Last March artist Yiorgos Bellapaisiotis created a huge buzz among art enthusiasts on the island with his exhibition Beyond Gender & Sexual Orientation. Now he is returning to the island with a new body of work, a bold idea that was born in New York and first presented during the New York Fashion Week Spring 2020 in September last year.
This new body of work is titled Flesh Vs Spirit and will be opened at Morfi Gallery in Limassol on March 17 by First Lady Andri Anastasiade.
Cyprus-born painter, composer and fashion designer Bellapaisiotis has been living in New York since 1995. There he was invited by the Council of Fashion Designers in America to present parts of his new work at New York Fashion Week, along with other world-class artists who were participating in the charity event to raise money to prevent child trafficking.
For his latest exhibition the artist explores through his work the direct intervention in the relationship between the flesh (the external image and expression characterising personality) and the spirit (of the inner spiritual divine world) by external social and spiritual institutions.
He believes that these two components in many cases cannot coexist because of external interference. Harmony in ourselves is achieved with the perfect balance of flesh and spirit and this is when there is freedom of individual expression through acceptance.
The depicted figures in the exhibition are victims of their spiritual faith. The artist’s intention is to show their bright side and how they managed to overcome the obstacles they face, for which they are not responsible.
Pride is portrayed in the figures because they have managed to live life as they themselves have chosen and not as the institutions of their own religion or faith have suggested. Bellapaisiotis’ works are a visual journey into individuality and freedom of expression, giving renewed hope to people who have lost both of these elements.
The artist interprets art as refreshing, his creative ideas are born from the concepts of life, death and spirit. His works are created on recycled wood, driven by his attempt to transcribe life on dead wood that he collected from the streets of New York, offering it another opportunity to “live again”, “breathe again” and return to an alternative form.
Commenting on his creative journey for the exhibition, Bellapaisiotis emphasised that his effort was to capture the inner emotional world of the figures featured in the exhibition, rather than merely depicting their outer appearance.
“My voice for my new exhibition has become the visual world for this series of paintings, and my focus for these creations was to celebrate the diversity we see today and to emphasise its individuality, which for some institutions is nothing but a shame, which often leads to cruel and painful judgment and punishment.”
Flesh Vs Spirit
New exhibition by Yiorgos Bellapaishiotis. March 17-28. Morfi Gallery, Limassol. Opening night: 7pm. Tuesday-Friday: 10am-12.45pm and 5-7pm. Saturday: 10am-1pm. Tel: 99-345474