Nicosia based artist transforms the world around him into shapes, lines and angles. PAUL LAMBIS meets him
Cyprus has a flourishing, diverse cultural scene, with a wealth of modern art that geometric art plays a key role in, creating a visual sensory experience. Although the art appears to be a straightforward enough concept, incorporating lines, squares, triangles, circles, and combinations of the above, it is a pictorial language that includes a wonderful variety of styles and approaches.
Contemporary artists such as Nicholas Ladommatos have reinvented the geometric art genre, leaving an enduring impression on the island’s art landscape with his one-of-a-kind paintings and three-dimensional creations.
His art is displayed in numerous corporate headquarters and leisure resorts, as well as in private collections around the world. He has even designed a series of commemorative stamps for the Cypriot government.
“Geometric art is abstract, futuristic, and often colourful, portraying the created shapes in ways you never imagined possible,” Ladommatos said. “This type of art lacks verbal messages and must be determined by the viewer based on his own subjectivity.”
As he sat across from me in his vibrant gallery in Ayios Dometios, Nicosia, Ladommatos explained what makes geometric art so interesting and how our natural world in Cyprus is transformed into a stark pictorial language of shapes, lines, and angles. “Geometric abstraction also reveals the artist’s connection to a specific subject and one’s powerful approach to art,” he added.
His own artistic inspiration came from his father, renowned Greek Cypriot artist, Andreas Ladommatos. “I honestly do not think I had a choice,” he admitted. “It is only natural that you will merge with art if you live and develop in an artistic setting.
“I would often join my father wherever he chose to set up his easel and paint,” he recalled. “In addition to being exposed to the island’s beauty, I was fortunate to be given an early art education, which motivated me to fall in love with art.”
After taking first place in a national technical drawing competition, Ladommatos chose to study graphic design at the Institute of Art and Design in Kent and to continue his studies in visual communications at Wolverhampton University in the United Kingdom.
“I had a strong affinity for the contemporary period, especially geometric abstract art, and in 2004 I finally showed my first series of work.”
However, somewhere between the world of inspirational artistic beauty and using visual elements to communicate his ideas, Nicholas found himself working as a bank teller for a while, thereafter in the marketing department at one of Cyprus’ large financial institutions. “The bank’s work schedule allowed me to concentrate on my art in the afternoons, however it was only a matter of time before I pursued a full-time career as an artist.”
As his passion for art continued to evolve, the opportunity finally presented itself in 2016 when the bank offered him an exit option as part of a voluntary scheme to reduce surplus staff. “I jumped at the chance and have not looked back since.”
His collector base soon flourished, as more and more individuals embraced his distinctive style and approach to creating abstract contemporary art. Ladommatos is drawn to nature in general, especially the sea as a source of inspiration. “The Mediterranean enchants and soothes me,” he told Living. “I am drawn to the simple things in life.
“I look at every piece in my collection as a process of construction. I think of concepts, which are then transferred onto canvas, plexiglass, wood, or metal, and using acrylics, synthetic materials, and sand paste, I give shape to my vision.”
His collection in Nicosia consists of paintings on canvas that depict the sea in an abstract manner, as well as brilliant, colourful masterpieces, tables with art-related themes, triangular and square illuminated light cubes, coasters, wooden bowls, and other three-dimensional pieces that have certainly redefined the geometric and contemporary art scene in Cyprus.
Nicholas Ladommatos enjoys it when the finished product conveys either tension or an aura that prompts a comment or discussion. “Everything that leaves my studio is a reflection of who I am; however, I prefer to leave the viewer to interpret the meaning of my work.”
Both as a prolific contemporary artist, and as an individual, Ladommatos believes that life is too short to pass up the numerous chances that are all around us. “When an idea appears, it only exists for a fraction of a second, like thunder. It is up to you to turn it into reality and make it appear bold and fascinating. Never extinguish the idea. I think that is the most crucial thing to remember.”