993) lives and works in Athens. He studied for a BA in the University of West England, Bristol, UK during which time he did an exchange program with Academia De Belle Arti, Bologna, Italy. His work has been the subject of numerous exhibitions like Athens Biennial 7: Eclipse (2021); The Portent Passage of Teras, T.A.R, Molyvos, Lesvos (2021); Tenderness of a Cutting Sword, The Breeder Gallery, Athens (2020, Solo); St.A.I.R Artist in Residence, Graz, Austria (November 2020 - January 2021); Theorimata 2, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens (2020); Polymorphic Entrancing Topos, P.E.T Projects, Athens (2019, Solo); Part II, The Breeder, Athens (2019); Break Time Contemplations, Transformer, Washington D.C (2018). Lappas is represented by the Breeder Gallery.
Athens Biennial 7: Eclipse, Curated by Pokayo, Larry Ossei-Mensah, OMSK Social Club, Athens Greece
The Portent Passage of Teras, T.A.R, Molyvos, Lesbos
Liberty, T.A.R, Molyvos, Lesbos
Intimacy: A modern Tyranny, The Project Gallery, Athens, Greece
Tenderness of a Cutting Sword, The Breeder, Athens, Greece (Solo Show)
Greece In USA: A right to Silence, Curated by Sozita Gougouna (Online Show)
Theorimata, Curated by Sozita Goudouna, National Museum of Contemporary Art EMST, Athens, Greece
Staycation Is A New Artwork on Your Wall, FouFou Contemporary (Online Show)
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A big thank you to the wonderful Aristeidis for sharing his work and his story with us so that we can share with you!