The end of the year is always a time to look back on what has come to pass over the last 12 months. In the eyes and hands of an artist, however, the way back may be the way forward to a new collection of work. Such is the case for artist Mattheos Christou, who will showcase his latest collection under the name ‘Once Upon a Time’ in Nicosia tomorrow.
The exhibition, which will run at Gallery K until the end of January, will feature 240 paintings which will be divided into 12 groups. These 12 groups are associated with the 12 months of the year to express the illusory perspective of interrupted time.
Christou, from Limassol, studied at the School of Fine Arts in Athens. This is his 15th solo exhibition. His previous shows took place in Limassol, Nicosia and London, while his work has also been displayed in group exhibitions in Limassol, Nicosia, London and Rome.
The artist is renowned for his mastery in creating compositions using curved shapes and curvilinear lines. Commenting on his style, he has said: “The curved line carries a primary element which fascinates me. I use it to convey movement and to communicate emotion.”
According to art editor, journalist and art communications consultant Marina Stefanides, “Mattheos Christou is an intuitive artist. He sees through the complexities of space-time curvature, understanding that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line only from the perspective of the moving object. In space-time, distances are travelled on curved surfaces and therefore in reality all motion in time and space travels on curved paths.
“Curved motion is a complex idea. Mattheos uses it to express, in the form of an allegory, a flight into the primordial. His canvases are filled with orbicular forms and curvilinear lines on which the artist conveys ideas of distances travelled ‘into the soul of the world’. He makes this interpretation an essential aspect of his allegorical statement.”
The artist’s goal, like that of most artists who have something to say, is to create a narrative. “Although his painted surfaces are imbued with a visual motif that is dependent on the use of curving shapes and circular motion, symbolic of the female element, he chooses to cloud it in ambiguity, creating imposing figures and often disassembling his figuration to force a whirling sense of movement,” according to Ms Stefanides.
Symbolism is also a part of Christou’s work. His inclusion of plants and fruit in his art work is symbolic of the rebirth of Nature, and the use of the colours gold and red points to ancient cults and rituals. While these symbols are somewhat rooted in deeper meanings, he also strives to show that narratives evolve, they take on other forms and move in a circular form. The depiction of a child’s bicycle, for instance, is a symbol of a new story making its start.
Journalist and TV presenter Alexia Karakanna will inaugurate Christou’s 15th solo exhibition tomorrow at 7pm.
Once Upon a Time
Solo exhibition by Mattheos Christou. Opens December 8 at 7pm until January 30. Gallery K, Evrou 14, Strovolos, Nicosia. Monday-Friday: 9.30am-1pm and 3pm-7pm and Saturday: 9.30am-1pm. Tel: 22-341122